Old Lisbon

Old Lisbon: Airport

Now that the pandemic since to be slowing down in Lisbon, it’s time to visit a place that went from having around two million people to zero in a mater of days: the airport.

Lisbon Airport is officially named Aeroporto Humberto Delgado. Humberto Delgado was an anti dictatorial regime General of the Portuguese Air Force. He founded TAP – Transporte Aéreos Portugueses in March 14, 1945, the flag carrier airline of Portugal to this day. The fearless general as he was known by the people was murdered by the regime’s secret police on 13 February 1965.

It opened on 15 October 1942, during World War II, and initially operated in conjunction with the Cabo Ruivo Seaplane Base: seaplanes performed transatlantic flights, and passengers were transferred onto continental flights operating from the new airport. As a neutral airport it was open to both German and British airlines, and was a hub for smuggling people into, out of, and across Europe. It is widely referenced in the classic film Casablanca, whose plot revolves around an escape attempt to Lisbon airport. Although Portugal was neutral, the airport was used by allied flights en route to Gibraltar, North Africa and Cairo. At the end of the war the airport developed rapidly, and by 1946 was used by major airlines such as Air France, British European Airways, Iberia, KLM, Sabena, Pan Am and Trans World Airlines. A 1951-52 airport diagram shows four runways laid out at 45-degree angles: 1,350 m Runway 5, 1,024 m Runway 9, 1,203 m Runway 14, and 1,170 m Runway 18.

Along with the airports in Porto, Faro, Ponta Delgada, Santa Maria, Horta, Flores, Madeira, and Porto Santo, the concessions to provide support to civil aviation were conceded to ANA Aeroportos de Portugal on 18 December 1998, under provisions of decree 404/98.

Photos below range from 1942 to 1947. Source.

Lisbon airport 2020
Lisbon airport today
By Aero Icarus from Zürich, Switzerland – Take off of S4 467 LIS-FNC, July 11, 2011, CC BY-SA 2.0,

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