Lisbon Portela Airport

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Template:Use dmy dates Template:Infobox airport

Lisbon Portela Airport, also known as Lisbon Airport Template:Airport codes, is an international airport located in the city of Lisbon, the capital of Portugal. In Portuguese, it is called Aeroporto de Lisboa, Aeroporto da Portela, or Aeroporto da Portela de Sacavém. It takes its name from the neighbouring parish (freguesia) of Portela in Loures Municipality, formerly known as Portela de Sacavém.

The airport is the main international gateway to Portugal and a major European hub. It is one of the largest and best equipped airports in Western Europe for maintenance, navigation and air traffic control, and passenger service, having been nominated as Europe's Leading Airport for five consecutive years in the World Travel Awards. In 2013, the airport handled 16,024,955 passengers and 88,459 tonnes of cargo.<ref name="AIP"/>

The airport is the main hub of TAP Portugal and its subsidiary Portugália, a focus city for easyJet, Ryanair and SATA International and also the base for charter airlines euroAtlantic Airways, Hi Fly and White Airways. The airport is run by ANA – Aeroportos de Portugal which has been concessioned to the French group Vinci Airports in February 2013.<ref name="">acquires ANA, concession company for Portuguese airports. VINCI Airports.</ref>


File:Portugal 2011 (6655827765).jpg
Main check-in area at terminal 1

The airport opened on 15 October 1942 during the Second World War. As a neutral airport it was open to both German and British airlines, it was a hub for smuggling people into, out of and all around Europe, as widely referenced in the classic film Casablanca, whose plot revolved around an escape attempt to Lisbon airport. As such, it was heavily monitored by both Axis and Allied spies. Although Portugal was neutral, the airport was used by allied flights en route to Gibraltar, North Africa and Cairo.<ref name="aw" />

At the end of the war the airport developed quickly and by 1946 was used by major airlines like Air France, British European Airways, Iberia, KLM, Sabena, Pan Am and Trans World Airlines and by 1954 the number of passengers had reached 100,000.<ref name="aw" />

A 1951–52 airport diagram shows four runways at 45-deg angles: 1350-m runway 5, 1024-m rwy 9, 1203-m rwy 14, and 1170-m rwy 18. Runways 5 and 36 were each being extended northward to become 1999 m.

A major upgrade in 1959–62 included a new runway capable of taking the first generation jets, Boeing 707 and Douglas DC-8.<ref name="aw" /> The first jet aircraft movement was an Air France Caravelle in 1960.<ref name="aw" /> In 1962 runway 03/21 came into use, it was Template:Convert and would allow direct transatlantic flights.<ref name="aw" /> The first direct flight to New York was operated by a TWA Boeing 707 who also operated the first Boeing 747 service in 1970.<ref name="aw" /> When TAP ordered the 747, five large parking bays were built in 1972 and the terminal was enlarged.<ref name="aw" /> A major upgrade to the buildings and facilities was started in 1983 and the first air bridges were added in 1991.<ref name="aw" />

Along with the airports in Beja, Porto, Faro, Flores, Santa Maria, Ponta Delgada and Horta, the airport's concessions to provide support to civil aviation was conceded to ANA Aeroportos de Portugal on 18 December 1998, under provisions of decree 404/98.<ref name="ANA">Template:Citation</ref> With this concession, ANA was also provided to the planning, development and construction of future infrastructures.<ref name=ANA/>

Relocation Plans

The airport is now surrounded by urban development, being one of the few airports in Europe located inside a major city. This led to a national debate on whether to keep the present location or to build a new airport; the last option was chosen. Initially, Ota, a village Template:Convert north of Lisbon, was chosen as one of the sites for the new airport. In 2007 an independent study coordinated by the Portuguese Industry Confederation (CIP) suggested Alcochete as an alternative location (see Alcochete Airport). In Alcochete a military training facility currently occupies the site, but the military agreed to abandon the location provided it could transfer its facility to a different area. A second government-contracted study led by the National Laboratory of Civil Engineering (LNEC) concluded in late 2007 that Alcochete was the best location.

The selection of Alcochete was announced on 10 January 2008, more than 35 years after the first capacity increase studies were initiated. Portuguese government announced that Alcochete was the preliminary choice, to be finalised after public consultation. The location of Alcochete as the construction site of the future Lisbon Airport was confirmed by the government on 8 May 2008, but the contract was shelved as part of Portugal's cost-cutting measures, and completely dismissed from Portugal's transportation strategy plans in July 2013, with investment being concentrated on expanding and further improving the existing Lisbon Airport infrastructure.

In November 2006, the company operating the airport, ANA – Aeroportos de Portugal, announced an expansion plan for some airport structures, in order to respond to current passenger traffic growth trends and full capacity use of the airport, originally intended to respond to growth until the new airport was to be finished in 2017. This plan involved the construction of Terminal 2 (concluded and operational since August 2007) and expansion of Terminal 1, with new boarding gates (concluded in 2011), a large new shopping and restaurant area, new airbridges and new parking positions and a more efficient use of currently existing structures and a new underground Metro de Lisboa station, inaugurated in July 2012.

Terminal 2 is used by 4 scheduled low-cost flight airlines for departures to European, North Atlantic islands and North African destinations, while Terminal 1 handles all arrivals and regular scheduled and chartered flights from most major European and North American air carriers. In October 2010, the European low cost airline easyJet officially opened a new base at Lisbon Airport, exclusively using Terminal 2 for departures to 20 destinations.<ref name="t2t1" /> A free shuttle bus connects Terminal 1 Departures area and Terminal 2 every 10 minutes.

Between 2007 and 2013 several improvements and expansions have been performed upon Lisbon Airport. These included the construction of Terminal 2 and lighting along with baggage claim refurbishment, all of which have been completed. Outstanding are the new cargo facilities, fuel storage, north pier and boarding lounge, north bus gate and baggage claim, enlargement of express cargo facilities, electrical refurbishments, expansion of south pier, departure lounge refurbishments and underground station and other terminal improvements. As part of the definite solution for Lisbon Airport, in July 2013 a new commercial area was inaugurated in the Terminal 1 air side area, with 20 new stores and spacious naturally lighted internal circulation areas.

With the long-term concession of ANA – Aeroportos de Portugal to the French group Vinci Airports<ref name=""/> the project for a new airport was postponed in July 2013, and it was decided that the existing Lisbon Airport would be further upgraded to surpass 20 million passengers annually, and would remain the present solution for this major European gateway.


Lisbon Airport has two runways, both served by parallel taxiways for higher traffic use, and capable of accommodating large-size aircraft such as the Boeing 747-400. The airport has zero visibility approach and landing capacity with ILS cat. III on runway 21 and extremely low visibility approach and landing ILS cat. II on runway 03.

Airlines and destinations

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Busiest Routes from Lisbon Airport (2013)
Rank City Passengers  %
Top Carriers
1 Template:Flag, Template:Nowrap 975,849 Template:Decrease 12.2% Air Europa, easyJet, Iberia, Portugália Airlines, TAP Portugal
2 Template:Flag, Paris-Orly 884,063 Template:Increase 19.9% Aigle Azur, TAP Portugal, France, Vueling
3 Template:Flag, London-Heathrow 753,173 Template:Increase 2.8% British Airways, TAP Portugal
4 Template:Flag, Amsterdam 663,778 Template:Increase 13.2% easyJet, KLM, TAP Portugal, Transavia
5 Template:Flag, Frankfurt 558,519 Template:Increase 1.1% Lufthansa, TAP Portugal
6 Template:Flag, Paris-Charles de Gaulle 542,947 Template:Decrease 0.4% Air France, Air Méditerranée, easyJet
7 Template:Flag, Barcelona 514,813 Template:Decrease 14.5% Portugália Airlines, TAP Portugal, Vueling
8 Template:Flag, Geneva 468,017 Template:Increase 10.7% easyJet Switzerland, TAP Portugal
9 Template:Flag, Brussels 398,930 Template:Increase 0.8% Brussels Airlines, TAP Portugal
10 Template:Flag, Zurich 389,647 Template:Increase 18.6% Swiss International, TAP Portugal
11 Template:Flag, Munich 388,027 Template:Increase 5.2% Lufthansa, TAP Portugal
12 Template:Flag, Rome-Fiumicino 382,934 Template:Decrease 3.6% easyJet, TAP Portugal
13 Template:Flag, Milan-Malpensa 304,811 Template:Increase 5.7% easyJet, TAP Portugal
14 Template:Flag, Copenhagen 199,974 Template:Increase 32.0% easyJet, Norwegian Air Shuttle, TAP Portugal
15 Template:Flag, London-Gatwick 189,336 Template:Increase 1.2% easyJet, TAP Portugal
16 Template:Flag, Lyon-Satolas 173,384 Template:Increase 7.5% Air Méditerranée, easyJet, Portugália Airlines
17 Template:Flag, London-Luton 154,820 Template:Increase 1.0% easyJet
18 Template:Flag, Venice-Marco Polo 135,704 Template:Increase 17.0% easyJet, TAP Portugal
19 Template:Flag, Hamburg 134,063 Template:Increase 13.0% TAP Portugal
20 Template:Flag, Berlin-Schönefeld 122,806 Template:Increase 55.8% easyJet, TAP Portugal
1 Template:Flag, Luanda 386,387 Template:Increase 4.3% TAAG, TAP Portugal
2 Template:Flag, São Paulo-Guarulhos 275,419 Template:Increase 1.7% TAP Portugal
3 Template:Flag, Rio de Janeiro-Galeão 258,690 Template:Decrease 1.2% TAP Portugal
4 Template:Flag, Newark 238,663 Template:Increase 0.9% TAP Portugal, United Airlines
5 Template:Flag, Dubai 176,016 Template:Increase 144.9% Emirates
6 Template:Flag, Fortaleza 157,217 Template:Increase 1.2% TAP Portugal
7 Template:Flag, Brasília 151,427 Template:Increase 0.8% TAP Portugal
8 Template:Flag, Recife 148,121 Template:Increase 0.6% TAP Portugal
9 Template:Flag, Salvador 146,186 Template:Increase 1.0% TAP Portugal
10 Template:Flag, Belo Horizonte-Confins 131,455 Template:Decrease 3.2% TAP Portugal
1 Template:Flag, Funchal 787.992 Template:Increase 4.4% easyJet, Portugália Airlines, TAP Portugal
2 Template:Flag, Porto 411,799 Template:Increase 2.5% Portugália Airlines, TAP Portugal
3 Template:Flag, Ponta Delgada 294,297 Template:Decrease 3.0% Sata International, TAP Portugal
4 Template:Flag, Faro 186,475 Template:Decrease 4.9% Portugália Airlines, TAP Portugal
5 Template:Flag, Terceira 144,529 Template:Decrease 7.4% Sata International, TAP Portugal

Ground transportation


Lisbon airport has an underground Metro de Lisboa station at the Southern edge of the Terminal 1 arrivals area. The metro red line connects the city centre and the other three subway lines with the airport every 6 to 9 minutes, from 6:30 a.m. to 1:00 a.m.; the metro takes 16 minutes to reach the city centre and 5 minutes to Gare do Oriente train and bus station. Template:S-start Template:S-rail Template:S-line Template:S-end


Carris city buses stop just outside Terminal 1 arrivals, with bus route 783 connecting to Marquis of Pombal Square, and Amoreiras and night route 208 (0:30 a.m.-5:35 a.m.) to downtown Baixa and Cais do Sodré train station and to Gare do Oriente train station. Two Aerobus routes prepared for travel luggage connect the airport with the downtown area and Cascais train line, Aerobus 1 to Cais do Sodré every 20 minutes between 7 a.m. and 1:20 a.m. Aerobus 2 connects to the financial district between 7:30 a.m. and 11 p.m. A bus stop on Av. de Berlim, 100m East of Terminal 1 is served by three Carris bus routes to various parts of the city: 705, 722 and 744.


Two bicycle paths connect the airport roundabout, situated 300m South of Terminal 1 to the city's 50 km cycle infrastructure network. One path heads West along Av. do Brasil to the Universidade de Lisboa campus, passing by the central neighbourhoods of Alvalade, Campo Grande and Entrecampos and connecting to paths to Telheiras, Colegio Militar, Benfica, and Monsanto Forest Park. Another bicycle path heads East from the roundabout towards Olivais, Gare do Oriente train station and Parque das Nações Expo 98 site with riverside paths and the Caminho do Tejo pilgrimage trail to Fátima and Santiago de Compostela.

Other facilities

TAP Portugal has a complex at Lisbon Airport.<ref name="Museum">"The TAP Museum." TAP Portugal. Retrieved on 15 December 2011. Portuguese version</ref> The complex is Template:Convert large. In 1989 TAP became the owner of the complex due to a governmental decree. TAP's head office is in Building 25. The TAP subsidiary Serviços Portugueses de Handling, S.A. (SPdH) has its head office on the 6th floor of Building 25. Sociedade de Gestão e Serviços, S.A. (TAPGER), another TAP subsidiary, has its head office on the 8th floor of the same building. The TAP Museum is also a part of the complex.<ref name="Museum"/> Building 19 has the head office of Sociedade de Serviços e Engenharia Informática, S.A. (Megasis), a TAP information services subsidiary. The TAP documentation and archive is in the annex of Building 19. Building 34, on the far north side of the complex, houses the company's new data processing centre.

ANA – Aeroportos de Portugal has its head office in Building 120. Portugália has its head office in Building 70.

The TAP catering subsidiary, Catering de Portugal, S.A. (CATERINGPOR), has its head office in Building 59. Cuidados Integrados de Saúde, S.A. (UCS) is based out of Building 35.

Accidents and incidents

  • 22 February 1943: a Boeing 314 of Pan Am caught the left wing tip in the River Tagus whilst landing. Of the 39 people on board, 24 were killed.
  • 1 February 1947: a Air France Douglas C-47 crashed into the Sintra Mountains killing 15 of 16 people on board.
  • 12 April 1959: a Douglas C-47 of the Portuguese Air Force crashed into the Tagus after takeoff. All 11 people on board were killed.
  • 4 December 1980: a Cessna 421, carrying the Prime Minister of Portugal, Francisco de Sá Carneiro and other Government officials, crashed into buildings in Camarate, right after takeoff, killing everyone on board.

See also


  • Transport in Portugal





Template:Air Force Historical Research Agency

External links


Template:Airports in Portugal