Even though the CPK transport hub is dedicated to civil aviation, the investment has been recognised by the former commander of US ground forces in Europe General Ben Hodges for a capability and capacity that “no other transport Hub in Poland or elsewhere in Eastern Europe can match”. This makes it possible to improve the security of the region by providing it with the appropriate transport capabilities to enable the smooth and efficient transfer of military units, equipment, goods and humanitarian aid when needed. A significant advantage of the CPK, compared to other similar projects, is the intramodality and excellent connection of the airport with every part of the country and key European destinations.
Despite its ‘civilian nature, the CPK is also of significant importance from the point of view of our country’s and Europe’s defence. Of course, it will not be a military base, but nevertheless an extremely important part of NATO’s eastern flank – If only due to a significant increase of military mobility
CPK – an investment in the economic future and safety of Poland and the CEE region
Centralny Port Komunikacyjny (CPK) is a new transport development program in Poland that is extremely important for the economic growth of the country and the region and, of utmost importance, the security of Europe as a whole. The CPK will not be just the largest airport in this part of Europe. It is a huge infrastructure project on an incredible scale that will quickly and efficiently integrate air, rail, and road transportation.
Strategic investment based on four pillars
The first and the most recognisable one is a multimodal transport hub – an airport located in the centre of Poland, integrated with the country’s main rail transfer port and connected with the highway network, the Solidarity Airport.
The second pillar is the extension and modernisation of the country’s rail transport system. The CPK Railway Program includes the construction of a network consisting of ca. 2000 km of new railway lines. This will make it possible to travel between the capital city of Warsaw and all of Poland’s largest cities in no more than 2.5 hours.
The third pillar is the construction of ca. 400 km of new roads and the full integration of CPK with the existing motorway and expressway system.
Last but not least is Aerotropolis – the future development of the areas around CPK – areas that will become, thanks to the port and the country’s new public transportation system, the best-connected place in Europe.
Heart of the transport system connecting Europe
The new central airport for Poland is a strategic investment that has been under discussion since the 1970s. However, it was the current Polish Government that decided in 2017 to take decisive steps in this direction and turned the concept of building a central airport into a strategic investment on a huge scale, which is expected to change the face of public transport in the country and effectively connect Poland and the CEE region with the rest of Europe. As part of CPK project, new railway lines with a total length of nearly 2,000 km will be built, mainly high-speed lines, which Poland lacks, and the function of Warsaw Chopin Airport, which remains as the main airport for the capital and the country, will be taken over by the new Solidarity Airport.
The added value of this ambitious project lies in bringing together individual infrastructure projects related to air, road and rail transport into one unified infrastructure programme in order to provide the biggest benefit for the transport system and for the economic development of the region
A new transport hub in the heart of Poland, making it the centre of Central and Eastern Europe, is a kind of ‘gateway’ to the rest of Europe and to the world for the whole region. The residents of Poland, and among others Czechia, Slovakia or the Baltic countries currently rely mainly on transfer hubs in Western Europe, e.g. in Frankfurt, Munich, Paris or Amsterdam. The construction of the Solidarity Airport will allow long-haul flights to be established directly from CEE Region. The new transfer hub is also an opportunity for the economic growth of Poland and its neighbouring countries. Poland, due to its central and strategic geographical location at the intersection of east-west and north-south transport routes, is a natural choice. What is more, such a location will result in increasing the attractiveness of the entire region.
Many pieces of the puzzle to build the most innovative transport system
Given that the investment consists of designing a greenfield airport from scratch, the CPK is the best opportunity to implement the most innovative solutions. One of the efforts to introduce the most modern technologies is participation in the Smart Airports project. This is an initiative supported by the European Commission, bringing together 15 institutions from the aviation industry, including Copenhagen Airport, Rome-Fiumicino Airport, the Danish Institute of Technology and the International Air Transport Association (IATA). The consortium is developing green, environmentally friendly, intelligent solutions for airports. The team, which includes CPK’s representatives, is working on, among other things, developing sustainable solutions for fuelling aircraft with biofuel and introducing electromobility, including the development of management and planning tools for infrastructure and systems.
In 2022, the CPK company presented the investor's variant of Solidarity Airport, along with the accompanying infrastructure. This was preceded by months of intensive works on the Master Plan and the EIA Report, covering a number of site survey studies (nature inventory, drillings, water and soil sampling, laboratory tests, etc.). Contractors have also been selected in the tender for preparatory works, and tenders were launched for airport designers such as Master Architect, Master Civil Engineer, Support Infrastructure Engineer and Airport System Infrastructure Designer. To respond to the upcoming needs, the CPK company announced, among others, preliminary market consultations for the implementation of construction works for railway investments. At the moment, the CPK company is conducting preparatory works (e.g. feasibility studies) for 1,300 km of the 2,000 km of new railway lines. The whole railway part of the CPK project should be completed by 2034.