Ground Support Worldwide

APR 2013

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INTERNATIONAL Brazil's Airports Scramble To Modernize Most press accounts say Brazil is woefully behind schedule in airport and other infrastructure improvements as it prepares to host the World Cup next year. By Steve Smith ost Brazilians think the world believes their national language is Spanish (it's Portuguese) and their capital is Buenos Aires (that's the capital of Argentina). M But an expected 600,000 visitors are expected to descend upon the country to attend the World Cup next year and even more travelers will be fying to Rio de Janeiro in 2016 for the Summer Olympics. And the linguistic- and geographically-challenged outsiders may learn a third fact about Brazil: The airports are in ter- 10 rible shape. Whether it's red tape holding down public funds or private dollars chickening out of any deals, Brazil needs to get 12 stadiums in 12 cities up and running for the frst soccer game on June 12, 2014. Considering the country occupies 3.2 million square miles and that at least two of the stadiums are GROUND SUPPORT WORLDWIDE • APRIL 2013 The Brazilian government has earmarked some $3 billion to fund airport improvements as the country gears up to host the World Cup next year and the Summer Olympics in 2016. thousands of miles apart, getting the nation's airports in shape is just as important to successfully running this major sporting event. While the government has earmarked some $3 billion to fund airport improvements, getting these facilities in shape remains a tall order since most are still mired in government ownership. That situation is beginning to change as sky-high prices for airports raise the prospects for more sell-offs by the government. PRIVATIZATION Take the privatization of Sao Paulo-Guarulhos International Airport as an example. It's Brazil's busiest airport catering to more than 32 million passengers in 2012 – double the number of passengers from 2006. The winning bid to take over managing the airport was $9.4 billion almost $2 billion more than second-highest bid. Despite

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