Dear international friends,
The Portuguese government and Vinci corporation want to build a second airport in Lisbon, in the natural reserve of the Tagus estuary. It’s by far the easiest and more profitable solution for the aviation and tourism industry, and by far the worse for the people, the ecosystem and the planet. This is the last days to take part in the public consultation of the environmental impact study. Everyone can do it – it takes 3 minutes.
The best way is to register and participate online, so that your participation will be counted. Alternatively you can send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can use this text proposal (or the text in portuguese). Thank you!
Mr. President of the Portuguese Environment Agency (Agência Portuguesa do Ambiente)
I, (name), (identification), resident in (County), hereby express my total disagreement with the project “Airport of Montijo and its accessibility”.
The main reasons, among many others, are:
1-This EIA should have been preceded by a Strategic Environmental Assessment, to determine all recurring impacts and consider all alternatives, in accordance with national (Decretos-Lei nº 23/2007, nº 80/2015) and European legislation. This project is therefore in an illegal situation.
2-The study says in the beginning that: “The expansion of Lisbon’s airport capacity is of the utmost public interest and the utmost urgency. (…) A mere 1 year postponement of Montijo Airport has an estimated impact of € 600 million in lost revenues” and that “all alternatives identified, with the exception of air base n. º 6, in Montijo, proved unable to meet the capacity requirement in terms of air space management ” (Vol. I, p. 3 and 4). This statements are not substantiated anywhere. In other words, it is assumed that airport expansion is inevitable and that only the Montijo option is a real possibility.
3- At a time when the Portuguese parliament itself decreed a climate emergency (Plenary of 7/6/2019), all efforts should be made to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, being aviation one of the sectors in which these have grown the most in recent decades.
4-In clear contrast to climate change mitigation policies and towards carbon neutrality the government claims to follow, the access to Montijo airport would be based almost exclusively on the road option (Vol. Iic, section 6.3.3). There is no mention of railway.
5-In terms of human health, pollution and noise introduced by aircraft in an area that is highly populated, the minimisation measures pointed out in the study are clearly not enough, and the construction will aggravate a national public health problem.
6- The study shows that the impacts on birdlife are not only high, but also impossible to minimize: ” in view of the results obtained in the impact analysis resulting from the disorder effect on birdlife (…) no possible impact minimisation measures were identified (p. 34)”
7-In vol I, p. 7 , the image shows how close the airport is to several special protection areas related to the Tagus estuary, and also occupies part of a site of community importance. In addition to the high importance they have in terms of biodiversity and ecosystem services, we have a high risk of collision of aircraft with large birds (including flamingos and storks), a risk that has been highlighted by both commercial pilots and Air force elements. Nowhere in the study is given answer to these concerns.
8-At a time when all new projects must demonstrate how they deal with changes due to climate change, it is not understood how this project can be designed in an area where a big rise of water level is expected, pointing to a value below 1 meter rise in 2100, which is now considered clearly inappropriate.
9-Some of the proposed mitigation measures show how harmful the airport would be to people’s health and quality of life. The construction of new schools, or the health centers long claimed by the population would become compromised (MG.AS.13).
10- All the problems lead to an unusual number of supposed impact mitigation measures. In vol. IIc, an overall evaluation of the project is carried out, concluding that, contrary to what was spread in the media, the project has clearly more negative than positive effects. Even with all the minimisation measures listed in table 8.11 of the same volume, the general balance is still clearly negative, in particular with regard to geology and morphology, underground water resources, ecological systems, landscape, accessibility and transport, sound environment, air quality and emission of green house gases, or human health (which has the most negative value).
For all these reasons, this project should not be allowed.