Court rejects Vinci’s claim for €1.6bn over cancelled Nantes airport

The airport was to have replaced Nantes Atlantique. It was to have had two runways and a capacity of 4 million passengers a year, a million more than the existing facility (Richard Villalon/Dreamstime)
A French court yesterday rejected a claim of nearly €1.6bn in damages made by Vinci in relation to the cancellation of an airport project near Nantes, website BMF Business reports.

The airport was procured as a €580m public-private partnership, and was to have been completed in 2017.

But the French government cancelled it in 2018 after a long and vehement campaign by environmental activists supported by the Green party.

An administrative court in Nantes found that the government “was not at fault in abandoning the Notre-Dame-des-Landes airport project for reasons of public interest”.

But the court added that, since the project was terminated for reasons of public interest, Vinci should receive “compensation covering the expenses incurred by the concessionaire and its loss of earnings”.

It said this amount would be determined later, and would take into account any gains to Vinci if its concession for the Nantes-Atlantique airport were to be extended.

Vinci manages 12 airports in France and 70 around the world.

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