To determine the potential demand for air travel in Poland, we look at the income statistics for the various regions. The GDP figures for 2002 tell us that Mazovia (Warsaw and the province around the capital) is heavily weighed with zloty154bn (€36bn), while the southern province of Upper Silesia, with zloty103bn (€24bn), is in second place.
Combining the latter figure with the GDP of Little Poland (the province around Cracow), we come almost to the same amount as for Mazovia. The three provinces together account for more than one third of Poland's GDP. Against this background, £ód¼ province with zloty 46bn (€11bn) needs to catch up.
A comparison of the conurbations themselves, without their hinterland, yields similar results: Silesia and Cracow have about the same GDP as Warsaw and £ód¼ together.
Our conclusion is that as well as Warsaw and £ód¼, for which CPL will be the domestic port, the new airport must serve passengers from other parts of the country, in particular, from the industrial basin of Upper Silesia and several cities just east of it, and from the historic capital city of Cracow, somewhat further to the east.
Because of the weight of the South in the Polish economy, thirty years ago an extra railway was built to link Upper Silesia (and subsequently Cracow) with the centre, and this railway was meant to be extended to the port city of Gdańsk on the Baltic. Like a motorway, the line bypasses all towns and cities and does not come any closer to Warsaw than 38 km. The unique advantages of this line, known as CMK (Centralna Magistrala Kolejowa), are discussed further below.
The fact remains that in terms of access, the CPL priorities are: Warsaw plus £ód¼, and the major southern conurbations linked by the CMK line.