Gomes Mota, a company director, explained at a news conference that the unit is to start out at the city’s Centro de Empresas Inovadoras (CEI – Centre of Innovative Businesses) before moving to a hangar at the local aerodrome.
Albatroz, which was founded in March 2006, has a flagship airborne product, Power Line Maintenance Inspection (PLMI) that uses interactive tools and sensors to provide results in real time, helping to improve service quality and reduce maintenance costs.
At an early stage, the unit in Castelo Branco is to recruit a team of six employees in the fields of informatics, aeronautics, electronics, mechanics and electrical engineering. Mota declined to make further projections but suggested more hires were likely.
"If it were only to recruit six people we would not be investing 1.1 million euros in two years," he stressed.
Luís Correia, the local mayor, hailed the announcement as "an important moment" for the municipality, following its “strategic” investment in the local aerodrome and facilities to attract businesses.
He also highlighted the links with the Polytechnic Institute of Castelo Branco (IPCB), which has invested in the field of aeronautics, especially drones.
As well as its flagship product, Albatroz aims to develop other innovative solutions of high-added value aimed at the needs of customers. In addition to products and software, it provides data analysis services.
Other prototypes include a tool for railway inspection, a 3D modelling system for archaeology or virtual scenarios, and a laser measurement tool (LMT). Solutions developed by the company can also be used in preventing and fighting forest fires, and in geological surveys and mining.