Main Hall of Humberto Delgado Airport, Lisbon

Main Hall of Humberto Delgado Airport Lisbon

Photo: Dr. Jean-Paul Rodrigue, 2023

The Airport of Lisbon is among Europe’s largest and most congested, with a traffic of above 28 million passengers in 2022, from a pre-pandemic level of around 30 million. It has two locational advantages. The first is being only 7 km from downtown Lisbon, making the facilities easily accessible. Second, the airport is well-positioned for transatlantic flights, being the closest European airport to Central and South America. In particular, Brazil represents a substantial market, in part because of the linguistic commonalities between them.

However, the location of the airport generates several externalities due to its proximity to residential areas as approaching flights cross over them. There have been plans for several decades to find an alternative site, but this decision has been subject to recurring delays, in part because of high costs.