For the Minister of the Environment, João Pedro Matos Fernandes, the acquisition of a fleet of 12 unmanned aerial vehicles represents “a very significant gain for the environmental sustainability” of Portugal.

João Pedro Matos Fernandes stressed that “the forest is the largest repository of biodiversity that the country has” and that the executive when entrusting the Portuguese Air Force (FAP), with the mission of operating UAVs in the national territory, pursues the objective of “reducing the burnt area” due to forest fires over the next 10 years.

The Ministers of Environment and Defence spoke to journalists during a visit to the FAP Detachment of Unmanned Aerial Systems, installed at the Chã do Freixo aerodrome, in the municipality of Lousã, Coimbra district.

Defence Minister João Gomes Cravinho said that the 12 aircraft represent an investment of €4.5 million, assumed by the State with funds from the Environmental Fund.

The minister explained that the system started working at the end of July, with some delay compared to the forecast, which was due to the "need to improve the machines".