Military base in Montijo – Image by MIGUEL MANSO
On January 30th, the Institute for Nature Conservation and Forests (ICNF) rejected the renewal of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for Montijo Airport in response to the request from the Portuguese Environment Agency (APA). This unfavorable opinion was based on new scientific information recently released in a study on the impact the new airport would have on bird species in the Tagus Estuary.
The research cited by ICNF was published in the journal Animal Conservation and authored by José Alves, a researcher at CESAM. It demonstrated that the construction of the airport in Montijo could have a substantial impact, affecting up to 68% of the population of Black-tailed Godwits (Limosa limosa). These results indicate significant consequences for the conservation of this species in the Tagus Estuary. In addition to this study, researchers Teresa Catry and José P. Granadeiro were also cited for an article published on April 22, 2021, in the journal Bird Conservation International. The article revealed that the construction of the airport in Montijo could lead to a 30% loss in the “conservation value” of the estuary concerning intertidal feeding areas for wintering bird populations.