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Poland Plans Massive Airport Near Warsaw

Proposal Is Not Universally Supported In The Country's Parliament

Lawmakers in Poland have passed controversial legislation to build a new airport near Warsaw that would be one of the largest in Europe.

USA Today reports that the idea for the airport came after an official visit by Mikolaj Wild, the official in charge of the project, to China. Supporters of the plan say that the airport would help establish large-scale trade cooperation with China, and be China's "gateway" to the European continent.

The plans currently call for the airport to be built about 25 miles from Warsaw near highways that lead to Berlin and Western Europe. It would support large volumes of cargo traffic and some 45 million passengers per year. Completion is currently targeted for 2027.

But there is strong opposition to the plan, including from Warsaw mayor Rafal Trzaskowsk, who believes that the airport would hurt his city economically. The plans call for Warsaw's Frederic chopin airport to be closed. Wild said that Chopin Airport has reached its capacity, and the noise generated by the airport is detrimental to the quality of life of those who live nearby. The new airport would provide better opportunities for economic expansion and growth.

The vote in the Sejm ... the lower house of the Polish Parliament .. to approve the airport on Thursday was 235-190 with four abstentions, according to the report, but there are still several hurdles to clear. It must also be approved by the Senate and President Andrzej Duda.

Then a public referendum will be held next month by residents of Baranowo county, the location of the proposed airport. They say they have not been officially notified of the plans, or the terms under which the government would purchase the land necessary for the project.

FMI: Original report

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