Portuguese Air Force Academy

Portuguese Air Force Academy

The Air Force Academy "(AFA - Academia da Força Aérea)" is a Portuguese military higher education institution whose aim is to provide all its students with the training and the experience that will enable them to graduate having gained the knowledge and the character qualities that are essential for leadership, and the motivation to become Air Force officers. It comprises both university and non-university (polytechnic) courses.


For many years after its creation in 1952 as an independent branch of the Portuguese Armed Forces, Air Force officers attended the Military Academy. However, military professionalization, as well as the specific nature of the qualifications required for an Air Force career officer, led to the creation of the Air Force Academy (AFA).

The AFA became the third military higher education institution, alongside the Naval School and the Military Academy.

Now the AFA has its own facilities next to Air Base 1, in Granja do Marquês. It started its activity though, on 1 February 1978, in temporary facilities and only students that were then attending the 3rd year of the Military Aeronautics degree course were taken in. As its own facilities were built it became possible to expand the educational range of the Academy to cover other areas of interest. Thus, in response to the real needs of the Air Force, in the school year of 1991/92 other degrees were created: Aeronautical Engineering; Airfield Engineering; Electrical Engineering; Computer Engineering and Aeronautical Administration. In order to get these degrees, students have to attend other higher education institutions for the final years of each course.

The Polytechnic courses were created in the same year. Meant for the servicemen who also wish to enter the commissioned ranks, they are aimed at the technical personnel. These degrees are taught at the Escola Superior de Tecnologias Militares e Aeronáuticas, (School of Military and Aeronautical Technology, ESTMA).


The area of land where Air Base 1 and the Air Force Academy are currently situated has a long history behind it. This was attested by the discovery of a grave from the Neolithic period, as well as remains of the presence of Romans and Arabs in the region. It once belonged to the military-religious orders.

In the 17th century, according to legend, there was an apparition of Our Lady of Nazaré, and the estate became known as Granja da Nazaré.

Later, a chapel was built here whose construction was finished in 1701.

After the Marquis of Pombal became the owner of the farm and its grange it changed its name to Granja do Marquês.

In 1862, Pombal’s heirs rented out the land so that the Quinta Regional de Sintra (Sintra Regional Farm) could be established.

On 5 February 1920, the Military Aviation School, which had been operating at Vila Nova da Rainha, was transferred to Granja do Marquês.

On 14 August 1926 an image of the Assumption of the Virgin was offered to the chapel. That image was renamed Our Lady of the Air, was confirmed as such in 1960 by Pope John XXIII and proclaimed “Patron Saint of Portuguese Aviators”. In 1995 it would be enthroned as patron saint of all aviators.

In December 1937 Sintra Air Base was created, and two years later it would be given the name it still carries: Air Base 1 - the oldest base of the Portuguese Air Force.

For many years this was the place where both Air Force pilots and technicians got their training.

Its most important training aircraft were the Tiger, the T-6 and the T-37. It was also the home base of the aerobatics team Asas de Portugal.

Even though it does not really belong to Air Base 1, the Academy depends on it for support in the areas of security, transport, health care, catering and flight training.

ee also

*Higher education in Portugal
*Portuguese Air Force

External links

* [http://www.emfa.pt/afa Air Force Academy]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Air Force Academy — can refer to:*United States Air Force Academy, located near Colorado Springs, Colorado **Air Force Academy, Colorado, a locality which is entirely occupied by the United States Air Force Academy * Dundigul Air Force Academy * École de l Air, the… …   Wikipedia

  • Portuguese Colonial War — Portuguese troops embarking to go to the Colonial War Date 1961–1974 …   Wikipedia

  • Portuguese Army — Exército Português War flag of the Portuguese Army Active 1139 current …   Wikipedia

  • Military academy — This article is about educational institutions. For the 1940 American film, see Military Academy (Film). A military academy or service academy (in American English) is an educational institution which prepares candidates for service in the… …   Wikipedia

  • Union Defence Force (UAE) — Military of the United Arab Emirates BMP 3 infantry fighting vehicles of the UAE military offloading Founded 1951 …   Wikipedia

  • de Havilland Canada DHC-1 Chipmunk — DHC 1 Chipmunk Privately owned DHC 1 Chipmunk F AZSM Role Trainer …   Wikipedia

  • Ordem dos Engenheiros — Abbreviation OE Website OE The Ordem dos Engenheiros (OE, English: Order of Engineers) is the regulatory and …   Wikipedia

  • Colours, standards and guidons — In the age of line tactics, the unit colour was an important rallying point for the troop. In military organizations, the practice of carrying colours, standards or Guidons, both to act as a rallying point for troops and to mark the location of… …   Wikipedia

  • 1961 Indian annexation of Goa — Invasion of Goa redirects here. For the invasion by Portugal in 1510, see Portuguese Conquest of Goa (1510). Invasion of Goa Date 18–19 December 1961 Location Portuguese India and surrounding sea and airspace …   Wikipedia

  • Sri Lanka Armed Forces — Sri Lankan Armed Forces Service branches …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.