By luluarte
2 years ago

How did the Americans change Santa Maria island?

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Due to the strategic position of Santa Maria (Azores) in the Atlantic Ocean, the US military chose the island to build a large airport in 1944. It functioned as the American air base during World War II. Initially the construction of this infrastructure was based on military objectives, however, in the late 1940s it became a Portuguese civilian airport and a major airport on the transatlantic trade routes of the 1950s and 60s.
Surrounding the airport, several support structures were built, but in conformity with the large scale of American urbanism: wide streets, curvilinear (to avoid excessive speeds), simple prefabricated buildings (with metallic structure, brought from the United States), and green gardening spaces between buildings. Looked like a typical American neighborhood. The base revolutionized the daily life of the Mariense population, which quickly became accustomed to it. It included equipment, all prefabricated, like the cinema named 'Atlântida Cine', inaugurated in 1946; the club 'Wings of the Atlantic', 1950; and also a church, gymnasium and residences. The residences were isolated and in aggregated in blocks "(in History of Portuguese Expansion, Vol 5, p.336).

It was from this time on that, in Santa Maria, there were two distinct realities - on one hand, a subsistence economy, namely in the rural parishes of Santa Bárbara and Santo Espírito, and on the other hand, a sudden modern impulse brought by the Americans, who transformed completely the parish of Vila do Porto.

In 1999, NAV-Portugal's Air Traffic Control Center was installed in Santa Maria, which reinforced the importance and enormous potential of the island of Santa Maria on the safety of transatlantic flights.

In 2012, "SATA - Azores Air Transport Service", installed in the Vila do Porto's parish, near the airport, the Aeronautical Training Center, which allowed the company to provide excellence training, becoming a gained value for the prestige of the International Airport Of Santa Maria.

Photos:
LPAZ
Memórias e Lembranças da Ilha de Santa Maria
Nav Portugal
Airliners.net
Luciana Magalhães with Baluarte


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2 years
Flutterbydee Very interesting :)
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luluarte thank you <3
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Smokey2017 Piece of history
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luluarte thks @smokey :D
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LiaF7 American influence in some of the azorean islands is one of the marks that makes the 9 islands so different between themselves :) Great article.
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luluarte YES you are riight.... uma pessoa agora comenta tudo , tem q ser :)
2 years