Ten post dostępny jest także w języku: polski
According to the company, CPK, the investment in a new airport and a network of railway lines, will be completed in 2027, and in the summer season of 2028, the Solidarity airport is to serve commercial flights. Piotr Malepszak, a former CPK board member, is less optimistic about the plans, saying that there is no chance that the first flight from CPK will take place in 2027.
According to Marcin Horala, deputy minister of infrastructure and the government’s plenipotentiary for CPK, the first flight with a special plane of the Polish Air Navigation Services Agency from the Solidarity Airport is planned for 2027, while commercial flights should take place already in the summer season in 2028. The company will try to achieve the set goal, and the constantly detailed schedule of implementation, accompanying the preparatory works, is to help.
Should any problems arise, the company will implement countermeasures to avoid delays. An example of such measures is the selection of a master planner, which was postponed due to the public procurement procedures. The company decided to carry out some of the work itself, without waiting for the master planner position to be filled. This work includes the delimitation of the airport and the acquisition of air traffic forecasts from IATA taking into account the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it is being carried out in cooperation with external experts, including representatives of Incheon Airport from Seoul, acting as strategic advisors.
But will there be delays?
According to Piotr Malepszak, former board member and acting president of CPK, the deadline for completing construction work and opening the airport in 2027 is unrealistic. As he stresses, it is necessary to take into account the start time of construction works, which is planned for 2023. According to Malepszak, if feasibility studies start in the second half of 2021, it is impossible to talk about the start of construction works in 2023.
The postponement of the final date for the completion of the investment may also affect the railway network which is to be routed to the Central Transport Port (CPK). As Malepszak, who has been working for PKP PLK for a long time, adds, the construction of 530 km of new lines seems equally improbable. Although some of the railway investments are to be completed with the opening of the Solidarity Airport, the rest of the lines under construction will be completed later, even until 2034.
Will there be a change of plans for railway lines?
Another problem related to railway investments is the need to revise the planned lines in order to route them in a way that allows as many passengers as possible to use rail connections. He adds that even 2,000 passengers a day is still too few to consider building new connections. A spokesman for CPK responds to such accusations, stressing that the construction of a coherent transport system also relies on investments in peripheral areas. Although the so-called solidarity lines will constitute around 2% of the length of the target network, they will entail benefits for passengers from smaller centres. It is also supposed to be another step in the fight against transport exclusion.
The CPK spokesperson also points to other stages in the development of the railway infrastructure. Since 2020, natural inventories have been carried out and at the same time feasibility studies are being prepared for sections of new railway lines with a total length of almost 1,000 km, including the Warsaw – Łódź – Wrocław – state border route. Another important investment will be the long-distance tunnel in Łódź, for which a contract for the development of a construction design will be signed in the near future.