WHY THIS 3rd RUNWAY ?
3) Finally they decided to situate the 3rd runway parallel to the main runway on the sea side at a distance of 1,350 meters with a longitude of 2,660 meters. Given that the new runway is short (due to the fact that it is boxed between the lagoons of La Ricarda and El Remolar), they decide to expand the main runway from 3,108 meters to 3,743 meters and to widen it up to 60 meters:
A) WHAT WAS THE MINISTERIO DE FOMENTO'S INITIAL PROPOSAL ?
Given that the Catalan institutions wanted to place the runway closer to the main runway to reduce the impact on the natural reserves, the Ministerio de Fomento proposed to situate the 3rd runway 1,350 meters away from the main runway and to relocate the natural reserves to La Murtra (Gavà Mar) or to the Tordera River. The latter was rejected by ecological organization.
B) HOW DID THE DIFFERENT STANCES EVOLVE ?
The analysis committee's conclusions allowed for all institutions to continue defending their own proposals. As a result it was necessary to reach a political agreement to break the deadlock on the negotiations.
On May 20th, 1998 the Committee for the Enforcement of the 'Pla Delta' held a meeting but was unable to come to an agreement.
The complex political situation at that time must be pointed out:
If an agreement was not reached and the Ministerio de Fomento went forward with its proposal, which would directly affect the ZEPA reserves and propose its relocation, then a decision from the European Union would have to be issued. The expected decision would be against the relocation, which would mean that the whole process would start all over again while... the Barajas airport continued expanding unstoppably.
It was vital to hurry up because once a decision about the location of the runway was made many more steps needed to be taken:
On May 26th, 1998 the Minister of Fomento, Rafael Arias-Salgado (PP), took advantage of a conference in the Architect College of Barcelona to insist that the Ministerio de Fomento's proposal was the best out of all of them.
On June 9th, 1998, Pere Macias (CiU), Secretary of Territorial Politics of the Autonomous Government of Catalonia, declared during the TV program 'Bon Dia Catalunya' (TV3) that 'on everybody's part there is good will, as well as from the airport and the Ministerio de Fomento' and he let it slip out that there was a pact of silence among the different administrations.
C) HOW WAS A FINAL AGREEMENT REACHED ?
On July 2nd, 1998, an agreement among the 3 most important Catalan institutions of the 'Pla Delta' was made public:
Based on the conclusions extracted by the analysis committee, they agree that the best solution is:
You can read the complete agreement:
This proposal is perfectly acceptable to the Spanish Government (PP) because it guarantees the desired operational capacity for the airport.
The view from Gavà Mar: VERY BAD AGREEMENT because
1. They agreed to construct a new runway directly aimed at the north of Gavà Mar (a zone where planes have never flown over before)
2. If the lengthening of the main runway was carried out towards Gavà Mar, the planes would fly over us at an even lower altitude
3. It eliminated the transverse runway's use (constructed in the late 60's), which is the runway that allows for the best quality of life in Gavà Mar
4. There is not one mention in the entire agreement of the location's impact on Gavà Mar. According to the signing members of the agreement WE SIMPLY DO NOT EXIST. However it mentions the lagoon system, the aquifers, the pine groves, the biodiversity... But not one single word about the human beings that live in Gavà Mar
5. The saturation of this airport is predicted for the future. What will happen then?