This is getting a habit to talk about some of the Portuguese aerodromes for the worst reasons and this time it’s about the oldest Civilian Aerodrome registered in Portugal.
Covilhã Aerodrome had the first landing in 1946 and it’s ID is ICAO LPCV and IATA COV.
This Aerodrome has revealed strategically situated in the center of Portugal, very close to the “Serra da Estrela” natural park so it has a huge importance for water bombers that operate from there during the fires seasons in the pique of the summer.
But some interests are considered somehow more important to who’s in charge than the protection of the forest or the general and commercial aviation in Portugal so the Mayor of Covilhã celebrated a contract with PT, the Portuguese State Phone Company to install a Data Center in the fields occupied by the airfield. Rapidly people came to public protesting about that decision and complaining that the aerodrome was far more important to the region than a data center. In Covilhã is situated the UBI, Universidade da Beira Interior, and this particular University has an Aeronautical Engineering Department which is along with IST in Lisbon one of the two Universities with formation in the aeronautical area and now with a serious risk of not having an aerodrome in the vicinity.
With the raise of protests against the decision of the Mayor some other voices have raised also saying that the Mayor has a house nearby the aerodrome and with the construction of the data center that area soon passes to a residential area and of course saying that in order to accept the PT proposal he had received some money has a personal benefit. I don’t know anything about this tellings and I’m writing them as they were told so I decline any responsibility about them.
The fact is that Portugal will soon lose another aviation facility (see previous post) and general aviation in Portugal seems to becoming more and more an illusion or something that is only to ultralight aircraft. Sad very sad.
This is a link with Covilhã aerodrome information: http://www.pelicano.com.pt/zp_covilha.html
And this is the link to the petition created by the Aeronautical Engineering students against the aerodrome close: http://www.peticaopublica.com/PeticaoVer.aspx?pi=AeroUBIP