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Horta ,  November 17, 2016

Measures for overall improvement of the transport system are the "culmination of ambition and nonconformity," says Vítor Fraga

The Regional Secretary for Transport and Public Works highlighted in Horta the Government's ambition to continue working for the overall improvement of the transport system in the archipelago by continuing the implementation of the measures undertaken in the last term and further developing the Integrated Transport Plan (PIT).
Vítor Fraga spoke at the Legislative Assembly during the presentation of the Government's Programme, stressing that the measures and actions carried out or initiated in the previous term have increased the mobility capacity of all Azoreans. Moreover, they have also contributed to a "new and efficient dynamics in tourism that greatly enhanced the development and consolidation of the economy of all islands." With regard to the measures and actions, the government official mentioned the "upgrading and modernisation of port and airport infrastructures, the acquisition of two ferries ("Mestre Simão" and "Gilberto Mariano"), the merger between two maritime transport companies owned by the Region, the definition of public service obligations for maritime transport, the definition and implementation of a new model of air transport between Mainland Portugal and the Region and between the Region and Madeira, and the revision of public service obligations for inter-island air transport.
However, Vítor Fraga stated that we still "have a path to follow with regard to overall improvement of the transport system,” noting that the measures included in the Government's Programme represent the "culmination of that ambition and nonconformity."
Regarding the maritime passenger transport, the main goals are "the consolidation of the current model and the projection of the Azores as a cruise and recreational boating recreation destination," said the Regional Secretary. In turn, the goals for cargo transport include "the reduction of overall system costs and of delivery time in export markets as well as the consolidation of inter-island cargo transport."
As for port infrastructure and international shipping networks, Vítor Fraga mentioned the implementation of various measures: "promote the merger of two maritime terminals in Lisbon to centralise the cargo transported between that port and the Azores, which will be carried out with operators; ensure the adequacy of the entry and exit routes of the main regional ports; continue regular maritime cargo transport services between the islands of Flores and Corvo under public service obligations with the launch of a tender."
The Regional Secretary also stressed "the integration of Praia da Vitória Port into the trans-European transport network as LNG supply point and the submission of an application to the "Juncker Plan" for the development of this port. It will enhance its role in the transport of cargo between the European and North American continent" under the European project designated as "Motorways of the Sea." Moreover, the government official mentioned the launch of a tender for the construction of two vessels for the transport of passengers and vehicles, as soon as the process under approval by European entities is completed."
As for air passenger transport, Vítor Fraga pointed out as goals "the increase of transport efficiency and the improvement of accessibility." He stressed that Grupo SATA will have "the necessary tools to continue its national and international affirmation, without losing sense of its true corporate purpose: always serve the Azores and the Azoreans more and better."
In addition, we will promote the "permanent monitoring of the provision of air transport public service within the Region and between the Region and external destinations in order to ensure the sustainability and reliability of air accessibility to all islands of the archipelago," said the government official.
With regard to air cargo transport, Vítor Fraga said the goals "include the reorganisation of the transport system and reduction of overall costs, namely through the implementation of public service obligations for cargo transport between the Azores and Mainland Portugal."
In terms of air infrastructures, the Regional Secretary stressed that the Government will move forward with "the certification of aeronautical infrastructure at Lajes Base for its permanent use by civil aircraft, without forgetting to create the conditions for its use while the certification process is running." Moreover, the Government will continue to take the necessary steps with the National Government in order to "speed up the night lighting certification of Flores strip, under the administration of ANA, so that it may concluded by 2017 in accordance with the concessionaire's commitment set out in the Strategic Plan 2013-2017."
Similarly, Vítor Fraga said, "we will continue to undertake our efforts with the competent national authorities in order to ensure the legal safety standards of Horta airport," in addition to "enhancing the Azores Aviation Centre and finds, together with its managing editor, new private partners for the development of other services."
As for the goals in land transport, the Regional Government will "promote Urban Mobility/Soft Mobility Modes, increase intramodal integration, modernise and reorganise the public transport network and improve support infrastructures," said Vítor Fraga
"Among other measures, we will proceed with the implementation of the Integrated Transport Management Platform (PGIT) to allow an expanded ticketing integration as well as with the development of new transport tickets with different packages and intermodal travel between sea and land transport," stated the Regional Secretary.
With regard to Public Works, Vítor Fraga pointed out that there are currently "three challenges the Government of the Azores intends to successfully overcome together with the private sector."
These challenges involve the need to adequate this sector to the strategic commitment for the use of regional endogenous materials, redevelop public infrastructures, particularly in the area of accessibility and mobility, and overcome the challenge regarding the sector's sustainability. The latter is inseparable from investment planning, being also subject to the eligibility and availability of European funds for the implementation of such investments. 
Therefore, the Government's goals include the "improvement of stability, quality and overall competitiveness in the construction and public works sectors, the generation of added value and the sustainability of the construction sector."
In this context, Vítor Fraga mentioned "the planning of investments in public works to safeguard the relation with the sector." The government official mentioned the support and encouragement of "scientific research and technological development applied to construction" and the creation of "the Azores Creative Industry Platform." This measure aims to involve the entire technical and creative community in the development of new products from regional endogenous materials."
Recalling that "our work will not be easy," Vítor Fraga stated that, given the adversities that may arise, "we are here to overcome them and go beyond."




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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