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Lisbon ,  September 02, 2019

Expansion works of Horta Airport's runway in National Investment Plan is “clear sign” of its relevance, says Ana Cunha

The Regional Secretary for Transport and Public Works stated in Lisbon that the inclusion of the expansion works of Horta Airport's runway in the National Investment Plan (PNI) until 2030 is a clear sign of the importance attached by the Azorean and National Governments to this process.
Ana Cunha spoke to the journalists at the end of a meeting with the Minister of Infrastructure and Housing, Pedro Nuno Santos, at a meeting that addressed issues of shared responsibility and those under the responsibility of the National Government. On the occasion, she considered that “a very important step was taken” with the inclusion of the expansion works of Horta Airport's runway in the 2030 National Investment Plan.
"This is the first investment for the Region whose future implementation is safeguarded with its inclusion in the Plan, not in terms of priority status but in terms of intention.  This is the first, which clearly evidences the importance attached to this investment,” said the Regional Secretary.
Besides the report already requested to the National Civil Aviation Authority (ANAC) on the extension of the Horta Airport's runway, Ana Cunha also revealed that a report was also requested to the National Civil Engineering Laboratory (LNEC) on the same subject.
In this context, the Regional Secretary stressed the fact that the National Government is taking various steps towards the fulfilment of this intention, namely through the conduction of studies. According to her, “is a very important and clear sign that this investment falls within the National Government's goals and, of course, within the Regional Government's goals.”
Ana Cunha stated that the meeting also addressed the compliance with a resolution passed by the Legislative Assembly last July recommending the Regional Government to request the National Government to take steps towards the resumption of the Lisbon-Horta and Lisbon-Pico flight connections operated by TAP.
“We have called the Minister's attention to this recommendation and its contents,” Ana Cunha said, adding that Pedro Nuno Santos replied that “the National Government, within the reach of its powers, as shareholder would endeavour with TAP to resume operations in order to comply with the resolution issued by the Regional Assembly.
The Regional Secretary pointed out that, as these are Public Service Obligations routes, “this is not a situation where TAP can be forced to comply with, let alone in the short term."
“Our role here was to raise the Minister's awareness so that the National Government, within its institutional relations, as shareholder and authority could discuss with TAP the possibility of resuming the aforementioned routes," added the government official.
Ana Cunha considered that the coming of other airlines and the promotion of more air links to any of the concerned islands "would be very important."
“We are always happy to see these links increasing.  If this becomes a reality, we will be very pleased as far as it will benefit not only the islands of Faial and Pico but also the entire Region,” said the government official.
The Secretary for Transport stated that, in compliance with provisions of the Legislative Assembly, it is up to the Regional Government “to raise the awareness of stakeholders in order to promote this return, not only with the National Government of the Republic but also with of the airline.”
As for the Social Mobility Aid (SSM), Ana Cunha stated that, although the conclusions of the working group on this subject not yet known, “the Minister has assured us that an electronic platform is under development with the aim of speeding up the SSM refund process.”


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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