Made in Portugal plane to create 1200 jobs
Up to 1,200 jobs will be created in Évora thanks to a contract to manufacture the new ATL-100 plane.
It will be the first plane to be completely made in Portugal and will come in both civilian and military models.
The twin-turbo-prop short-haul plane can seat 19 passengers and carry up to 2.5 tons of cargo and is designed for landing in ‘difficult terrain’.
In May, Janes (aerospace industry intelligence) stated, “The military version can act as a troop carrier, provide logistics backup, search and rescue, paratrooper airdropping, maritime patrol, liaison, border surveillance, medical evacuation, and special operations”.
TSF Rádio referred to the first 50 engineers starting work at CEiiA (the centre of engineering and product development) in Évora by the end of the year in what is a €20 million joint venture between CEiiA and counterparts at Brazilian equivalent DESAER.
Miguel Braga of CEiiA’s aeronautic and defence arm says that siting the factory in the Parque do Alentejo de Ciência e Tecnologia means more than 30 national companies in the nearby towns of Ponte de Sor, Beja and Évora will become involved, creating at least 1200 new jobs.
The project is being financed from public and private sources, the consortium itself and EU funding for science, technology, investigation and development.
Up to 50 engineers will work on preparatory design and development works from this year after which the second ‘industrial’ phase will see an increase in employer numbers.
Says Braga, “Our initial estimate is that there’s potential for more than 30 national and international companies” providing “a great opportunity” to establish a ‘low carbon footprint final assembly line’ for the first ‘new generation’ airplane completely assembled in Portugal.
DESAER shareholder Roberto Figueiredo told TSF that besides being an important technology innovation project creating jobs in both Portugal and Brazil, the contract “assumes even more relevance” in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic which has caused massive losses in the aircraft construction sector.
The first ATL-100s will have a cruising speed of 380 km/h and a 25,000ft maximum altitude and should be ‘ready-to-fly’ by 2025.