Poland approves new airport, despite criticism
The Polish parliament voted in favour of a “special act” on May 10, 2018, giving a green light to the country's new massive airport project: Central Communication Port “Solidarność”, aimed to become "European gate to China".
The act should provide flexibility for the financing of the project and help acquiring the necessary land. “Solidarność” airport is expected to become an international hub for Poland and its neighboring countries. The goal is to make it the “European gate to China”, according to Mikolaj Wild, the government official in charge of the project. It will be built in the town of Stanislawow in the Baranow commune, 40 kilometers west of Warsaw, close to the A2 highway which runs from the German border to the capital, and also in proximity of the Warsaw-Lodz railroad. It should become the main base of operations for Polish national carrier LOT Airlines.
The total cost of the project is estimated at around $9.8 billion, including the construction of the airport, the train station and the connection to the existing highway and railroad networks.
The airport should have a capacity of 45 million passengers per year when it opens, and could be enlarged to a 100 million. The outlining of the project should be ready by the end of 2019. The construction should take eight years with the grand opening expected for the end of 2027.
The current Warsaw Chopin Airport (WAW) received 15.7 million of passengers in 2017 and is close to saturation. Being located in a residential area, it cannot be expanded to meet the coming needs of Poland’s growing economy. It has been decided that Warsaw Chopin Airport should be closed after the opening of “Solidarność”.
The members of the opposition parties have criticized the project. They fear that closing Chopin Airport would damage the attractiveness of Warsaw. The “special act” still need to be approved by the Senate in the week following its voting by the Parliament.
The residents of Baranow commune announced on April 18, 2018, that they would hold a referendum before June 17, 2018, to answer two questions: do they want the airport to be built? And if yes, do they accept the conditions in which the government will buy their land?