Europe’s New Transportation Hub in Poland

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The Centralny Port Komunikacyjny (CPK) is embarking on a project to create Europe’s next major transportation hub. With the General Plan approved in June 2023, the Airport Master Plan WAS recently published, and major investors selected, the construction phase of the project is now underway with a projected first stage completion in 2028.

The main infrastructure project will involve a from-scratch construction of a new airport roughly 40 km southwest of Warsaw, toward Łódz, and the advancement and construction of high-speed rail lines, leading to a vastly improved and efficient transportation network. The new airport is expected to receive an estimated “40 million passengers and a million tons of cargo a year when the first stage is completed in 2028,” and the new rail network is to include 2,000 km of new rail lines that will connect major cities in Poland with Warsaw in travel times of less than 2.5 hours (CPK).

With the EU setting targets for improving rail connections throughout Europe, described in the TEN-T (“Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T).”), the CPK project will also provide the foundation for vastly improved transnational connections.

The new transportation network will necessarily increase air transport capacity in Europe, given the inability of many other European airports to expand to meet increasing traffic flows. It is also projected to provide a significant boost to Poland’s economy, creating jobs, encouraging foreign investment and business opportunities, and stimulating tourism.

The President of Poland, Andrzej Duda, has also publicly announced support for CPK. Despite this, the costs for such a construction are immense, with estimates of around €8B for the airport and an additional €30B for the rail network. “The state treasury will secure 60% of the airport’s financing through bonds or bank loans, with investors providing the remaining 40% in exchange for a minority stake in the company’s airport unit CPK”. Among these private investors are Vinci Airports of France and IFM of Australia.

The CPK is receiving hard criticism, unsurprisingly as a result of the cost but also the environmental impact of increasing air traffic. However, this project is being undertaken with diligent respect to sustainability, clearly outlined in the CPK’s Airport Master Plan. “From the first day of operation, CPK will have ‘Net Zero Ready Airport’ status. This means technical readiness to be powered exclusively from on-site and off-site renewable energy sources for heating, cooling and power supply. Out of concern for the environment, the CPK airport has been located at a safe distance from protected nature zones, minimising the impact on the local ecosystems”.

This project, though a significant undertaking with high overhead costs, allows for the momentous opportunity to boost Poland’s economy and domestic travel, integrate travel with the whole of Europe, and do so with respect to efficiency and sustainability so that the future of travel will come with ease of access with integrated and coherent design and at a much lower environmental cost.

Sources

Badohal, Karol. “Poland Says Preferred Investors May Invest up to $1.9 Bln in New Airport.” Reuters, 24 Oct. 2023, www.reuters.com/business/aerospace-defense/poland-says-preferred-investors-may-invest-up-19-bln-new-airport-2023-10-24/.

Carroll, Sean Goulding. “Poland Plans New Mega Airport in Warsaw, Rails at Green ‘Hypocrisy.’” Www.Euractiv.Com, 27 June 2023,

www.euractiv.com/section/aviation/news/poland-plans-new-mega-airport-in-warsaw-rails-at-green-hypocrisy/.

CPK Unveils the Airport Master Plan. This Is How Poland’s Most Modern Airport Is Going to Develop, Centralny Port Komunikacyjny, 3 Aug. 2023, www.cpk.pl/en/news/cpk-unveils-the-airport-master-plan-this-is-how-polands-most-modern-airport-is-going-to-develop.

Daniel TillesDaniel Tilles is editor-in-chief of Notes from Poland. He has written on Polish affairs for a wide range of publications. “Design Concept Unveiled for Poland’s Planned ‘Mega-Airport.’” Notes From Poland, 8 July 2023, notesfrompoland.com/2023/07/06/design-concept-unveiled-for-polands-planned-mega-airport/.

Kość, Wojciech, and Mari Eccles. “Poland’s Dream of Massive Air Hub Hits Political Crosswinds.” POLITICO, POLITICO, 22 Nov. 2023, www.politico.eu/article/fight-huge-poland-airport-project-turn-political/.

“Prezydent: CPK Największym Wyzwaniem Pierwszej Połowy XXI W.” Prezydent: CPK Największym Wyzwaniem Pierwszej Połowy XXI w., prezydent.pl, 28 Sept. 2023, www.prezydent.pl/aktualnosci/wydarzenia/podsumowanie-prac-przy-centralnym-porcie-komunikacyjnym,75441.

Studio, POLITICO. “A Transformational Transport Hub for Europe.” POLITICO, POLITICO, 14 Dec. 2022, www.politico.eu/sponsored-content/a-transformational-transport-hub-for-europe/.

“Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T).” Mobility and Transport, European Commission, transport.ec.europa.eu/transport-themes/infrastructure-and-investment/trans-european-transport-network-ten-t_en. Accessed 25 Nov. 2023. 

Montana Lorbetske
WRITTEN BY

Montana Lorbetske

One of the most attractive aspects of studying international relations and politics is its versatility, with every conceivable topic being relevant to this study, by connection to humans. I find everything about humans, with our simultaneously complex and simple nature, to be endlessly fascinating. In my life, I aim to intently observe and evaluate humans and their connections to all matters of attention and make personal connections with people in order to gain insight into the innumerable iterations of humanness and the human experience.

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