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Horta ,  January 17, 2013

Government committed to enhance aeronautical potential of Santa Maria, ensures Vasco Cordeiro

The President of the Government, Vasco Cordeiro, announced on Friday that the Azores Aviation Training Centre contributed to the 1,800 overnight stays registered between September and December 2012 on the island of Santa Maria. This fact evidences the Regional Government's commitment to enhance the aeronautical potential of Santa Maria.

"The Government is not idle and restates its belief in the potential of the Santa Maria airport to stimulate the island's economy," stressed Vasco Cordeiro, who spoke at the plenary session of the Legislative Assembly taking place in the city of Horta."

According to the President of the Government, it was the Government's commitment that has allowed Grupo SATA to install the Azores Aviation Training Centre on Santa Maria, which represented an investment of about 750 thousand Euros.

This centre has provided training to four hundred members of SATA's staff. In addition, twenty pilots have received base flight training on Santa Maria. The courses provided by the centre correspond to 1,800 overnight stays on the island between September and December of last year.

According to the President of the Government, this fact does not limit the impact of the Azores Aviation Training Centre on the island of Santa Maria. In this context, the government official mentioned that most of the training modules (airframes for training purposes) were built on that island.

"We believe in the potential of Santa Maria in the field of airport infrastructures and we will do everything within our reach to accomplish this goal," assured Vasco Cordeiro. With regard to the reduction of the airport's operating hours, the President of the Government said that the Regional Government has taken several public positions.

According to him, the concession agreement between the National Government and ANA was sent to the Regional Government for information purposes, following a request via telephone that was made by the cabinet of the Regional Secretary for Tourism and Transport to the cabinet of the Secretary of State of Transport.

After receiving the contract, the Regional Government replied on December 21, stating that the request did not include a report. Furthermore, the Government also explained a series of questions concerning the contract, including those related to Santa Maria airport.

"Firstly, there was no request for a report and, secondly, the Region was only informed about the contract because it requested so," said Vasco Cordeiro.
Nonetheless, the President of the Government denied that the Region has debts to ANA regarding the island's airport.
The Government only expressed its availability to participate in the process to determine the amount that could be paid as a result of a possible extension of the airport's operating hours. In fact, the Government even appointed its representative, but it never received a response from the company.


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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