By Lisa Flueckiger, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The renovation and amplification works at Rio de Janeiro’s international Antonio Carlos Jobim, also known as Galeão, airport are progressing and to sixty percent complete, according to the consortium in charge. All works are planned to finish by April 30, 2016.
“We will have a number of new shops, new restaurants, the whole infrastructure renewed, mainly in Terminal 2 and a new pier that will have a lot of comfort, with 26 new and air conditioned boarding bridges. We will also have elevators with capacities for 25 passengers, the only ones in Brazilian airports. We will be proud of Galeão,” Luiz Rocha, President of the RioGaleão consortium, revealed to Agencia Brasil.
With investments of R$2 billion the consortium currently renovates and enlarges Galeão airport. A new pier, called Pier Sul, is being built 600 meters on escalators away from Terminal 1. It will increase the capacity of the airport by thirty flights per day. Additionally, 280,000 square meters will be made available for landing and starting aircraft.
Terminal 1, which is the oldest, will be brought up to standards of Terminal 2 and the new pier with the ongoing renovations. Galeão will also become the first airport in Brazil to accommodate the largest commercial airplane, the Airbus A-380.
With all works done, the terminal area of the airport will be 416,000 square meters large with 27 new elevators, fifteen added escalators and fourteen moving walkways. Also sixty new restaurants and shops will have opened and another 68 free wi-fi stations with access for sixty minutes will be added.
The end of construction is planned for April 30, 2016, well ahead of the 2016 Olympic Games, which will start in August 2016, allowing for preparation time to receive the estimated 1.5 million passengers that will pass through the airport during the Games. According to Rocha, a new security system with cameras will also be implemented to ensure safety before and during the Olympics.
The airport consortium is composed of Odebrecht TransPort, Singapore’s Changi airport and Infraero. The first two companies have a combined 51 percent stake in the consortium, while the Brazilian government-owned company owns a 49 percent share.
The RioGaleão consortium won the concession of the airport at Galeão’s privatization auction in November 2013. The concession will last for 25 years, starting from April 2014, when the concession-holder signed the contract. The consortium promised an overall investment of R$5 billion over the course of the contract.