The strategic importance of Cabo Verde Islands as a gateway in air and marine transportation and communication is not recent.
The Aeropostal decision to install in the islands, in 1928, a linking connection was successfully implement in order to shorten the distance between Europe and South America via Africa.
Evidence of this historic venture can easily be reviewed on a commemorative plaque at a beach located just a few kilometers from Praia that reads: "It was here that, on December 1927, the advise-boat "Perone" made a stop-over with a crew that had been charged with the task of installing a radio station and a maritime base for hydroplanes."
The "Perone", one of the oldest submarines of the French navy, left Cherboug on December 9th, 1927 headed to Casablanca, in Morroco, and then Praia, carrying onboard a team headed by Raymond Vanier, responsible for identifying a location to install a hydroplane base. After a stay of almost a month and a half in Praia, the vessel proceeds with its finding mission, heading towards the Rock of Sao Paulo and the island of Fernando de Noronha.
On March 6th, 1928, the first CAMS 51 two-engine piloted by the first army lieutenant Paulin Paris lands near "Calheta Sao Martinho" arriving from Saint-Louis. The small plane delivers the postal bags to the crew of the advice-boat "Luvenille" that immediately departs for Recife. The CAMS 51 than departed for Saint-Louis with the inaugural carrier from Latin America.
At the end of the 1920's, the French were not the only ones interested in the territories. The Germans too expressed their interest: the airline "Lufthansa" was developing projects for hydro-planes capable of making the crossing from either Cabo Verde or the Canaries.
But it was Aeropostal that was able to win this wager. By using the Cabo Verde Islands, instead of Dakar, Aeropostal leaders opted for a shorter crossing of South Atlantic to Fernando de Noronha and the transatlantic crossing was reduced by 130 kilometers.
As a matter of fact, in 1928, the hydro-base of Calheta Sao Martinho became an obligatory pit stop for the Europe – South America route. It became the place for the inter-connection hydroplanes-advise-boats in postal transportation between the two continents.
Looking into the future, will Cabo Verde reclaim its place in history once again and will the islands Sal become the new air hub and a gateway of the three continents?
Source: Correios de Cabo Verde
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