News Article airport infrastructure logistics Poland transport
by Michał Poręcki | Report

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk has ended speculation about the future of CPK (Centralny Port Komunikacyjny), a huge airport hub in central Poland. He conveyed that the investment in Baranów between Łódź and Warsaw will be realised. After the change of ruling team in recent months, there was no shortage of public statements that the project pushed by the previous team would be abandoned as "megalomaniacal" and unnecessary.

"You have asked me why you are waiting so long for our answer as to the future of the project as we found it. I want to say and close this chapter. I have asked my colleagues to report as quickly, efficiently and objectively as possible on the state of affairs that we have inherited from our predecessors. Given the tensions and the political order, I asked them to remove the temptation to politicise this investment. Everyone in Poland had an educated opinion," Donald Tusk said at the press conference.

"Firstly, there is a fundamental difference with the predecessors' project, it is the inclusion of the whole of Poland in the project and local and regional decentralisation. In our project, the railways will not be built from scratch to connect in Baranów. This was the most controversial," said the Prime Minister.

"Poland will become one big megalopolis, we will see that in a few years. All the big cities in Poland will be included in this project. The railway network we are proposing, we are in the preparation and financing phase, will be a railway that connects the largest cities with the capital and with each other. A dense network will serve real passenger streams, not ideological fantasies. The beginning of this project will be the “Y”, or High-Speed Railway, connecting Warsaw and Łódź with a fork to Wrocław. It will be a 100-minute project because it will be possible to get from Warsaw to Katowice, Kraków, Wrocław, Poznań and Gdańsk in about that long. Much less than 100 minutes will cost us to travel between Warsaw and Łódź. This is crucial in terms of the philosophy that our predecessors lost," Tusk pointed out.

"The second element of this triple jump is the idea of 'close to the airport'. I don't think anyone from Katowice, Kraków, Wrocław, Szczecin, would dream of getting to Baranów first and then flying on. Our treasure is a network of modern regional airports. We will continue to support the development of regional airports where state support is needed. We will continue to ensure a rational network of regional airports. This will be accompanied by the rapid expansion and modernisation of Modlin, an airport for low-cost airlines. This will be accompanied by the completion of the road investment, but we will also connect the central station with Modlin by a railway line," Donald Tusk explained.

The third and fourth lanes of the motorway between Warsaw and Łódź are also to be built. "At the moment when Baranów should be launching its first planes, we assume it is 2032, the future of Chopin Airport in Warsaw will be decided. With an assumption of 34 million passengers at Baranów, the function of Okęcie will certainly change. This is a very ambitious intention, we have been working on it for weeks. The function of Okęcie is to perform the communication functions of the future, solutions that are still being developed. Unmanned drones are serving various routes. There is no doubt that within a few years, this revolution will happen. Okęcie is a dream location to act as a 21st-century aviation communication centre," said Tusk.

"The third element of the triple jump is LOT Polish Airlines. I want experienced managers, to help LOT become one of the largest airlines. However, these giants will not catch up. This means that the fleet needs to be replenished to more than 130 aircraft by 2032," the Prime Minister explained. As the government's plenipotentiary for CPK, Maciej Lasek, added, LOT is then expected to have 135 aircraft, 32 of which are wide-body planes. Today, the national carrier has 15 Boeing 787 Dreamliners with which it operates the farthest routes.

"We envisage the completion of the airport's construction in 2031. We are planning the transfer of civil traffic from Chopin Airport in 2032. This is a realistic date, in which the railway section from Warsaw to Łódź will be completed," said Maciej Lasek. 

Centralny Port Komunikacyjny is a planned interchange hub between Warsaw and Łódź, which is expected to integrate air, rail and road transport. As part of this project, an airport is to be built 37 kilometres west of Warsaw, on an area of around 3,000 hectares. The CPK is also to include rail investments: a hub at the airport and connections across the country, which are to enable travel between Warsaw and Poland's largest cities in no more than 2.5 hours.