BRASÍLIA, Brazil – The government has announced plans to offer partial concessions to private sector companies at the country’s five main international airports, as the country rushes to prepare its air infrastructure for the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics.
Brazilian presidential chief of staff Antonio Palocci announced on April 26 that five international airports – in São Paulo (Guarulhos), Campinas, Brasília, Belo Horizonte and Rio de Janeiro – would be opened to private investment. The private sector concessions would apply to airport expansion projects and would not include areas already being administered by the government-owned Brazilian Airport Infrastructure Company (INFRAERO), according to the daily O Estado de São Paulo.
Former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s administration created a plan to improve the country’s key airports in preparation for the two major sporting events. However, the plan had fallen behind schedule, leading international organizations, such as FIFA – soccer’s governing body – to publicly speculate that Brazil may not have enough time to finish the project before the World Cup begins.
The World Cup is scheduled to be held in 12 Brazilian cities. The 2016 Olympic Games will be held in Rio de Janeiro.
[United Press International (Brazil), 28/04/2011; O Globo (Brazil), 27/04/2011; Estadão.com (Brazil), 26/04/2011]