Some of you might be asking yourselves what is the Portugal Air Summit, well, the PAS (not to be confused with the Paris Air Show), is an event that occurs at the Ponte Sor Aerodrome that comprises of talks, an Air Race, an Air Show and of small exhibits put up by local aviation related stores and schools.
Yesterday I had the chance to attend the opening day of the Summit, and although at first the staff were a bit chaotic as they tried to find people’s registrations and give them badges, I was soon able to go into the exhibit hall and attend the opening ceremony. Which, although was given in Portuguese, was still quite nice.
This year the Summit had 3 stages, on which it will have talks and debates running for 3 days. Topics covered here range from Legislation in the Air, to the exploration of Mars, and speakers from all over came to Portugal to attend the Summit. The big highlights from yesterdays’ talks and debates were the discussion about the new Lisbon Airport, the policy of Just Culture in aviation, and the small debate about Airport Sustainability.
Outside the debates, we also saw a manifestation by a group of environmentalists that caused delays in the Talks on the main stage. This same group had, only a few days prior, stopped the Prime Minister from starting his speech.
Throughout the next 2 days the Summit will continue on with more presentations and with the ongoing Air Race, and it will culminate on Sunday with a full day of Air Shows and Air Races, marked by the presence of two F16s from the Portuguese Air Force. Sadly this year TAP won’t be apart of the Air Show, even though last year they were able to bring in an A340 to preform some low passes around the Air Field.
In my view, the biggest and most important takeaway from the first day, in regards to civil aviation, came from a talk on the main stage, where TAP Administrator Miguel Francisco opened up the possibility for new Asiatic Routes, once TAP has consolidated their place amongst the Atlantic Market, he stated that the company will start eyeing up the possibility of new routes to the East, with a possible Lisbon – Beijing route being the first one to come.
All in all, I think the Portugal Air Summit was a good event, and has the capacity to grow into a more prominent and important place amongst the aviation industry, and I believe it is both in the interest of the country and the municipality of Ponte Sor to increase the international attendance and interest in the event, and I believe that in the future, we might see the Portugal Air Summit growing to become a prominent player in what regards to aviation events worldwide.