The governments of Catalonia and Spain reached a deal on Monday to move forward with the expansion of the Barcelona airport with a mammoth €1.7bn investment plan.
The agreement was hailed as “great news” by the Spanish government spokesperson, Isabel Rodríguez, which she said will help the Josep Tarradellas-El Prat airport become a global hub.
Spanish officials estimate that the infrastructure plan will create 83,000 direct jobs and another 365,000 indirect jobs.
Barcelona airport has seen a huge growth in the past couple of decades, with passenger numbers increasing from around 17.5 million in 1999 to almost 53 million in 2019, making it the 6th busiest airport in Europe.
The deal has greenlighted the expansion plan proposed by the company that manages the airport, Aena, which wants to build a new satellite terminal and extend one of the existing runways.
The plan also foresees connecting the Barcelona – El Prat airport with those of Girona and Reus, in the north and south of Catalonia, respectively, through a high-speed railway.
Meanwhile, local environmentalist groups called a protest for September 19 and denounced the planned expansion as “illegal and unnecessary”.