Brazil Clears the Decks for Aviation Expansion

 - August 25, 2011, 11:20 AM

The hangar at Congonhas Airport in São Paulo, Brazil, that held Labace two weeks ago echoed to a claw-equipped backhoe chewing into the wing of a defunct Boeing 737 on Tuesday. “This first aircraft is symbolic, but the path has been taken,” said Judge Eliana Calmon of the National Judicial Council, who coordinated seven government bodies in the “free space” program that will remove more than 100 relics of bankrupt airlines from Brazil’s major airports. The program will clear 10 percent of the ramp area at Congonhas, the country’s busiest airport, to accommodate aircraft “not only for the 2014 World Cup or the [2016] Olympics, but [also to field] domestic aviation [which grew] by almost 25 percent last year,” said Brazilian officials. Also present was Brazil’s civil aviation minister, Wagner Bittencourt, who, in the first public recognition of expected business aviation traffic at the World Cup, announced plans to use taxiways and auxiliary runways at both large and small airports to park business jets for the event. AIN has learned that the use of military airfields is also planned.