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    Dreams of CPK Dashed: Focus Turns to Chopin Airport Expansion, Vienna Set to Become Regional Aviation Hub

    The Polish government’s ambitious plans to construct a new 40 billion PLN airport in Baranow—envisioned as the Central Communication Port (CPK) to serve as a major aviation hub in Central Europe—are now on indefinite hold. Instead, the existing Warsaw Chopin Airport will undergo an expansion, despite concerns about its ability to handle long-term regional air traffic needs effectively.

    According to reports from Gazeta Wyborcza, a key Warsaw daily, this decision follows months of speculation regarding audit outcomes and expert analyses related to the CPK project, as mentioned by government-appointed CPK commissioner, Maciej Lasek. Citizens are now clamoring for transparency, seeking access to these documents to understand the rationale behind the government’s pivot away from the CPK.

    Jarosław Osowski, writing for warszawa.wyborcza.pl, outlines the revised plan which includes an investment of 2.4 billion PLN to increase the capacity of Chopin Airport from 20 million to 30 million passengers annually. Additionally, some air traffic is expected to be redirected to smaller airports in Modlin, Radom, and Łódź.

    Lasek, speaking at a conference marking the 90th anniversary of the Chopin Airport, indicated that the success of the CPK is contingent upon the development of Chopin Airport. However, he failed to provide specific timelines, leaving stakeholders in limbo.

    Michał Czarnik, a legal advisor and vice-president of the “Yes for CPK” Association, criticized the lack of updates on critical procedural milestones such as the environmental impact assessment and protracted tender proceedings for Chopin’s expansion. “We’re just updating concepts and jumping right into design and construction. What about the environmental impact? Who are the contractors for these projects?” questioned Czarnik.

    He expressed concerns that even under the best circumstances, the expansion of Chopin Airport might not conclude until 2032—two years after the CPK could potentially have been operational if the project had commenced immediately.

    Czarnik also raised doubts about the rationale for investing 2.3 billion PLN in an expansion that might only be utilized until the CPK comes online. “Why invest in an interim solution that is slated for completion after the potential inauguration of the CPK?” he asked.

    Andrzej Banucha, a noted industry analyst, argued that all analyses over the past two decades support the construction of the CPK, and that the current decision seems to lack a solid foundation in any recent analysis or audit. “This decision could legally be challenged,” Banucha noted, indicating possible future disputes.

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