Government of Spain decides: El Prat Barcelona not expanded after all

by Lorraine Williamson
El Prat airport

BARCELONA – Discussions within Catalan politics mean that the expansion of El Prat airport in Barcelona will not take place after all. The Spanish government announces there is insufficient support from the Generalitat to make such a large investment. 

In early August, Prime Minister Sánchez of Spain and the regional president of Catalonia, Pere Aragonés, announced El Prat airport will be expanded. €1.7billion has been earmarked for this expansion. 

Barcelona Airport Expansion Discussions 

However, shortly after the decision was made, discussion arose between various parties within the Generalitat of Catalonia. But there was also resistance from Mayor Colau and various environmental organisations. These discussions ran high. And as such, there is no unequivocal position from the regional government of Catalonia on whether or not to expand the airport. 

No clear consensus within political Catalonia 

Both Minister Raquel Sánchez of Transport and Mobility and the Spanish Prime Minister informed the Spanish news agency Efe that with this government there is no room to invest further in the expansion of the Catalan airport. Raquel Sánchez says “the project does not meet all the conditions”. By this, she means there must be a clear consensus within the Generalitat to make such a large investment. 

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Plans to expand Catalan airport on hold for five years 

Both the Spanish government and the Generalitat were initially positive about the expansion of El Prat. And although it would help boost Spain’s economic growth, Pedro Sánchez says further discussions cannot be held until 2026. Therefore, the prime minister sees no other option than to suspend the expansion plans again. 

The Barcelona City Council and environmental groups are pleased that these plans have been put on hold. This is mainly due to the fact a piece of nature reserve would be lost when the airport was expanded. 

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