Lisbon airport

Lisbon's international airport is currently situated at Portela de Sacavém, only 7km to the north east of the city centre. Indeed, the proximity of the airfield to the city is such that aircraft on final approach from the south-west inappropriately pass over a large hospital, several schools and the National Library's main reading room. It opened on 15 October, 1942, with four 1,000 metre runways. By 1954, 100,000 passengers a year were handled, 1,021,814 passed through by 1965 and 2,239,228 by 1970 when there were 34,392 movements. 1978 saw 3,168,595 passengers handled with 38,912 aircraft movements, whilst 1988 saw 4,283,545 passengers and 1990 witnessed 5,282,349. The first jet service was an Air France Caravelle in 1960 and new Jumbo facilities were installed in 1972. The airport, which lies at 114 metres above sea-level and occupies 320ha. is expected to reach capacity by c.2010 and to avoid displacing some 10,000 people there is a plan to create a new airport rather than further expand Portela, which handled almost 8,667,589 passengers in 1999, a rise of 8.8% on 1998. 9,395,761 were handled in 2000. In 1998 the airport claimed to have the fastest growth rate of any airport in the world. The normal maximum number of movements which can be handled is 30 per hour. The favoured site for the new airport is 50km north of Lisbon at Ota, near Abrantes, (see below). Portela airport has two main runways (03/21 of 3,802 metres, opened in 1962 at 3,130 metres in length, and 17/35 of 2,400 metres). Radio frequencies are 120.6 (approach), 118.1 (tower) and 121.75 (ground). ANA (Aeroportos e Navegação Aérea, founded in 1978, is the operator of the airport. ANA has a Web Page for Lisbon Airport, as well as for its other managed airports. The airport's postal address is Alameda das Comunidades Portuguesas, 1700-007, Lisboa, Portugal and it may be contacted by e-mail at "".

The airport has one terminal, albeit built in different stages. It covers 555,500 sq.ft. and can handle 2,800 passengers at any one time. The buildings have four publicly accessible levels, numbered two to five. Level (Nível) 2 is for arrivals; levels 3 and 4 are used for both arrivals and departures, whilst level 5 is for departures only. Arrivals has eight baggage belts whilst departures has 113 check-in desks. There are 20 departure gates and 5 VIP lounges. Seven air bridges are available and buses are used for a further 29 remote loading sites. 19 new parking stands were completed in 2002.

Getting to/from the Airport


An Aero Bus service is run by Carris as its route 91. This operates every twenty minutes from 0740 to 2045 hours. You have to buy a Carris day ticket on this service but as it covers all Lisbon transport operated by that company and only costs 3.35 Euros (2007) it is not a bad deal. Nowadays the wholly inadequate minibuses on this service have been replaced by single deck gas powered vehicles. This airport service terminates at Cais do Sodré, which is convenient for the train to Estoril and Cascais, as well as the Metro. City centre stops include Praça do Comércio, Rossio and Restauradores. Cheaper, normal service routes also serve the Airport and these are the numbers 5, 22, 44, 45 and 83. The 44 and 45 duplicate much of the route of the 91 and also terminate at Cais do Sodré. All of these services run at approximately 15 minute intervals from about 0600 to midnight. A "Navette" or shuttle-bus serves the airport carparks and terminals.


Lisbon taxis are plentiful and relatively cheap though charges are rising. There is railed taxi-rank immediately outside the arrivals hall; it is usually overseen by a policeman. Although queues can be lengthy, the taxis are so plentiful that the waiting time is generally short. A few older taxis are painted black with a turquoise-green roof, whilst newer vehicles are all-over caramel. All bear a small white lozenge with the word TAXI in black capital letters. The average rate (2007) for a taxi from the Airport to the city-centre is about 15 Euros. Extra (1.60 Euros in 2007) is charged for luggage. For further fares information, see the Lisbon Taxis page.


There is no railway or Metro connection to the airport.

Car Hire

You can collect and return your car rental directly from the car park at the airport. The reservation can be made online through Portugal Cars and you will be received inside the airport by a car rental rep who will make the paperwork and give you your rented car.

Car Parks

Car parks include the following numbered facilities:

  • "P1" - an underground carpark, adjacent to the terminals. 300 spaces. 360 esc. for first hour.
  • "P2" - a covered "silo" carpark. 1173 spaces. 310 esc. for first hour.
  • "P3" - uncovered near Avenida de Berlim. 600 spaces. 200 esc. for first hour.
  • "P4" and "P5" - on the airport periphery.
  • There is also a tourist bus park for 30 coaches near the terminal building.

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