The Azores government expects “constraints” at Ponta Delgada airport in the summer due to the number of flights
PONTA DELGADA – The government of the Azores foresees “constraints” in the passenger check-in, security and arrival areas at Ponta Delgada airport this summer, considering it necessary to relaunch investments that “in recent years have remained in limbo”.
In a written response to questions from the Lusa news agency about the largest airport in the Azores, the regional secretary for transport, tourism and energy said he expected an “offer of more than 300,000 seats” for the summer of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) due to an increase in flights to the island of São Miguel, for which it has been waiting since December for a meeting to be scheduled with ANA – Aeroportos de Portugal , the airport manager.
Noting that Ponta Delgada airport “is not managed directly or indirectly” by the region, as it is under concession to ANA Airports, the secretariat headed by Mota Borges noted that the expected number of passengers “will exercise greater pressure on the infrastructure”.
“This Government, following the testimonies and experience of the summer of 2019, which saw long queues at check-in, security and international passenger arrivals, anticipates constraints in these areas. , because they have apparently not been the subject of relevant modifications,” specifies the executive.
The regional secretariat said it wanted to “monitor the projects and implementation of the concessionaire’s measures” for the airport, as well as “evaluate” the “schedule” and “adjustment” of operations.
“For this reason, last December, a meeting was formally requested for these purposes from the administration of the ANA, and its availability to hold it is expected”, notes the government.
According to the secretariat, the “purpose” of the meeting is “to assess which of the old projects” for Ponta Delgada airport “will be carried out this year and which currently need to be developed, carried out or corrected”.
“The return to normal life is necessary, as well as the need to revive investments that in recent years have been left in the limbo of things that would then be reassessed,” the executive said.
The regional government has also deemed it necessary to “continue to adapt” the region’s airport infrastructure to “new realities”, to ensure “quality service to the Azoreans and those who visit” the archipelago.
In addition to the operations that started in the summer of 2021 for São Miguel (from Swiss, Lufthansa and Iberia, from Geneva, Frankfurt and Madrid, respectively), the regional government has specified that there will be eight new connections to the airport from Ponta Delgada.
These routes include operations with Edelweiss from Zurich, United Airlines from Newark, British Airways from London, Azores Airlines from New York, Dusseldorf and Barcelona and Transavia from Amsterdam and Paris.
On February 24, in the parliament of the Azores, the president of SATA, Luís Rodrigues, warned that Ponta Delgada airport “will burst from all sides” because it will not have “the capacity to process” all the scheduled flights for summer.