WHY THIS 3rd RUNWAY ?
12) On October 10th, 2002 one of those symbolic acts that politicians love so much took place: the laying down of the first stone of the brand new third runway of the El Prat airport.
A) WHAT WAS THE ANTICIPATED PLAN ?
On October 10th, 2002 a commemorative act was planned to lay down the first stone of the third runway of the El Prat airport. Later it was also planned to visit the different environmental projects that were being developed in the Llobregat delta (the construction of a new purifier for sewage, the diversion of the Llobregat river and the expansion of the Port).
The act was to be presided over by the President of the Spanish Government (José María Aznar), the Minister of 'Fomento' (Francisco Álvarez-Cascos) and the General Director of AENA (José Eladio).
The President of the Spanish Government was to place the first stone.
B) WHO WAS PRESENT DURING THIS CEREMONY ?
The presence of high-ranking officials at this ceremony was spectacular, bringing together among others:
- The President of the Spanish Government, José María Aznar (PP)
- The Minister of 'Fomento', Francisco Álvarez-Cascos (PP)
- The Minister of Science and Technology, Josep Piqué (PP)
- The General Director of AENA, José Eladio Seco
- The President
of the Autonomous Government of Catalonia, Jordi Pujol i Soley
- The Mayor of Barcelona, Joan Clos (PSC)
- The Mayor of Prat, Lluís Tejedor (ICV)
- The architect
Ricard Bofill, responsible for the remodeling of the current terminals
and for the designing of the future south terminal.
C) HOW WAS CHAOS PRODUCED IN THE AIRPORT ?
That day there was a heavy downpour that dropped 112 liters per square meter in a short period of time and the President of the Spanish Government and the rest of the officials were left without being able to place the first stone in the location where they were to build the third runway since the land was completely FLOODED.
The ceremony had to be done while covered!
However, that was not all. The heavy rain caused a small river to overflow, flooding the Control Center thus bringing all air traffic to a standstill. In the Control Center they lived difficult moments because the water rose to the so-called technical floor; in other words, the area where cables and connections are found.
Up to 8 fire crews were baling out water without much success until they found the source of the flooding which was a blockage that had formed in the small river, which was not letting the water pass. The firemen carried four machines over there to unblock the passage of water.
For security reasons, the Catalan air space was practically closed for more than five hours generating chaos, which included the suspension of more than 100 flights.
This together with the fact that the day before they had suspended more than 200 flights in the El Prat airport also due to heavy rains left a sad image of our airport.
José María Aznar expressed that "there is no human creation immune to natural phenomenons" while the Minister of 'Fomento' rushed to publicly recognize that the Control Center "was poorly situated" and that with the new Control Center they were building in Gavà (next to Jardiland) they would avoid such problems
The view from Gavà Mar:
The facts of the story speak for themselves.