Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has officially instituted 2006 as Tourism Year. The goal is to bring more foreigners to Brazil and increase domestic tourism.
This year will also be Santos Dumont Year in Brazil in honor of the aviation pioneer who made the first public flight in a heavier-than-air powered aircraft one hundred years ago in October 1906 in Paris.
President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva launched on October 21 the campaign to celebrate the centenary of Santos Dumont’s pioneer flight in the 14-Bis.
The Brazilian government created an interministerial commission, composed by 16 ministries and coordinated by the Defense Department, to organize and to analyze about 150 events dealing with the centenary celebration.
They include Santos Dumont balloons and planes replicas and the donation of children books on the Aviation Father’s history to public schools and libraries.
"There was already attempts by others who wanted to have the primacy of having invented the airplane, trying to deny Santos Dumont’s extraordinary feats. We will dedicate a whole year to commemorate Dumont so that we can show not only to Brazilians, but to the whole world, who in fact is the Aviation’s Father. It is a Brazilian called Santos Dumont, and the rest is just insolence", said Lula at the campaign’s launch.
Santos Dumont carried out the first flight in the 14-Bis on October 23, 1906, in Paris, the date in which Brazil celebrates Aviator’s Day.