The Upcoming Polish Megahub – A Vision or A Delusion?

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The local mega-hub

Recently, Centralny Port Komunikacyjny (the Central Port of Communication) has published details of the Airport Master Plan – a general overview of the mission and vision, traffic forecasts, options and airport development concepts.

It is a planned transfer hub to be located between Warsaw and Łódź in Poland. This megaproject, backed by the Polish government, is set to integrate air, rail and road transportation in Poland. The intent is there to create a catchment area including all the largest Polish cities and allow the passengers to reach the airport with a railway in less than 2.5 hours. The location is also conveniently close to the crossing of two major highways in Poland – A1 running from north to south and A2 running from west to east.

All that is to allow for more of the transportation value chain to stay in the country and create the biggest economic hub of this sort in the region. Planned rail developments, across separate initiatives, are also stretching outside of the country and reaching the Baltics, with Rail Baltica, and Ukraine – both adapting the European rail gauge.

The buildup in the number of passengers

The airport is planned to commence its operations in 2028 with an annual capacity of 40 million passengers. The expected expansion, adding the third runway, will take the total capacity up to 65 million passengers annually in 2060. While it might not be enough to battle airports like Frankfurt or London Heathrow by the nominal numbers, it will have a significant impact on the whole Central and Eastern Europe region. Warsaw-Chopin airport is already a major connector for traffic bound for North America and Asia.

Currently, Warsaw-Chopin airport is running out of capacity, reaching 18.9 million passengers served in 2019. Estimated capacity amounts only to 20 million passengers annually, but as the airport approaches the limit, fewer and fewer desirable…

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