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Horta ,  April 01, 2019

Regional Government promotes information session on space project on Santa Maria Island on April 4

The Regional Secretary for the Sea, Science and Technology announced today that he will participate in a public information session to take place Thursday, April 4, at the Vila do Porto Centre of Santa Maria Museum. The session is intended to "inform local residents on all the processes taking place" in the area of space.
Gui Menezes noted that the initiative follows "a series of recent developments," namely the creation of the Portuguese Space Agency - Portugal Space and the launch of the international tender based on competitive dialogue for the implementation of a space port on Santa Maria.
The Regional Secretary spoke in Horta on the sidelines of a hearing at the Committee on Economic Affairs of the Legislative Assembly regarding the proposed regional legislative decree regulating the legal scheme on the licensing of space activities, pre-qualification, registration and transfer of space objects for projects to be implemented in the Azores. On the occasion, the government official was also heard on the economic and financial scheme defined for these activities.
According to Gui Menezes, this legislative proposal "follows the provisions of Decree Law 16/2019. Under the terms of article 27, it stipulates that, in the case of space activities to be developed in autonomous regions, the legal scheme is defined by regional legislative decree and without prejudice to binding opinions issued by members of the [National] Government responsible for Defence and Internal Administration when matters of national defence and security are involved."
The proposed regional legislative decree defines the "licensing and return, command and control operations and the regional entity responsible for the process as well as the misconduct procedure and applicable fees," stated Gui Menezes.
Asked by journalists about the environmental and safety impacts arising from the development of space projects on the population, the Regional Secretary stressed that the Regional Government defends "the relevance of these concerns since the beginning of this project and is particularly attentive to them." As he emphasised, "we will not move forward" if these aspects are not safeguarded.
"We have now launched an international public tender, and, in this context, the Government of the Azores will follow the legal rules in force regarding these matters so that they will be duly considered," ensured the government official.
At the Parliamentary Committee hearing, the Regional Secretary noted that the establishment of the regional legislative decree on the licensing of space activities "is not itself a construction commitment" for a space port. According to him, "what is in question is the concession of space activity operations," that is, the establishment of a legal framework for such activities to take place in the Region.
"The horizontal launch of satellites from aircraft is also considered under this diploma," added the government official.
Gui Menezes also recalled that space activity is "a new activity in the country that has been developed with the collaboration of the advisory services of the European Space Agency."


Official government press-releases presented in all foreign languages interfaces of the Azorean Government Portal (Portal do Governo dos Açores) are a sub-set of the government's official press-releases daily output and are chosen for translation and publication on the foreign language interfaces based on audience segmentation criteria. The entire collection of the Azorean government press-releases is available in portuguese, here, from the GACS Press Office site.

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