The University of Minho and the Aeroclube do Alto Minho (AAM) signed a collaboration protocol aimed at developing projects in the area of aeronautics, such as training programmes, adaptation to the air environment, conferences and workshops. The agreement was formalised by the rector Rui Vieira de Castro and the president of AAM, Carlos Alberto da Silva, in a session in the main hall of the Rectory of UMinho, in Braga, with some dozens of participants.
The director of the new degree in Aerospace Engineering of the School of Engineering of UMinho considered the moment “special” and “founded on a medium-term vision”. “It will allow from February the course students to experience flight in light aircraft, besides dealing early on with operational and meteorological issues, among others,” said Gustavo Dias. The professor of the School of Engineering of the UMinho praised the characteristics of the aerodrome of Cerval, located on the border between Cerveira and Valença, and in a second phase may even provide an extension of the aerospace activity of the UMinho, in addition to other research projects and opportunities for both parties.
On behalf of AAM, Carlos Alberto da Silva showed “pride” and “happiness” for the agreement. “We have Aerospace Engineering students here and I hope they take advantage of this partnership and that they discover in the stars many opportunities for our society,” he said.
The Aerospace Engineering course debuted this year with the highest entry score of UMinho and also of the national top 10. “We have a continuous demand for new areas of training relevant to the region and the country, so there is reason to be satisfied with this winning bet, we knew how to anticipate and respond to the needs”, stressed the rector of UMinho. “Each new teaching project is based on partnerships and this one with AAM is of great relevance”, added Rui Vieira de Castro.
The session was attended by the Vice-Rector for Education and Academic Mobility, Filomena Soares, the EEUM President, Pedro Arezes, the President of the EEUM Pedagogical Council, Lígia Rodrigues, the representative of the Order of Engineers, Hugo da Cal Barbosa, and representatives of the municipalities of Cerveira and Valença, among others.
The Cerval aerodrome is considered one of the most important in the Iberian Peninsula, with about sixty aircraft registered. It is outside the main corridors of commercial airport operations, has continuous operational management and the possibility of reserving airspace. It also has historical interest, as the pioneer of American aviation Charles Lindbergh refuelled near there in 1933, on his Grenoble-Lisbon connection. Due to adverse weather during the passage over the Pyrenees, which dictated greater fuel consumption, Lindbergh then tied up his hydroplane in the Minho River, near the Ínsua de Castro, in Friestas, Valença. In 1995, a monument was erected on the site.