Monchique Air Means Center “opens doors” in mid-2024

Funding comes from a cross-border project that unites the Algarve and Andalusia

Helicopter landing strip – Photo: Elisabete Rodrigues | Sul Informação

The new Monchique Airline Center, which will cost 1,3 million euros, should be ready to go into operation in the middle of next year, he revealed to Sul Informação the vice-president of the Chamber of that Algarve mountain village.

The work, which should be completed by the end of this year, was visited on Tuesday, the 14th, by the Minister of Internal Administration José Luís Carneiro, who recalled the "a lot of work that went into the recovery of this project", "very important for the region and for the municipality».

There has been talk for a long time about the construction of this Resources Center, which includes a landing strip for helicopters, as well as other spaces for the pre-positioning of human and material resources throughout the year. However, the project did not advance and there was a risk of there being no possible source of financing.

The Algarve Regional Coordination and Development Commission (CCDR) ended up finding a way to finance the three Media Centers (in Cachopo/Tavira, Loulé and Monchique), under the INTERREG VA Spain – Portugal Cross-Border Cooperation Operational Program (POCTEP ).

The three Centers were integrated into the project of the Iberian Center for Research and Fight against forest fires (CILIFO), whose main beneficiary is the Junta de Andalucía, and, in the Algarve, the Municipalities of Loulé, Monchique and Tavira, as well as the Community Intermunicipal do Algarve (AMAL), coordinated by CCDR Algarve.

This ability of the CCDR, chaired by José Apolinário, to seek funding for an INTERREG program, which unites Spain and Portugal, was even praised by minister José Luís Carneiro, during his visit to the Media Center facilities.

Paulo Alves, with the minister and Humberto Sério – Photo: Elisabete Rodrigues | Sul Informação


Work on the Monchique structure, located on the Semedeiro site, opposite the village, is almost ready. The process of obtaining all licenses follows, namely from ANAC.

In addition to the landing strip for helicopters (a square measuring 46 by 46 meters), the Monchique Media Center includes a support building, a water tank (with a capacity of 150 cubic meters), a fuel tank (150 thousand liters ) and a car park with 34 spaces.

The CILIFO project envisages the creation of three Airline Centers in the Algarve, with the capacity to operate throughout the year. One of them is located in Cachopo, in the mountainous interior of the municipality of Tavira, and has an approved expenditure of around 900 thousand euros.

The other is located in Loulé and has an approved expenditure of 627.500 euros, the work involving the expansion of the Permanent Helicopter Base in this city, thus increasing the area reserved for aircraft parking.

This expansion arises from the need to increase the number of parked helicopters, as well as to provide the space with better working and operational conditions.

In this case, the works should be ready by the end of the year, but there are some delays.

Speaking to journalists during his visit to Monchique, minister José Luís Carneiro praised the Algarve region, stating that «the Algarve has been developing very qualified work, both at the level of mayors, the Intermunicipal Community and the Coordination and Regional Development that placed Civil Protection as one of the main axes of public investment».

For the government official, “this demonstrates a great awareness on the part of mayors and institutional representatives of the importance of training local Civil Protection systems to defend the territory from threats and risks, be they human risks, such as forest fires, or natural risks, like earthquakes”.

«It is a work that deserves recognition from the Ministry of Internal Administration, as one of the best works carried out nationally with regard to Civil Protection», he concluded.


Photos: Elisabete Rodrigues | Sul Informação


O CILIFO project It has a total budget of 24,6 million euros, of which 75% is financed by POCTEP.

It aims to reinforce cooperation between Forest Fire Prevention and Extinguishing devices in the area of ​​the Alentejo-Algarve-Andalusia Euroregion (EURO AAA), promote the creation of sustainable and quality employment in the territory, reduce the economic cost of fires through the creation of a rural economy linked to the landscape and improve the response capacity of administrations and authorities involved in preventing and fighting fires in the participating regions.

To achieve these objectives, the three centers of Cachopo, Loulé and Monchique were considered strategic investments.


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