By NATASHA SMITH
Loulé Câmara President, Seruca Emídio, has revealed plans to construct an aerodrome next to the Cimpor cement factory in Cerro do Parragil near Boliqueime. Construction could begin before the end of the year.
Private jets and smaller commercial aircraft weighing up to 20 tons will be able to land at the aerodrome and Emídio said this could directly affect luxury tourism and create jobs for the community.
Potentially, the aerodrome could be an alternative to Faro airport for smaller planes and could create more than 150 jobs during construction and operation.
Though the construction will be undertaken by Loulé câmara, once open, the management will be handed over to a private company.
A spokesperson for the câmara said: “Even tour operators have approached us to nominate themselves to take over the management of the aerodrome once it has been built.”
The Resident spoke to Francisco Soares from Aero Clube do Algarve, who said that the aerodrome would be extremely useful for the Algarve in terms of the economy and job opportunities. He also said that it would attract tourists with greater spending power.
Soares said that priority is given to large commercial airlines at Faro airport and, if the aerodrome was constructed, small jets would be prioritised. It would also be easier and quicker to process the documents of planes and passengers at the aerodrome.
With the full technical support of Faro airport and Aeroportos de Portugal (ANA S.A.), the aerodrome could have the capacity to take on 30 per cent of the annual air traffic from Faro airport.
Prime Minister, José Sócrates and his government have announced that they will lend their full support to the project, which has been welcomed by Emídio.
A spokesperson from Loulé Câmara added that “there has been no opposition from environmental associations with regard to the construction of the aerodrome as yet”.
The câmara has so far acquired one-and-a-half million euros to purchase land. Before the project is set in motion, the association created by Loulé and Faro Câmaras to discuss development within these areas, Sociedade Parque das Cidades, the national institute of civil aviation and ANA S.A. will initiate a provisional study to assess the total investment, the logistics of construction and environmental impacts.
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