The controversial project could serve as China’s gateway to Europe by 2027
Deputies of the Polish parliament have approved legislation that opens the door to the construction of a new airport around 40 km from the capital, Warsaw.
The project should be finalised by 2027 and will initially serve around 45 million passengers a year, with a target capacity of 100 million passengers. Because the airport will be located near a motorway that connects Warsaw with Berlin, the government expects it will help them gain more powerful foreign partners, namely China.
In 2016, Heathrow served 76 million passengers according to their own analysis.
Being one of Europe’s largest airports, it should serve as China’s gateway to Europe. The decision has been made in light of Poland being one of Europe’s fastest growing economies that needs more international partners and large projects to sustain growth.
However, the plan has been largely criticised by the country’s opposition parties as well as locals. The new construction would lead to the closure of popular Frederic Chopin airport, located in Warsaw.
The opposition candidate for Warsaw mayor, Rafal Trzaskowski, said that Warsaw would suffer from the development.
Yesterday, PiS passed a bill allowing construction of new mammoth airport in central Poland, some 40kms from Warsaw. The new airport will render useless the current, conveniently located and still expandable, Chopin airport. Airport’s planned to open in 2027. pic.twitter.com/GVqoxyJcbr
— Wojciech Kość (@WojciechKosc) May 11, 2018
Poland’s official in charge of the project, Mikolaj Wild, said that Chopin airport has reached its capacity and called it a noisy inconvenience to the hundreds of thousands of people living in its neighbourhood.
The new facility, on the other hand, will be better-placed and could offer huge economic potential for Poland.
Wild presented the concept during his official visit to China last year and claimed Beijing was open to talks on the airport as part of their Belt and Road initiative. This project is supposed to significantly boost China’s international trade ties.
The new legislation now requires approval from the senate and Poland’s president, Andrzej Duda. Citizens living in Baranowo county, where the new airport is planned to be built, will hold a referendum next month on whether they support the plan.