17 November 2023


Brazil’s Minister for Communications visits Farnborough to advance AALTOPORT negotiations

  • Juscelino Filho met with officials from AALTO and toured the production line for Zephyr, the world leader in stratospheric technology built in Farnborough, UK
  • Minister of State and AALTO continue to advance discussions for one of its global AALTOPORTS to be based in Northeast Brazil, which will facilitate Zephyr service roll out in 2024 and beyond
  • AALTOPORTS bring extensive commercial and technology benefits, such as increased local job opportunities alongside boosting host country’s aerospace credentials

Farnborough, UK, 17 November 2023: AALTO HAPS (“AALTO” or “the Company”), a world leader in stratospheric technology, today welcomed Juscelino Filho, Minister of State for Communications in the Brazilian Government, to its headquarters in Farnborough, UK. The visit is part of the latest stage of conversations regarding the development of an AALTOPORT in Brazil in 2024.

AALTO, a subsidiary of Airbus, is a world-leader in stratospheric technology. Its solar-powered Zephyr aircraft is the most persistent High Altitude Platform Stations (HAPS) on the planet, having flown last year in the longest continuous flight of an unmanned aircraft at 64 days. Flying at 60,000+ feet, Zephyr offers various compelling applications, including direct-to-device connectivity, rural broadband and high-resolution imagery capabilities to fight climate change. These applications are flexible, scalable and cost-effective.

As part of its entry-into-service in 2025 the Company is developing a series of AALTOPORTS. These ports will see the launch and landing of Zephyr for test missions in preparation for rapid commercialization around the world. Countries that are suitable locations for AALTOPORTS are those which have favourable weather conditions, well-established regulatory environments and a robust aerospace industry ecosystem.

Alongside these discussions, Minister Filho received a briefing on the strategic importance of Brazil to AALTO’s future services. With a large market and rural populations, the country is well-positioned to benefit from Zephyr’s stratospheric direct-to-device 4G/5G services, acting as a tower in the sky with the capability to complement terrestrial networks.

Juscelino Filho, Minister of State for Communications, commented: “Knowing cutting-edge technologies to promote social inclusion by bringing connectivity to all Brazilians is one of the responsibilities of the position I was entrusted with by President Lula. The solar-powered aircraft that flies over the Earth's stratosphere is yet another tool to bring connection to the most distant locations benefiting millions of people.”

Chris McLaughlin, Chief Government and Engagement Officer at AALTO HAPS, added: “It is an honour to welcome Minister Filho to Farnborough, to demonstrate the potential of Zephyr and deepen our relationship with the Brazilian government. Building AALTOPORTS is a key business priority for us, while Brazil has the opportunity to lead the global development of HAPS technology, regulatory and commercial models. We look forward to advancing our discussions with the Minister as we realise the vast commercial and technical benefits of Zephyr to countries across the world.”


AALTO HAPS is an Airbus subsidiary that provides services from its stratospheric Zephyr solar-powered aircraft for Mobile Connectivity, Platform Mobility, Earth Observation, and Government applications.
Zephyr flies in the stratosphere, above conventional air traffic and provides low-latency, direct-to-device 4G/5G services, acting as a tower in the sky with the capability to complement terrestrial networks.

About Ministério das Comunicações | Ministry of Communications

The Ministry of Communications is a federal administration body, which was created in June 2020 from the dismembering of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation. The Ministry was created with the aim of strengthening the areas of national telecommunications and broadcasting policy, as well as postal services, telecommunications and broadcasting.
Furthermore, the Ministry is charged with operating the Federal Government's communication and publicity policy. It also looks after the relationship between the Federal Government and the regional, national and international press, summons mandatory radio and television networks, works on public opinion surveys and with the Brazilian public television system.

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