Ryanair Lisbon airport
A Ryanair plane taxis at Lisbon airport Rafael Marchante/Reuters

The city of Lisbon, Portugal is reportedly set to have a mega airport despite the project being late by around 50 years. Even though the current airport in Lisbon reached its passenger capacity in 2019, the new airport project is facing a lot of setbacks and is yet to receive a green light from the appropriate authorities.

Many politicians in the country have been complaining over the delay in construction work. The building of a new airport in Lisbon has been in talks for around five decades, but the plans were first proposed only in 2008.

According to the Portuguese Minister for Infrastructures, João Galamba, a final report regarding the airport will be released by the beginning of January next year.

The new airport that will be located somewhere around Lisbon is expected to be built at Santarem, a municipality in Portugal and could increase passenger numbers to the country. However, the exact location of the upcoming airport in the Portuguese capital is yet to be finalised.

Apart from Santarem, the relevant authorities are also looking at locations such as Portela and Alcochete, Portelaand Pegões, Rio Frio and Poceirão, and Pegões, according to local media outlet Portugal Resident.

The location hasn't been the only issue the developers have had to overcome. Earlier this month, the Order of Architects (an authority on architecture in Portugal) was uncertain if a construction company would accept the massive project.

"If, as is expected, given the 'tight timetable', the contract defined to carry out this mega project is a single procedure for all these needs, then there will be few companies in the world with the technical and logistical capacity to present themselves for its execution," The Order of Architects President Avelino Oliveira said in a statement, as per the Portugal Resident.

"We remain highly concerned about the process and the airport design to be proposed. [The] architects' main concerns have not been addressed within the scope of the work being carried out," he added.

Even though Lisbon's new airport project will be challenging for technicians and architects, it's still expected to go ahead.

Lisbon's Mayor, Carlos Moedas, has said it is evident that the Portuguese capital needs a new airport other than its current one in Portela. "Whether it is in one location or another is a technical question, but the airport has to move ahead for the good of all concerned," added Moedas.

Meanwhile, Ryanair has criticised Lisbon for considering Santarem as a possible location for the new airport. Michael O'Leary, CEO of the Ryanair group, believes the new Lisbon airport should be built in Montijo as the Santarem option would be an airport built "in the middle of nowhere".