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Ponta Delgada ,  September 06, 2018

Ana Cunha restates need to establish Public Service Obligations for air cargo transport

The Regional Secretary for Transport and Public Works restated in Ponta Delgada the need to stipulate Public Service Obligations (PSO) for air cargo transport.
According to Ana Cunha, "to continue ensuring the operating in terms of frequency, prices and fares adjusted to all islands, it is still necessary to stipulate certain minimum requirements about to frequency, fares and flights on some islands, namely in the case of Terceira. The operation announced by Mais Consortium for São Miguel, which has yet to start, fits this particular island," but not the other islands.
The Regional Secretary, heard at the Committee on Economic Affairs, reminded that the operation announced by this consortium "is not the one we would wish for the Region" in terms of capacity, adding that the Government regards it "as a complement."
"I believe that, in fact, it demonstrates that the market is working to a certain extent but it neither fills our needs nor the goals we want to achieve. Therefore, we will continue to defend the definition of PSO for cargo transport," added the government official.
The Secretary for Transport stressed that the Regional Government continues to "proactively work on the preparation of proposals to be later submitted to the Secretary of State for Infrastructures, so that whoever holds powers in this matter, which is the National Government, may meet our demands."
The Regional Secretary considered that, despite the recent public statements by the Secretary of State for Infrastructures, "the stipulation of PSO is not out of the picture."
"Both offices have met, and several contacts have been established to exchange information and opinions in view of the preparation of a new procedure for defining Public Service Obligations," stated the government official.
Ana Cunha added that the jury presiding over the last tender was required to "analyse the reasons why tenderers failed to comply with tender specifications." In this regard, she stressed that this "analysis is already at an advanced stage and serve as the basis for the establishment of new Public Service Obligations for cargo transport."
According to Ana Cunha, the operation announced by the Mais Consortium does not, in itself, meet the goals of the Regional Government, as the capacity intended for all islands "is the one stipulated in the specifications of the last public tender, which is far superior."
"In terms of prices, it is different. Prices are not freely set; prices are previously stipulated. It is also different in terms of capacity, as the Mais Consortium announced a capacity of seven tonnes for its operation on the island of São Miguel. We required a 15 tonne-one-way operation for the whole Region. It is complementary, as I have said several times, and I frankly hope that the operation starts in a short time because it will demonstrate what we are saying," said the government official.
As for the beginning of operations by this private company, the Regional Secretary recalled that the Mais Consortium "announced its operation and later requested SATA to quote prices for providing handling support services in certain time slots," adding that the request was made "in June."
"Obviously, SATA had already planned and contracted various services from other entities. This situation prevented it from responding, in its precise terms, to the request of Mais Consortium, namely regarding time slots," stressed the Regional Secretary.
Therefore, SATA informed Mais Consortium that it could provide the service, but only after October 15 it would be able to fully correspond to what was intended.
"However, SATA has undertaken efforts to meet the requirements of Mais Consortium and, at the moment, it is to my knowledge that SATA has already submitted a proposal that meets what they intended, namely in terms of operation schedule between 1 and 7 PM and the possibility to receive cargo until 4 PM. " Basically, it anticipates the availability of SATA "to provide services from September 15."
"At this moment, the provision of services by SATA does not seem to be an obstacle to the beginning of operations by Mais Consortium. According to the statements made by the Secretary of the State on August 30, the consortium would begin operations on September 15 and, therefore, the issue has been solved," stressed Ana Cunha.


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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