France is famed for its “Grand Projets” – witness Paris CDG and the development of high-speed rail, but this is one which may not see the light of day.
As we all know the pandemic has led to a massive decline in air travel with no certainty whether or not things will return to normal anytime soon.
Little wonder that several European airports have put expansion plans on hold.
Meanwhile the travelling public is showing more environmental awareness.
For that reason we see France questioning the wisdom of further largescale expansion at Paris CDG.
Were this to happen it would make CDG, possibly, Europe’s largest hub airport.
I refer to ADP (the operator of CDG) and its plans for a mammoth Terminal 4 (T4). These would cost between €7 and €9 billion.
T4 alone would enable CDG to handle an extra 450 flights a day. It would provide Paris’ main airport with an additional 40 million passengers a year by 2037.
This would make CDG’s T4 larger than Heathrow’s T5.
However on Thursday Barbara Pompili, France’s minister of ecological transition tweeted that construction of T4 “is an obsolete project, incompatible with the law. We ask ADP to abandon this project.”
Nous demandons à ADP d’abandonner ce projet.
— Barbara Pompili (@barbarapompili) February 11, 2021
Barbara Pompili told Le Monde “The government has asked ADP to abandon its project and present a new one, more consistent with its objectives of combating change and protecting the environment.
“It is an obsolete project which no longer corresponds to the environment policy of the government and the requirements of a rapidly changing sector.”
Le Monde reports that ADP’s board will be meeting next week. It is then expected to ratify the above decision.
France is leading Europe with environmental transport policies. In 2020 it provided Air France with €7 billion of state aid on condition it did not compete with the TGV (over specified sectors).