The Polish government will build a new greenfield airport, the Solidarity Transport Hub (STH), in 2027 to increase the security of Poland.
The hub airport will have an annual capacity of 40 million passengers in the first phase. The STH company, which has been set up to carry out this investment, has been consulting with the military on the assumed investment’s parameters since 2019. Although Solidarity Airport is a civil project, it can also be used for transferring military units (especially rapid reaction forces), equipment, goods and humanitarian aid. In military terminology, this mechanism is called ‘dual use’. Dual-purpose infrastructure may be used by NATO forces whenever necessary.
General Ben Hodges, former US commander of US ground forces in Europe, told the Polish Press Agency, “The planned hub is what NATO needs in terms of military mobility and what the European Union has in mind when discussing military mobility. We need depth and redundancy in transportation infrastructure. The STH project will add a capability and capacity that no other node in Poland (or elsewhere in Eastern Europe) can match.”
This advantage will be due to the intermodality and connection of the airport with every part of Poland and Europe, especially its central and eastern parts. Solidarity Airport will be located at the center of a 1,981km-long railway network. The hub’s location near the A2 highway and halfway between Warsaw and Lodz will also provide convenient infrastructure integration. Such features will enable the immediate reloading of equipment or goods onto rail or road transport. Hence, it will be possible to move people or cargo efficiently from the center of Poland to any part of Europe.
Marcin Horała, deputy minister of infrastructure for the Government Plenipotentiary of the STH, said, “The STH, despite its civilian nature, also has a significant impact in terms of our country’s defense. Of course, it will not be a military base, but still an extremely important point of NATO’s eastern flank – if only because of a significant increase in military mobility.”
Mikołaj Wild, CEO of the STH company, said, “Solidarity Airport, together with railway investments, can be compared to the human heart and circulatory system. Efficient blood circulation not only enables us to function in everyday life but can be crucial to our survival in crisis situations. The heart of the Polish transport system must never stop working.”