Poland's Central Polish Airport starts to take shape: part two – VINCI and Incheon combine for PPP

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By comparison with the tortuous 14-year journey made by Berlin Brandenburg Airport from conception to completion, the New Central Polish Airport (CPK) is moving along at a cracking pace, as fast as the high-speed rail lines - which should eventually connect it to all corners of the country, and for which there is no real comparison anywhere else in the world; a 'central' airport for an entire nation.

That said, no spades have yet turned over a single clod of earth, and huge mega airport projects like this have floundered and expired elsewhere on a change of government, which could happen right now in Poland where a general election has just been held.

CPK will become the world's testing ground for new airports in the next few years.

Previous ones like Istanbul and Beijing Daxing have been completed successfully, whereas Berlin Brandenburg took a generation to conclude. Mexico City's was scrapped well into its construction phase, and London Heathrow has been waiting for its third runway since the Bath Road (near which it is located) was illuminated by gas lamps and highway robbers patrolled it.

If CPK does continue in the envisaged format it will be able to handle 40mppa when it opens in 2028/9, scalable to 100mppa - although that seems fanciful, in view of the 50mppa who flew into, out of, or through all of Poland in 2019.

Nonetheless, with a merger of CPK and PPL Polish Airports completed the hunt is on for a private sector investor (and possibly operator) that is prepared to come up with some serious cash on the promise that the airport will pay for itself in 12 years.

This is part two of a two-part report.

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