Stakeholders have been invited to comment on plans to create a new hub airport in Poland, known as Solidarity Transport Hub Poland (STH), which will be located between Warsaw and Łódź.

The consultation, which opened Aug. 19, wants to gather feedback on the strategic brief for the new of 3,000-hectare (11.6 sq. mi.) airport, 37km (23 mi.) west of Warsaw.

STH’s backers are looking for input from a wide range of qualified stakeholders, who will be given access to a 350-page briefing document, subject to a non-disclosure agreement.

The deadline for feedback, including changes and additions to the airport plan, has been set for Oct. 31.

“Our goal is to verify the STH conceptual assumptions, reconcile them with the needs of future users and make necessary adjustments. The aim is to ensure that the planned technical, operational and financial solutions are optimal. In this way, we are also building a knowledge base that will be used for the airport’s master plan,” STH board member and MD airport development Dariusz Sawicki said.

STH has been seeking input from airlines, airport handlers, maintenance companies and freight operators, as well as industry representative bodies like IATA, since it began its preliminary consultations in April.

By the end of May, STH had already received over 500 comments and proposals related to the airport plans.

This was followed by a meeting with the Airport Consultative Committee (ACC), held in July in Warsaw, which was attended by representatives of several major airlines, including Israeli carrier El Al, Dubai-based Emirates, Polish carrier Enter Air, International Airlines Group (IAG), LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa Group, Qatar Airways, Scandinavian Airlines (SAS), Central and Eastern European LCC Wizz Air and Star Alliance.

STH has also completed its initial regional consultations for new rail links to the airport and received the go-ahead for a PLN300 million ($76.4 million) equity injection from the Polish government. The airport is 100% owned by the Polish treasury.

“According to the [PwC] report from April this year, the Polish aviation market has one of the largest growth potentials throughout Europe, and the construction of the hub near Warsaw is justified by both traffic forecasts and assumed rate of return. According to a study by Baker McKenzie from May this year, the creation of STH could grow Poland’s GDP by 4%-7%,” STH said.

During the first stage, the airport is expected to handle 45 million passengers a year.

Victoria Moores