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Tuesday, March 5, 2024

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CPK moves into design stage

Poland’s giant airport project, Centralny Port Komunikacyjny (CPK) – the largest infrastructure program in Europe – has moved from planning to design, signing contracts with major designers.

The multi-discipline documentation developed by them will form a single coherent design for the entire investment. For the airport alone, about 60,000 drawings will be created and incorporated into the digital design environment. 

An application for an environmental decision for the airport together with the railway junction, roads and accompanying infrastructure is already under consideration. 

There are a number of international partners involved in the CPK project. Incheon International Airport, the main South Korea International Airport, was chosen as the strategic advisor for the CPK.

The British consortium of Foster + Partners and Buro Happold became the Master Architect, the designer of the passenger terminal, railway station, interchange and baggage handling system. The Lebanese Dar Al-Handasah Consultants, the Master Civil Engineer of CPK airport is responsible for designing  runways, taxiways and aprons. The designs of the supporting facilities, such as the air traffic control tower, operations center, aircraft maintenance base, etc, may be commissioned to a total of 13 contractors, including Polish ones, with whom CPK has signed a framework agreement. In turn, Spanish IDOM became the Airport Systems Integration Designer.

This year, the first preparatory construction works already started at the site of the future airport, an area acquired by CPK through the Voluntary Acquisition Program, which involves demolition, felling, land leveling, construction of temporary structures and other works that do not require an architectural and construction project. For these works, CPK signed a framework agreement with eight contractors last year, including: Budimex, Doraco, Mostostal Warszawa, NDI, Polimex Infrastruktura, PORR, Strabag and Trakcja.

Feasibility studies are already being developed for 1,500 km of 2,000 km of planned railways. Of these, for the 140-kilometer section of the High-Speed Railway line between Warsaw and Łódź, 200 km between Łódź and Wrocław and 40 km from Stalowa Wola to Rzeszów already have investor variants.

Works on the Warsaw-Łódź section are the most advanced. In addition to the selected investor variant, CPK has been designing this section for a couple of months, and the Regional Directorate for Environmental Protection in Warsaw and Łódź are in advanced proceedings for an environmental decision. CPK is also designing the Łódź–Wrocław section.

For the long-distance tunnel in Łódź, the most advanced investment of the CPK, a construction design, has already been prepared, a package of location decisions, one of three building permits, and the first executive tenders are in progress. Construction work will start this year.    

CPK is perceived as a key investment for the defence and security of not only Poland, but also Europe. The current geopolitical situation shows that CPK’s infrastructure is critical for military purposes. Even though the CPK transport hub is dedicated to civil aviation, the investment has been recognised by the former commander of US ground forces in Europe, General Ben Hodges for a “capability and capacity that no other transport Hub in Poland or elsewhere in Eastern Europe can match.” CPK makes it possible to improve the security of the region by providing it with the appropriate transport capabilities to enable the smooth and efficient transfer of military units, equipment, goods and humanitarian aid when needed. A significant advantage of the CPK, compared to other similar projects, is the intermodality and excellent connection of the airport with every part of the country and key European destinations. 

“The events we are witnessing – the pandemic, the Russian aggression against Ukraine and all the other unforeseen circumstances – predispose this project to the priorities of the Polish state. It will send a signal to the world that it is possible to come to our region with heavy aircraft and cargo. Given everything that we are talking about today, especially the security of Poland, this is an investment needed ‘yesterday,“ Brigadier General Dariusz Wronski, former head of the Aeromobile and Motorised Forces.

In the case of a threat of aggression against Poland or the Baltic States, the port could be used by heavy transport aircraft carrying troops from the American continent and western European countries along with heavy combat equipment. “The current political and military situation in the vicinity of NATO’s eastern flank and the war in Ukraine actually confirm the validity of the decisions taken by the Polish state authorities in this regard. The implementation of this project must take into account the need to provide it with anti-missile and anti-aircraft defense, both in peacetime and in wartime, as the airport will become a facility of strategic importance from the point of view of benefits for the economy and defense of the Polish state. In addition, the airport will also play a strategic role for our allies in the event of need for a quick transfer of NATO forces to the eastern flank,” – said Dr Bogusław Samol, Lieutenant General and director of the institute of military strategy at Warsaw’s War Studies University. 

Moreover CPK is to reconnect Ukraine when the war is finished. In January CPK signed an agreement with Ukrainian Railways (Ukrzaliznyca) to stipulate closer cooperation in the construction of new transport infrastructure, including High Speed Railway line on the Warsaw–Lviv–Kiev route (an extension of CPK railway spoke no. 5 to Lviv, and ultimately to Kiev).

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