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Autonomous Regions Are Ignored Again!

The Autonomous Regions are ignored, claimed Pedro Fino, the Regional Secretary for Equipment and Infrastructure, at the opening session of the Insular Days of Engineering – Transport and Accessibility, which took place throughout the day at the Porto Santo Cultural and Congress Centre.

The Regional Secretary for Equipment and Infrastructure, who was representing the President of the Regional Government, stressed the importance of air links to the islands in their relationship with the outside world and, therefore, criticised the fact that the central government is discussing the location of a new airport, to be built on the mainland, without listening to the opinion of the Autonomous Regions of the Azores and Madeira.

“The country’s new airport is also our problem, but we continue to observe a regrettable, complete, and unpatriotic disregard of the opinion that the Portuguese population that resides in the Autonomous Region of Madeira and the Azores has on the matter,” he said, noting that there are working groups created to discuss the topic of the new airport, but that “the two Autonomous Regions remain on the sidelines of this discussion.”

“It is urgent that the country has a capable airport, which guarantees all citizens easy access to the capital, but, at this rate, we will only have it in 20 years, given the manifest inability of the Government of the Republic to decide and execute this type of work!” He then added that he felt it was “regrettable, the inertia of the mainland government, since they have talked about having a new Lisbon airport for the last fifty years and still haven’t even decided on its location!”

“We only hope that what is decided, assuming that one day it will be decided, will not further detract from our right to access services that the Lisbon macrocephaly continues to jealously guard in the capital,” he said.

Pedro Fino also regretted that the demands of the Regional Government concerning the reassessment of wind limits at Madeira Airport have not yet been heard, limits that were imposed in 1964. “These limits are 60 years old, and one does not realise the slowness of the process that will lead to their indispensable and justified alteration,” he said.

Samantha Gannon

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