Portela Airport is located in the municipality of Loures.
Serving Portugal’s capital city of Lisbon, it is also referred to as Lisbon Airport. Portela Airport is the main international and domestic gateway to Portugal and one of the largest airports in southern Europe, behind Barajas International Airport in Madrid, Spain.
Portela Airport has two main runways, capable of accommodating large aircraft the size of a Boeing 747. In 2002 the airport handled nearly 10 million passengers but only 81,027 tons of cargo. Portela Airport is a major European hub, and the main base of TAP Portugal and Portugalia. Portela Airport is run by Aeroportos de Portugal.
Portela Airport was opened on October 15, 1942, with four 1,000 meter runways. It quickly expanded, with the lengthening of the runways and the new terminal building construction. It also expanded its parking facilities to allow more aircraft movements (110,437 in 2002).
Portela Airport is now completely surrounded by urban occupation, being one of the few airports in Europe located inside a major city. This has led to a national debate on whether to maintain the present location or to build a new airport. As of 2006, Ota, 50 km North of Lisbon, is indicated as the place for a new airport.