The Portuguese Air Force (FAP) flew over the area between Montijo and Castelo Branco today to test the sensors that can help with firefighting by transmitting real-time aerial images to a ground station.

“Basically it’s a video transmission system for a ground station, so all that we’ll be seeing on the plane, we can transmit to a ground station, which then passes this information and this video to other entities,” according to Captain Nuno Marques in an interview with Lusa.

He explained that the equipment could be useful in “everything that may involve the theatre of operations”, as the surroundings, positions, means of approaching or departing.

The C-295 M aircraft captured images, also available in infrared, and could see with precision everything that happened on land.

This was a demonstration flight, but could “move on to a real mission” if necessary, transmitting information to entities involved in firefighting, such as the National Emergency and Civil Protection Authority.

However, Saturday morning was quiet in the centrer of the country and there were no occurrences to register from FAP’s point of view.

“For the time being, we had no occurrences, just made a surveillance flight to see if we detected any situation or any burns, for example, but it was not the case,” he said.

According to the captain, this is a “very useful” tool and the goal is that it will be used in the future to prevent and fight fires.

“We are here to do our best and help to prevent and anticipate situations that may escalate to other dimensions,” he said.