If someone says today that the airport will be ready in mid-2027 (as part of the CPK) and planes will fly in 2028, he is telling a fairy tale. Realistically, we should be talking about the year 2035 – said the former head of the Central Communication Port, Piotr Malepszak, currently the plenipotentiary of the President of Gdańsk for railway matters, in the “One on One” program on TVN24.
At the end of October, the government adopted a resolution on the second stage of the CPK multi-annual program for 2024-30, as well as the concept of providing passenger rolling stock in connection with the construction of the CPK. It was also announced that the CPK minority investor had been selected – the consortium of Vinci Airports and IFM Global Infrastructure Fund, which wants to invest up to PLN 8 billion in the construction of the airport.
What’s next for CPK?
– Normal work is being carried out as planned in the schedules, including obtaining financing, further analytical and study work, and design work. I don’t see any intensification related to the elections, and of course the political change. I see that the work continues and at this moment, further projects and further analyzes are being carried out – explained Malepszak, who was the president of CPK.
He also noted that in this project “we have too many emotions, too few numbers and too little hard data, reliable data.”
– The last years of this project have shown that if, in such sensitive issues as the construction of a huge railway infrastructure, we do not fulfill certain specific tasks related to social consultations and a properly conducted process in the field, where we want to displace people or where we want to buy land, emotions will build up very quickly and cannot be stopped, he explained.
As for the investor, Malepszak pointed out that “we do not have any agreement with this investor, so we need to get to know these details, we need to get to know the documents behind this choice.”
– We have a lot of unknowns and, among other things, the audit, which is being talked about a lot now, is supposed to be the element that will reveal this data – he pointed out.
He explained that the first concept, which assumed the creation of a project under the CPK for PLN 35 billion, “was very limited.” – She talked about the airport, she talked about the Warsaw-Łódź railway line and she talked about the large motorway bypass of Warsaw – he said.
He added that the PLN 35 billion “was an estimate of these three elements.”
– Then the entire concept included not only 120 kilometers of the Warsaw-Łódź line, a new line, but the concept was extended to almost 2,000 kilometers of railway lines throughout the country, plus a large railway junction near the airport. If we count all this, we are based on an amount of over PLN 200 billion, said Malepszak.
When will the CPK be established?
– If someone says today that the airport will be ready in mid-2027 (within the CPK – ed.) and planes will fly in 2028, he is telling a fairy tale – said the former acting president of CPK.
He added that “we should realistically be talking about 2035.” – If we do an audit of the project, we will see what is included in these analyzes and say that we are continuing the project in some version of the future new airport, or we are going towards alternative analyzes and expansion of existing airports – he explained.
According to him, “the feasibility of railway and airport projects is in the range of 2035-2040.”
When asked whether 1,800 kilometers of railway lines by 2034 is realistic, the TVN24 guest replied: – Today, at the end of 2023, I can say with full responsibility that this project in this schedule is not realistic. Even if we had the Chinese potential, because construction is the fastest in the world there, it would be a very ambitious task.
In his opinion, “each of these elements can be a separate project.”
– The line near Ostrołęka may be a completely independent project from the line near Wrocław. We need to look at reality, at the data behind these projects, especially when it comes to data related to the number of passengers and the number of trains, and assess whether this infrastructure actually requires construction, said Malepszak.
Central Communication Port
Central Communication Port is a planned transfer hub between Warsaw and Łódź, which will integrate air, rail and road transport. As part of this project, 37 km west of Warsaw, in an area of approx. 3 thousand ha, an airport is to be built.
The first stage of the airport, i.e. two parallel runways and infrastructure to handle 40 million passengers, is to be launched in 2028. The CPK General Plan assumes that the airport will then be expanded in a modular manner.
According to recent reports from the “Rzeczpospolita” daily Law and Justice so far, it has been able to spend a total of approximately PLN 5 billion on investments.
The financing structure for the construction of the CPK airport is 60%. debt instruments, and 40 percent capital-shares in the CPK company, which will operate the future airport. Up to 49 percent shares in this 40 percent was offered to private investors (ownership control remains with the State Treasury).
A possible change of government in Poland may mean that the investment announced by Law and Justice will be questionable.
Maciej Lasek, MP of the Civic Coalition, announced that an audit would be carried out and then the new government will see what to do with the Centralny Port Komunikacyjny (CPK) company.
Main photo source: CPK