2012-06-15

Rio+20: Rio Airspace Operates with Areas Restricted by the Brazilian Air Force

F-5EM and A-29 Super Tucano fighter planes, in addition to H-60 Blackhawk and AH-2 Sabre helicopters, will remain on standby to defend the airspace. (Photo: Felipe Barra and Air Force Agency, Communications Unit, Brazilian Ministry of Defense)

F-5EM and A-29 Super Tucano fighter planes, in addition to H-60 Blackhawk and AH-2 Sabre helicopters, will remain on standby to defend the airspace. (Photo: Felipe Barra and Air Force Agency, Communications Unit, Brazilian Ministry of Defense)

Brazilian Ministry of Defense

The Brazilian Air Force (FAB) has announced the schedule for restrictions and even prohibitions on flights over some areas of the city of Rio de Janeiro for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio+20. The measure is part of the security plan established by the Ministry of Defense, developed by the Joint General Staff of the Brazilian Armed Forces (EMCFA), and executed by the Eastern Military Command, with the participation of the country’s Marine, Army, and Air Force units.

At the same time, Military personnel are patrolling the Rio state capital’s coastline, by sea and by land, with the support of the Military and Civil Police, as well as the areas near the hotels in Zona Sul and Aterro do Flamengo. The Military will remain deployed in the Rio metropolitan region until June 29.

Starting June 20, when the high-level segment of the conference takes place, and for which the presence of various heads of state and government from United Nations member countries is expected, the airspace rules will be stricter. F-5EM and A-29 Super Tucano fighter planes, in addition to H-60 Blackhawk and AH-2 Sabre helicopters, will remain on standby to defend the airspace. These aircraft are ready to intercept and even to force the landing of any flight that fails to comply with the instructions of air-traffic controllers.

Rio+20 Security Plan

The system also includes the participation of 13 ministries and 26 public entities. For this purpose, the federal, state, and municipal governments have invested 132.8 million reais (US $ 64.5 million), 90 million (US $43.7 million) of which corresponds to the Armed Forces. An example of this investment was made at Riocentro to enable the conference participants to have free internet available, with 30,000 instances of access expected a day. The Military personnel deployed belong to the Navy, the Army, and the Air Force. The Military Police will have 2,500 personnel available every day during the event and 1,000 municipal guards. The Federal Police will have 1,400 inspectors and officers available.

At Riocentro, the Cybernetic Defense Center has installed infrastructure to protect the telecommunications system from possible attacks by hackers. In this area alone, 20 million reais (US $9.7 million) have been invested.

The security plan also includes units especially trained to act, prevent, and react to terrorist attacks. There is also a contingent to take action with regard to chemical and bacteriological defense. In the event of a possible air attack or the entrance into the airspace of any unauthorized aircraft, the aircraft may be shot down by Super Tucano or F-5N fighter planes. In that extreme case, authorization will be given by President Dilma Rousseff.

The Navy will contribute to Rio+20 security through the 1st Naval District. It will deploy 3,200 Military personnel, 26 small vessels (patrol ships, tugboats, and speedboats), and two medium-sized ships (one frigate and one corvette) in charge of maritime control, as well as six aircraft.

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