“It is essential to move towards expanding capacity, it is essential that this capacity be done in a way that contributes to and is the engine of the region's economy and that it is not done in violation of the law and the rights of citizens”, considered Fernando Medina (PS).
The mayor was speaking at a hearing on the Environmental Impact Assessment of Montijo Airport and the extension of Humberto Delgado Airport, in the Assembly of the Republic, where he explained that the Lisbon Chamber did not formalise any position on the construction of the new airport at Air Base No. 6, in Montijo, due to “different opinions from different political groups”.
However, he stated that there is "a very clear position on the urgency of progress" in the construction of a new airport solution.
“The Montijo solution and Alcochete solution are often talked about, but what is clear, seen from the other side [Lisbon], is that either means the maintenance of Humberto Delgado Airport for decades within the city and within an area that today is quite dense from a population and residential point of view”.
For this reason, he asked to take advantage of the context caused by the covid-19 pandemic, with the reduction in the number of passengers at Lisbon Airport, “in order to make strategic decisions for the future”.
"I have no illusion that the drop in air traffic is temporary, the growth in air traffic will return in force," he said.
At this hearing, the mayor took the opportunity to ask for “parliamentary support”, because there has been “great opacity regarding the impacts of air traffic”.
“I wanted to request a formal request from the National Civil Aviation Authority (ANAC) about the number of violations and fines detected under the legal regime in force on night flights. I think there was a serious omission by the regulator to night flights in the city of Lisbon”, he pointed out.
According to Fernando Medina, there are “hundreds of flights justified under exception criteria”, but “there are no known fines that have been made”, nor is there any company “that has been fined for breaking the law and disturbing the quality of life of any resident in the municipality”.
For the mayor, this information should not only be public, but be available on a portal “with the identification of all flights carried out with the daily update” should be created.
In addition, he also defended the installation of an autonomous system "for the measurement of noise levels and atmospheric emissions, including microparticles, in the area of ??influence of Humberto Delgado".
As part of the new airport project, he asked the Portuguese Environment Agency to send the “detailed expansion plan on Lisbon's airport expansion capacity and its accessibility plan, which has not yet happened”.
In June, the Minister of Infrastructure said in parliament that the Government wants to proceed with the project for the new airport in Montijo, but, as there seems to be no parliamentary availability to change the law, this is dependent on the favourable opinions of several municipalities.
According to the Declaration of Environmental Impact of Montijo Airport, five communist municipalities in the district of Setúbal issued a negative opinion on the construction of the airport in Montijo (Moita, Seixal, Sesimbra, Setúbal and Palmela) and four municipalities with socialist management (Montijo, Alcochete, Barreiro and Almada, in the same district) gave a positive opinion.
In January 2019, ANA Aeroportos and the State signed the agreement for the expansion of Lisbon's airport capacity, with an investment of 1.15 billion Euros by 2028 to increase the current Lisbon airport and transform the Montijo air base in a new airport.