The wave of protests that has rocked Brazil since June has included opposition to government spending on airports, the blocking of airport access as a way to get attention, and also complaints by the aviation community about government failure to address its needs. In preparation for the 2014 soccer World Cup, stadiums have been built or renovated all over the country, and investments have been made in transportation infrastructure, including airports.
Rio de Janeiro-Galeão International Airport
Brazilian service provider Colt Aviation has begun construction of a new $12 million FBO at Rio de Janeiro’s Galeão-Antonio Carlos Jobim International Airport. The 215,000-sq-ft facility will include a 5,300-sq-ft VIP lounge with a private entrance, meeting rooms, a 200-space car park and two hangars, one of them earmarked for maintenance. According to the company, construction is set to begin next month, and the new FBO will be ready by mid-year. Galeão is the second busiest airport in Brazil and has the South American nation’s longest runway, at more than 13,000 feet.
Clearing hurdles was as much a challenge for aircraft and crews attending LABACE 2012 was it was for athletes at the recent Summer Olympics in London. An on-again/off-again customs strike bedeviled the arrival of jets en route to the show and left operators scrambling to find a place and time to enter Brazil en route to São Paulo Congonhas Airport where the business aviation show is being held this week.
A record 71 aircraft are expected for LABACE 2012 at São Paulo Congonhas Airport next week (August 15 to 17), but unlike last year those coming from overseas will have to stop elsewhere to clear customs, coming and going.
Brazilian tax, police and aviation authorities joined forces to seize nine business jets last week, and they have targeted 13 more aircraft. According to officials, Brazilians allegedly own and use the jets but registered them overseas to avoid Brazilian state and federal import taxes of nearly 35 percent. Foreign-registered airplanes can remain in Brazil for up to 60 days without paying import duties.