"It is an ambition that is absolutely necessary for the image and the competitiveness of the airport," Cuvillier said during an official visit to the airport. "The commissioning of this rail link is planned for 2023."

CDG Express trains will operate at 15-minute intervals with a maximum journey time of 20 minutes. The 32km route will use the existing line between Paris East and Villeparisis, where it will turn northwards onto a new 8km branch which will follow the alignment of TGV Interconnexion to the airport.

Originally conceived in the late 1990s, tendering began in 2007 and Vinci was announced as preferred bidder in June 2008. The project was due to be completed this year, but the economic crisis and subsequent decline in the number of passengers using the airport meant the contract was never finalised and Vinci pulled out in 2011.

Under the new proposals, the project will be implemented as a public private partnership involving French Rail Network (RFF), the operator of CDG Paris Airports (ADP), and a private sector contractor, which will be design, build, finance, and maintain the line.

Last year Cuvillier suggested that up to €400m could be raised for the project through a new tax on air fares.