Faro Airport to officially be named after aviation pioneer

Aeroporto Gago Coutinho to become new official name

The Portuguese government has announced that Faro Airport is due to be officially renamed after aviation pioneer Gago Coutinho, believed to have been born in the Algarve municipality of São Brás de Alportel.

The name change was approved by the Council of Minister on Wednesday and announced by Secretary of State for the Council of Ministers, André Moz Caldas, during a press conference.

He stressed that the decision comes 100 years after Gago Coutinho became the first person, alongside Sacadura Cabral, to cross the South Atlantic Ocean by air, completing the journey between Lisbon and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1922.

Caldas described it as “one of the largest feats of the history of aerial navigation.”

The proposal to name the airport after Gago Coutinho had been gaining traction for years, with several prominent citizens calling for the change. São Brás de Alportel officially joined the cause in 2020, having approved a motion backing the idea.

While the secretary of state said during the press conference that Gago Coutinho was born in São Brás, this is a matter of dispute. Some claim he was born in São Brás de Alportel in 1869, although many defend that he was born in Lisbon. A commonly accepted theory is that he was born in São Brás but officially registered in Lisbon.

By Michael Bruxo
michael.bruxo@algarveresident.com