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By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter

SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – Foreign capital participation in the concessions of federally owned airports is being discussed by the Secretaria de Aviação Civil – SAC (Civil Aviation Secretary) but a final decision on the matter is likely to take some time, according to Brazil’s new Civil Aviation Minister, Eliseu Padilha.

Brazilian government wants to expand regional air travel by investing in smaller airports, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil News
The Brazilian government wants to expand regional air travel by investing in smaller airports, photo by Tania Rego/Agencia Brasil.

“To make regional aviation viable perhaps one of the variables would be to suggest to the President (Dilma Rousseff) a revision of the Brazilian Aeronautical Code which vetoes such participation. For now studies are still being developed and nothing has been sent to the Chief of Staff Office,” said the Civil Aviation Minister to reporters after receiving the post from his predecessor, Minister Moreira Franco, on Tuesday January 6th.

According to Padilha regional aviation will continue to be a priority for the administration. In 2012 during the first Rousseff Administration, the SAC announced plans to construct, expand and/or reform 270 small and medium sized airports located throughout the country. Padilha said on Tuesday that his team will do everything possible to move up the schedule which called for the concessions bids of airports in the program to start only in 2017.

“We will try the impossible to push the limits. Therefore, we want to launch the regulations for the first bids already in 2015, or start to seek partners in the market for the first regional airports listed on the program,” said the official.

As for the rules for new concessions of federal airports Padilha said that a new model will be adopted to include a clause that states that the winning group of lucrative airports will also have to administer less lucrative ones.

The administrative concession of federal airports to private groups started in 2011 and since then Brazil’s largest airports such as São Paulo’s Guarulhos, Rio de Janeiro’s Galeão, Belo Horizonte’s Confins and Brasília’s International airports have been administered by private groups.

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