The future Pas de la Casa airport in Andorra: How is the project?
Since 2015, after the political and financial agreements between the Spanish authorities and those of the Principality, the airfield (built in the early 80s) of the Seu d’Urgell, a Spanish city located 12 km south of the Andorran border, has officially consider Andorra airport. Therefore, it is possible to establish air transport links between Andorra, Spain and France.
However, the country’s authorities do not hide their desire to have a real airport in Andorra in their own territory to facilitate their accessibility. A project aims to install the future airport of Andorra Pas de la Casa, a city located 2,000 meters above sea level, on the border with France.
Traveling by plane to Pas de la Casa, Andorra: Concord subject to discord!
The area chosen for the location of the airport infrastructure is in Terreny de Concordia, a land located between the upper valley of Valira in Canillo and the valley of Cortals in Encamp (Grau Roig). In fact, the ownership of this sector historically is disputed between the two parishes, the conflict still continues today and is far from being resolved …
Join Andorra by plane? Yes but …
The two obstacles to overcome before the project. The option recently selected and made public by Andorran radio and television about the future Pas de la Casa airport in Andorra would be good news for the promoters of the project. Only two major obstacles to its realization have yet to be overcome: Gather the owners of the Concordia land around the table to obtain their approval and achieve the construction of a complex that does not invade the future expansion of the Grandvalira ski area, in Grau Roig. This is another problem that remains unsolved.
The ownership of the territory of Concord at the heart of the debate
If the technical study carried out and presented by the Chamber of Commerce of the Principality confirms the feasibility and viability of the project, we will have to convince the local authorities to which the territory of Concordia belongs (15.6 km²). Interests could diverge, especially because the selected lands are subject to a discussion of appropriation between the parishes of Canillo and Encamp.
The promoters of the project must show a lot of diplomacy and tact so that each municipality participates in the construction of the Andorran airport of Pas de la Casa without having the feeling of being deceived. Joining Andorra directly by plane will not be done immediately!
Another possible obstacle to the realization of the Andorra airport in the Pas de la Casa: the project validated and promoted by the company SAETDE for the extension of the ski area of the Grandvalira station … in the Grau Roig sector, since be in the same area!
The execution plans provide a scheme that would guarantee the seventh access to Grandvalira, the largest alpine ski area in the Pyrenees.
This is located in the forest area between Pla de les Pedres and the Peretol snow park. The project involves the installation of elevators and the marking of a new airstrip. The green light and the approval of the various Andorran authorities competent in the matter can be done quickly and works begin quickly.
Reasons to wait for a Pas de la Casa airport in Andorra. The new ski project is already on the rails
With regard to the ownership of the land of Concord, it is clear that the agreement between the two parishes of Canillo and Encamp will be necessary. The signing of a commitment does not seem utopian in the light of a text dating from 1672, which establishes an agreement that delimits the territory strictly and that, above all, specifies it as indivisible and subject to rules of common exploitation by Both parishes.
Another very positive point about the future Pas de la Casa airport in Andorra, the recent positions of Joan Viladomat, majority shareholder of Saetde. The latter has stated that he would not oppose the project of an Andorran airport in Pas de la Casa, provided that it does not affect the development of Grandvalira recently adopted.
Go by plane to Andorra and get off the skis: soon, maybe!
It is true that the establishment of the Pas de la Casa airport could come into direct conflict with the idea of developing the new ski area. However, the convergence of the interests of all the actors currently involved in the Concord area is a real reason for hope. Everyone seems ready to discuss in any case, it is already an excellent starting point!