Will they, won’t they? The saga of two new airports for Lisbon drags on and on

Premium Analysis

Replacement primary/hub airports often take a long time to come to fruition, and location is typically the fundamental issue to be settled. It was true in the case of Istanbul for example, where there was the level of environmental opposition that is now the norm.

In Lisbon, Portugal's capital, two decades ago a decision was taken to replace the existing airport (then Portela, now Humberto Delgado - after an air force officer who was expelled, exiled and assassinated trying to get back into the country). Then it was abandoned in favour of converting an air force base at Montijo.

That attracted the ubiquitous environmental protest and now the government has succumbed to it, relegating Montijo to an 'assist' role if it can actually enforce the conversion, while Alcochete, just to the north, again becomes the long term prospect.

The saga looks set to run and run.

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