In the heart of Poland, a pioneering project is taking shape that could redefine airport sustainability on a global scale. The Centralny Port Komunikacyjny (CPK), set to become one of Europe's most innovative airports, is drawing attention for its unique approach to environmental management, multimodality and transport integration. CPK is not only a response to today's transport challenges, but also a vision of the future in which passenger and freight transport is more sustainable, efficient and competitive.
At the core of CPK's uniqueness is its multimodal design, meaning that it integrates different modes of transport in one place. Poland’s geographical situation makes it easier and justified. As a result, it has the potential to completely transform the transport sector, making it more sustainable and innovative on a global scale and in many ways, implementing state-of-the-art technologies hence benefiting from the latecomers’ premium. Additionally, decarbonisation is a priority for CPK, indicating a drive to reduce CO2 emissions and environmental impact.
From the first day of operation, CPK will have 'Net Zero Ready Airport' status. This means technical readiness to be powered exclusively with on-site and off-site renewable energy for heating, cooling and power supply. Out of concern for the environment, the CPK airport has been located at a safe distance from protected nature zones, minimising the impact on the local ecosystems and biodiversity. As a result, more than 280,000 residents of Warsaw, for whom the existing inner-city Chopin Airport has been a nuisance for decades, will breathe a sigh of relief.
The CPK aims, among other things, to become a regional leader and thus an integrator of sustainable transport systems in the CEE region. As a result, the new airport, a network of 2,000 km of new railways and new roads are expected to transform the entire transport system in the country and improve connectivity in the CEE region, linking it seamlessly to Western Europe and other continents, bringing travel into the 21st century and completely changing how passengers will travel across the country, continent or beyond. This improved first and last mile connectivity will bring air passenger experience as well as travel sustainability to the next level.
Today, in order to fly to further destinations in the world, CEE residents often have to travel to Western European airports first. In the case of flights from Poland to Asia or the Middle East, this means travelling the same route twice - first by plane, car, train or bus to an airport in Western Europe, and then flying to Japan or the Arab Emirates over Poland again.
With CPK, a truly international hub to be built soon, will be much closer not only to Poles, but also to the 180 million inhabitants of Central and Eastern Europe, such as Lithuanians, Czechs and Slovaks, Ukrainians. There is no large global hub airport with sufficient capacity in the CEE region today. Czech Minister of Transport Martin Kupka has said lately that CPK is an important point of reference for Czech's investment plans as the Czech Republic can’t build an airport hub. The same applies to our other CEE neighbours who plan consecutively to connect themselves within Europe through High-Speed Rail. The largest airport in CEE, Chopin Airport in Warsaw, which is the base of LOT Polish Airlines, is approaching the end of its capacity. And that is why new infrastructure is urgently needed.
CPK is also a significant improvement in the passenger experience. Since the passenger’s journey begins much earlier than at the airport entrance, the CPK project aims to ensure great airport access, with a destination and an attractive transfer location, where all the transport modes meet, and to provide a multimodal passenger experience. We aspire to create an experience that provides a smooth comfortable stress-free predictable journey. This not only gives them greater control over the entire journey but also provides an unparalleled sense of security and comfort, especially in a sanitary aesthetic environment.
CPK has been committed to fighting climate change and supporting a shared green future from the very beginning and has included sustainability as one of 3 key pillars of its investment programme. During the planning and design phase, we set very ambitious climate change mitigation and pollution reduction targets, making CPK the first 'Net-Zero Ready' airport in the region when it is launched. What this means is that the schedule already envisages sustainability in the project and the technologies necessary to achieve this objective are an inherent part of it from the very beginning concerning both a construction stage according to BREEAM certification requirements and an operation phase under conditions of planned ACA accreditation.