President Duda has signed the new law on the Central Communications Port (CCP) (see our summary of the new law here and it will take effect on 20 June 2018. However, questions remain on the scope of Poland’s mega-investment project.
Prime Minister’s Volte
A key element of the plan for CCP is that the existing Warsaw Chopin Airport (which is currently used by approximately 16 million passengers annually, with potential growth to capacity of 22-24 million) would close and all commercial traffic would move to CCP, thus creating an efficient hub for LOT Airlines. However, recently, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and the governing Law and Justice Party candidate for Warsaw Mayor Patryk Jaki both stated in interviews that Chopin Airport would not close, but its usage would decrease and serve mostly Warsaw citizens and domestic traffic. Although these statements may have been influenced by local government elections, which will be held in the fall of 2018, if they do represent the government’s position, they throw into question a key point of CCP’s economic viability and have unsettled the market.
Local Counter Offensive
The plan to build the CCP (scheduled to commence operations in 2027) and the enactment of the new law have caused an outcry in the local community of Baranów, where the CCP is to be located. While a discussion regarding the scope of the project is to be expected, local resistance may be intense. On June 17, the local municipality of Baranów will hold a referendum on the CCP. The referendum is not binding on the government, which perceives it as a social consultation, but a negative result of the referendum may be an additional problem for proponents of the CCP and an incentive for supporters of the existing Chopin Airport.
Deputy Minister and Plenipotentiary for CCP Mikołaj Wild has stated that an expert recommendation on the fate of Chopin Airport is to be prepared. Thus, given the upcoming referendum, the effective date of the new law and the analyses that will be forthcoming, developments regarding CCP will continue to make headlines.