The extension of Lille-Lesquin airport is contested.


Lille Lesquin Airport / ENIA Architects

  • We no longer know on what date the delivery of the new Lille airport is scheduled.

  • However, obtaining the building permit is still expected for the month of June 2021.

  • Public consultation enabled equipment managers to modify certain aspects of their modernization project.

In 2019, Eiffage won the public service management delegation for Lille airport with the intention of doubling its capacity.

This was a condition included in the specifications by the Syndicat Mixte des Aérodromes de Lille-Lesquin and de Merville (Smalim), owner of the equipment, to avoid saturation in the medium term.

Except that the coronavirus epidemic has passed this way, upsetting the project schedule.

However, certain phases have been launched, or even completed, like the public consultation.

Before the health crisis, managers of Lille airport had planned to inaugurate the modernized structure in 2023. In the meantime, measures to contain the coronavirus epidemic have caused air traffic to collapse and growth forecasts from Lille airport.

“The arrival at saturation point of this equipment has been postponed by at least two years.

We will reach the bar of 3.9 million passengers, but we do not know when, ”said Christophe Coulon, president of Smalim.

Suddenly, the urgency no longer exists and the start of work was put on hold.

"We do not have a new date scheduled for the opening, it will depend on the resumption of air traffic but there will in any case no call for tenders launched before 2023", recognizes the owner of the airport. .

Accessibility, environment and nuisances

If the first shovels have been postponed until Greek calendars, the administrative preliminaries are continuing.

"The building permit is expected for June, the environmental authorization for July and the public inquiry will be launched next December", details Marc-André Gennart, general manager of the airport.

At the end of last year, a public consultation was completed, the results of which have just fallen.

Five public meetings were held, only one of which was face-to-face, attracting a total of 426 participants and nearly 350 written contributions were also sent by internet.

“This led us to modify our basic project to take into account certain feedback from the public.

For example, after having spoken to residents about noise pollution, we have made a commitment not to increase the number of night flights by 2039 ”, promises the general manager of the airport.

There were also many questions about the environmental impact of this project which resulted in concrete changes: increase in public transport service and soft mobility, more solar panels, electric service vehicles or even a reduction half of the land area built to limit the artificialization of soils.

For its part, the environmental authority has highlighted the issue of light pollution.

For 2021, the owner and manager of the airport have developed pessimistic traffic forecast scenarios, estimating between -40% to -60%.

“The first months of 2021 are not convincing.

We have to wait for the summer and we are closely following the progress of vaccination, ”concludes Florent Janssen, president of Lille airport.


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