The Government agreed yesterday with the Generalitat de Catalunya to invest 1.7 billion euros in the expansion of the Catalan airport of El Prat, with the aim of turning it into an international hub.
This was announced by the Minister of Territorial Policy, Isabel Rodríguez, in her appearance before the press after the Bilateral Commission between the central and regional governments.
Specifically, the aim is for Barcelona-El Prat Josep Tarradellas Airport to be able to host long-haul operations that improve Catalonia’s connectivity with America and Asia, and to implement initiatives to boost the connectivity of the airports of Reus and Girona-Costa Brava, thereby increasing the capacity of Catalonia’s airport system.
Isabel Rodríguez, who described the project as an “international air hub”, said that the agreement was reached at the previous meeting and that at the bilateral meeting, “this agreement was celebrated”. He also explained that the expansion will create a total of 83,000 direct jobs and will increase Catalonia’s Gross Domestic Product by 2.1%.
According to what has been announced, El Prat will be connected in only 30 minutes with the airports of Reus and Girona once the high-speed train arrives to these two infrastructures, which will decongest the air traffic arriving to Barcelona.
However, the European Commission will have the last word on the expansion of Barcelona Airport, since Aena’s current plans include the construction of a satellite terminal and the extension of the third runway by 500 metres, which would invade the pond of La Ricarda, in the Llobregat Delta, an area protected by the European Natura 2000 network.
The leader of the PP, Pablo Casado, accused the government of “deceiving” the citizens because, according to him, the government led by Mariano Rajoy has already approved an investment of 1,929 million in El Prat airport until 2026. For this reason, he called on the government led by Pedro Sánchez “not to sell a pig in a poke”.