Business Aena will study how to extend the third track...

Aena will study how to extend the third track of El Prat


Improving the capacity of the Prat is not just about building a new satellite terminal. Aena is aware of this and that is why she has put the idea of ​​redesigning the airport runways on the table to increase operating margin. According to 'La Vanguardia' on Wednesday, and confirmed by the ARA, the airport manager has proposed expanding the third runway as a solution to grow the facilities. This idea, which has already been presented to the local councils around the airport, could gain 500 meters on this stretch, where the planes currently take off.

It was precisely this June that the Chamber proposed through a study that to grow the Prat up to 90 million passengers a year, a change in the tracks was needed. This has always been a headache for infrastructure, because many of the factors that must be considered in its configuration must be taken into account, such as the environmental impact on the two ponds in the area and the inconvenience of the nearest neighbors by plane passing.

Right now, Barcelona Airport has three runways: one for the planes where they land, the one for the short takeoffs (limited by the lakes) and one that crosses them both diagonally. But with the arrival of new intercontinental flights, the operation has run into a problem. These routes use larger aircraft, an impediment to the current configuration. Sources in the industry consider that the option to extend the shortest runway is the "cheapest, least aggressive and fastest", and they believe that the environmental impact would be less than expected from the gradual turn to smaller aircraft models. pollutants and noise.

Barcelona is calling for revising the airport's growth plans and creating a tax for large vessels

In fact, this proposal has so far been pushed by another that also has strong proponents: building a fourth seafront, an investment that would be more expensive and have a significant environmental impact. In 2019, El Prat airport closed with a traffic of 52.6 million passengers annually, leaving the facility to just over three million passengers of its maximum theoretical capacity. With the extensions proposed by Aena, the goal would be to extend this margin to 70 million passengers through an investment of around € 700 million.

Colau wants to limit the extension of El Prat

However, Aena's ambition to expand the airport so that it can take on an increase in air traffic is in line with the latest statements by the Mayor of Barcelona, ​​Ada Colau. Yesterday the City Council requested that the Prat's growth plan be revised and that the environmental report accompanying it be updated. Colau's team has put the table on the table, for example, eliminating short-haul flights that have a less than seven-hour train transport alternative to reduce airport pollution. However, the City Council does not have the powers to apply these measures, but it depends on the action of the other administrations, to which the demands have already been raised.

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