The company Centralny Port Komunikacyjny (CPK), which is responsible for implementing of what is currently the largest and at the same time one of the most important transport investments in Europe, is in the process of constructing a multimodal transport and interchange hub all according to a very ambitious schedule, achieving each of the planned milestones step by step. Large-scale geological excavations are already underway at the CPK airport investment site, actually involving several hundred smaller sites, as well as demolition and removal works.
‘The CPK is an investment which I absolutely consider to be one of the most important that Poland is carrying out in the 21st century. We have to move forward continuously, and our direction is the Centralny Port Komunikacyjny. The Second Polish Republic had its Gdynia, a port, a city and a shipyard, built on sand from a tiny fishing village. Now, we have a plan and the de facto launched CPK investment, construction of one of the largest airports and transport systems not only in Europe, but in the world. Do we need it? Yes! This investment is a clear and explicit pursuit of our interests,’ says Andrzej Duda, President of the Republic of Poland.
So far, over 1,000 hectares of land have been purchased CPK under the Voluntary Acquisition Programme (PDN). The procedure for the selection of a financial partner for the airport part has also now entered a decisive phase.
‘CPK is not just a Polish project - it's a key initiative for the whole of Europe. Its implementation is a cornerstone in the transformation of European transport, raising mobility standards on the continent. What we have achieved so far shows that our commitment to the successful implementation of this investment is second to none. Thanks to CPK, the future of European transport looks brighter than ever before,’ says Marcin Horała, Deputy Minister of Funds and Regional Policy and government plenipotentiary for CPK.
Concept design and key consents ready
CPK's Master Architect, the British consortium Foster+Partners, which has designed airports in locations like Hong Kong, Beijing and Doha, has already prepared a concept design for CPK's terminal and main railway station. At the same time, work is well advanced on the construction project itself.
The Airport Master Plan, prepared by experts from Arup and CPK has been prepared, as has the environmental decision with immediate enforceability, issued in July by the Regional Director for Environmental Protection (RDOŚ). The General Plan has also been approved by the Minister of Infrastructure, as well as issuing of the Civil Aviation Authority's (ULC) Air Promise, necessary for the construction of the airport. In the autumn, CPK will apply to the Mazovian Voivode for a location decision. The speed of the procedures depends on the Voivode, but the company’s schedules assume that it is still possible to obtain it this year. The next step will be an application for a building permit.
The commissioning of the first phase of the CPK airport, i.e. two runways and the infrastructure with a capacity of up to 40 million passengers, is planned for 2028.
‘We are fully aware that this is not an easy and ambitious schedule. From the period between the decision to build to the planned launch, we intend to do it 2.5 times faster than building the Berlin-Brandenburg port. Our project is passenger-focused, tailor-made, forecast-based and flexible, i.e. it involves phasing the construction according to the current market needs.,’ added Deputy Minister Marcin Horała.
The design of new railway lines to better integrate Europe has begun.
The CPK company is preparing the construction of approximately 2,000 km of new railway lines, including HSR lines, of which the feasibility studies are either ready or in progress for more than 1,500 km. For more than 600 km, route variants have been consulted and the preferred ones, i.e. investor variants, have been selected. Of this group, design is already underway for more than 450 km, including the priority section Warsaw - CPK – Lodz.
According to the schedule, with the opening of the first stage of CPK, key railway investments will already be completed, such as the 140-kilometre-long HSR line between Warsaw and Łódź, which is currently at an advanced design stage, as well as the long-distance tunnel in Łódź, the construction of which will start this year. According to the schedule, priority will be given to those sections that have been included by the EU in the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) and which Brussels is already subsidizing, e.g. Warsaw - CPK - Lodz - Wroclaw/Poznan.
The new HSR ”Y” line Warsaw - CPK - Lodz - Wroclaw/Poznan and the new HSR connection between Katowice and Ostrava will not only form the future core and the extended core TEN-T network but also become integral parts of 3 European Transport Corridors: ”North Sea-Baltic”, ”Baltic-Adriatic” and ”Baltic-Black Sea - Aegean Sea”. The CPK project could be the key to solving major mobility problems, which are currently severely hampered within the TEN-T due to missing or incompatible infrastructure. Together with other regional HSR projects like Rail Baltica and V4 HSR, CPK plans to form the future backbone of the EU transport system, bringing a vital contribution to fulfilling the TEN-T policy. Furthermore, CPK's rail investment fits with the EU's transport objectives, climate policy and the drive to increase the share of rail in passenger and freight transport. To date, the European Commission has granted CPK more than PLN 400 million from the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF).
Developing the CPK Group to streamline the investment process
Last week the Government Plenipotentiary for CPK contributed the shares of the Polish Airports (PPL) company to the Centralny Port Komunikacyjny. As a result, PPL joined CPK, bringing together the main assets and investment processes for airport infrastructure in Poland, making the new CPK Capital Group dominant in our European region. The transformation process at PPL has already been completed. The CPK Group will be responsible for coordinating and obtaining financing for investment tasks related to the construction of the new transfer hub.
The selection of a strategic partner, i.e. a shareholder in the company that will be responsible for the construction and management of the CPK airport, is in its final stage. The condition is that the State Treasury retains ownership control, i.e. at least 51% of the shares. Two candidates have so far revealed their involvement in the proceedings: the French-American Vinci Group, one of the largest airport operators in the world, and South Korea’s Incheon Airport from Seoul, which is among the world's top hubs, according to a ranking by Skytrax. The interest expressed by such experienced players proves that the CPK project is business-consistent and that the airport part of the project is viable and guarantees a high rate of return.
CPK is intended to be a multi-modal transport and interchange hub that will integrate the air, rail and road transport in the region. As part of the project, a new airport and a major rail hub is being built in the centre of Poland, connecting CPK with the rest of the country and other European countries via newly constructed high-speed railway lines. CPK is a strategic infrastructure investment which, over the next five years, will give 180 million European citizens access to one of the most modern integrated transport systems, increasing the inflow of foreign investment and economic development, and significantly raising the level of security in the region by increasing the resilience and defence capabilities of European countries.