The Portuguese government has given the go-ahead—and the financing—for development of a second major airport for Lisbon, whose existing airport is cramped for space and cannot expand.
Government approval for the deal came ahead of the required environmental statement, which must be delivered by late March. The airport will be built and managed by ANA, which also operates the existing airport and will make some improvements there, as well, ANA is owned by the French Vinci group which operates airports in several countries.
Lisbon's existing airport, located in the city, is surrounded by urban development and cannot expand. It has relied on tight operations and technology to squeeze in a few more flights than some believe is safe. Some runway reconfiguration is part of the plan.
The new airport, at Montijo, across the river from the city, will be developed on the site of an air force base used by transport, surveillance and search planes. Some of those planes will be relocated to other bases. The new airport is planned to open in 2022, and will handle overflow traffic from the existing field.