Poland to construct new airport at former military airstrip in Szymany

20 May 2015 (Last Updated May 20th, 2015 18:30)

Poland is investing around PLN205m ($58m) in the construction of runways and a new terminal at a former military airstrip in Szymany in the north eastern part of the country.

Poland is investing around PLN205m ($58m) in the construction of runways and a new terminal at a former military airstrip in Szymany in the north eastern part of the country.

The Olsztyn Mazury airport site is said to have been used by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) between 2002 and 2005 to fly al-Qaeda suspects, who were later interrogated and tortured at a nearby detention centre, Bloomberg reported.

Out of the $58m being pooled in by local authorities, around $44m form subsidies being offered by the European Union (EU).

The funds will be used for building the runway and terminal of the airport that could accommodate one million passengers annually, after it opens in January 2016.

According to the EU Observer, the site is engaged in an ongoing seven-year criminal investigation that might incriminate some of the country's high-ranking officials and other political figures.

Questions are being raised on the profitability of the airport, due to its location away from populated areas.

The airport is located in the remote dense forest of the sparsely populated and economically depressed Warminsko-Mazurskie region. The closest mid-sized city from the airport is around 60km away.

Olsztyn Mazury Airport is one in a series of new airports that have come up across the country.

Since 2007, the EU is said to have spent 21% of its total spending on airport infrastructure, around €600m, in Poland.

All the airports across the country have been built on the pretext of providing a boom to tourism or for economic development.