The Chamber warns that time is running out to decide the future of El Prat airport

  • The business organization calls on the Administrations to resume the debate on enlargement as soon as possible

  • The entity implicitly criticizes Aena and the central government for their conduct during the failed negotiations

The Barcelona Chamber of Commerce has claimed this Thursday at Public administrations already Aena that they resume as soon as possible the debate on the expansion of the Barcelona airport, a debate that, in his opinion, has so far lacked enough information to be able to assess the “real impact & rdquor; of the different options presented to expand The field. Using the forecasts of Eurocontrol, the employers’ association considers that the Barcelona airport could recover the pre-pandemic traffic in late 2023, a scenario that would reproduce the congestion problems that dragged then.

We have very little time because in a couple of years we will have a saturated airport and with a service just as bad that in 2018 & rdquor ;, has affirmed the director of infrastructures of the Cambra, Alicia Casart. At the moment, however, few things are moving, although some sources hope that the conversation can resume once the talks are over. negotiations to agree on budgets in Madrid and Barcelona.

The Chamber has not wanted to hold any of the parties responsible for the failed attempt to expand the airport, which derailed in September after the Government expressed its reluctance to occupy the La Ricarda natural area lengthening the track closest to the sea to the north, a position that the Government took advantage of to suspend the project, alluding to the lack of political support in the Catalan Executive.

Reproaches to the Government

But it has expressed implicit complaints towards Aena due to the rush it imposed on the negotiation and the lack of concrete details to evaluate the impact of the different options. “It could not have been done in four months what was done in four years during the debate on the Barcelona Plan& rdquor ;, Casart said, referring to the 1999 plan that laid the foundation for the latest airport expansions. Those reproaches that were also directed towards the Executive of Pedro Sanchez. “The Spanish Government has not taken sufficient account of the Catalan Government & rdquor ;, said the president of the Chamber, Monica Roca.

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The business association believes that the future airport should be based on a model that boost intercontinental flights and reduce your dependence on low cost flights to attract talent, encourage business travel and increase Barcelona competitiveness. But at the same time he believes that El Prat is not in a position to emulate the large intercontinental nodes Europeans, like Headrow O Charles de Gaulle. Instead it should aim to be an intermediate node like Brussels, Copenhagen, Zurich or Viena.

For that, however, the parties should demonstrate flexibility to resume the enlargement debate as soon as possible, according to the Chamber. “Own debate is extremely polarized on knowledge bases of the different options that are not enough. We haven’t really stopped to evaluate which is the best option. You have to put everything on the table and do a lot of technical work, which is what has not been done & rdquor ;, said its president after verifying that its technicians have not determined until now what is the best alternative to unblock the expansion plan.

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