Quercus "has made public that its opinion is now unfavourable to the process underway regarding the construction of the new airport, including the issue of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) by the APA (Portuguese Environment Agency), thus supporting the position of the environmental associations that have been demonstrating against and appealing to the Courts," reads a statement from the association.

On 31 October last year, Quercus commented on the APA's favourable opinion of the airport considering that it was not the ideal solution but that it could be positive as long as measures to minimise environmental impacts were safeguarded.

One day earlier, on 30 October, the APA had published a "favourable EIS conditioned" to the construction of Montijo airport, making the project viable, something that has since been much criticised by environmental organisations.

Quercus has had a new direction since February of this year, and it states that the association's October position "does not reflect the vision of the majority of the members and leading members," and says that at the time essential issues were not addressed.

It is therefore important, the association said, to question the alleged urgency of the government in building the airport, to criticise the fact that contractual positions were taken before the environmental impact assessment process was concluded, or to defend the need for the process to include alternative studies.

In the document, the association lists a dozen reasons why it is against the new airport, such as the need for a Strategic Environmental Assessment, contextualisation of the project with climate policies and greenhouse gas emission reduction targets, or taking into account "important technical and safety concerns" that have since been raised.

Last year's environmental impact assessment underestimated the polluting potential of aircraft emissions, the "huge unmitigated impact" caused by noise must be taken into account, and the impact on the bird life of the Tagus Estuary must be properly considered.

And to all this we must add "new aspects" that did not exist a year ago, from those linked to the navigability of typical boats in the estuary to the current context of the Covid-19 pandemic crisis, combined with an economic crisis, which leads to a reduction in demand for flights.