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Poland’s flights of fancy: Is a mega-airport coming?

Poland’s flights of fancy: Is a mega-airport coming?

The chief executive of Polish flagship airline LOT says his country needs a new mega-airport to show Poland means business. DW asks who would pay for it and whether it would make economic sense at all.

The Central Airport (Centralny Port Lotniczy or CPL), as the project is called, would be situated in the Baranow district between Warsaw and Lodz, 15 minutes from Warsaw’s central station by train.

“It’s the biggest under­taking in the modern history of Poland,” said Deputy Infrastructure Minister Mikolaj Wild, who is overseeing the project. It could be “the gateway from the EU to the east,” he added.

The 70 billion zloty ($19 billion, €16.5 billion) airport would handle 45 million passengers a year, rising to 100 million, to rival Heathrow, Charles de Gaulle and Schiphol. The first phase of the project would cost 35 billion zlotys, or more than 10 percent of Poland’s national budget.

Built on 3,000 hectares (7,400 acres) of land, it is scheduled to open in 2027. A new town by the airport, with business parks and a congress center, is also planned.