Friday, September 30

The Catalan employers try to reactivate the extension of the Prat airport

Soon it will be one year since one of the skits of last summer in Catalonia: the frustrated expansion project of the Barcelona-El Prat Airport, between political tensions, environmental protests and favorable manifestos from local business. The plan ran aground when the Generalitat, initially in favor of extending the third runway of the aerodrome, dropped the consensus when something that was already taken for granted was confirmed: that the protected lagoon of La Ricarda would be affected.

What is La Ricarda, the green reserve threatened by the expansion of the El Prat airport

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But the Catalan employers are determined to resume the plan and make it viable. The president of Foment del Treball, Josep Sánchez Llibre, assured this Friday on Catalunya Ràdio that they have a technical project from airport experts that would show that the airport can be expanded without affecting the La Ricarda lagoon, and announced that the employer’s association that directs will promote a commission to “recover the institutional consensus” to expand it.

According to this technical project, which was not made public, it would be enough to expand the airport’s third runway by between 300 and 350 meters to turn it into an intercontinental hub, so that the expansion would not affect the La Ricarda or Remolar areas, he stated. . In the first board of directors that Foment will hold after the employers’ elections in July, scheduled for September 5, they will create the commission with which they want to re-launch the expansion of the Airport, with airport experts, businessmen, leaders from the academic field and that of innovation and the civil sphere, among others.

“We think that it is essential to be able to recover the institutional consensus that occurred in August 2021” on the extension, which was finally ruled out due to discrepancies from the Generalitat, especially due to the impact on La Ricarda that involved extending the third runway by about 500 meters, he recalled Sánchez Llibre, who was re-elected president of the employers’ association in July. In this sense, they want to “extend” this consensus to the city councils of the Barcelona metropolitan area affected by the enlargement, he assured, and stressed that, if the impact on La Ricarda is effectively resolved, one of the difficulties that prevented the agreement, according to him.