News / Americas

Brazil Braces for Swarms of Business Jets at World Cup

Miniature models of planes by Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer sit on display at the Latin American Business Aviation Conference and Exhibition (LABACE) 2013 annual meeting at the Congonhas airport in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Aug. 14, 2013.
Miniature models of planes by Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer sit on display at the Latin American Business Aviation Conference and Exhibition (LABACE) 2013 annual meeting at the Congonhas airport in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Aug. 14, 2013.
Reuters
Non-commercial aircraft are expected to carry as many as one in nine international visitors to the World Cup in Brazil next year by some estimates, but industry leaders say the country is unprepared for the oncoming swarm.
 
Desperately needed new airstrips will not be ready in time for the tournament and air-traffic plans at crowded airports are still unresolved, said executives in Sao Paulo this week for LABACE, the world's second-largest business aviation conference.
 
“Brazilians are last-minute sprinters. It is part of our culture,” said Eduardo Marson, chairman of Brazil's general aviation association ABAG. “The investments are coming much slower than we'd like. It's too late for most of them.”
 
The crunch comes as Brazil races to expand commercial airports already operating beyond capacity, driving up demand for more efficient charter flights, but pushing the necessary infrastructure to the back burner.
 
That means Brazil, whose fleet of private aircraft is second only to that of the United States, may have to open its military airstrips and hangars in order to accommodate all the jets in town for the 2014 World Cup, Marson said.
 
Some 3,000 business aircraft will fill Brazil's skies during the tournament, according to the Dubai-based United Aviation Services (UAS), which books charter flights with over 500 private jet operators globally. Privately chartered airliners make up less than 5 percent of that estimate.
 
UAS is touting VIP packages for the event at LABACE in the hopes that a healthier world economy will boost demand from the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
 
Fewer than 8 percent of visitors to the tournament three years ago opted for private flights over commercial ones, according to UAS, which forecasts the share will rise to 11 percent in Brazil next year, including charter flights carrying soccer teams, heads of state and corporate delegations.
 
ABAG's Marson said the UAS estimate may be on the high end of possible scenarios, but he agreed air traffic outside of commercial airlines would outpace any prior event in Brazil.
 
Officials estimate that the World Cup will draw about 600,000 international visitors, spending nearly 7 billion reais($3 billion).
 
Aviation has deeper roots in Brazil than in South Africa, due to its continental size, growing ranks of millionaires and a long history of flight - from airplane pioneer Alberto Santos Dumont to planemaker Embraer SA.
 
But private and public airports, like nearly all of Brazil's transportation infrastructure, have suffered from decades of scarce investment, resulting in a lack of runways and hangars to keep up with the booming demand of the past decade.
 
“In big cities we're seeing major problems. In Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro there's almost a blockade of executive aviation services,” Civil Aviation Secretary Wellington Moreira Franco told journalists this week.
 
“Soon that story should be different,” promised Franco, highlighting a handful of private initiatives to build new airports around Rio and Sao Paulo, Brazil's two biggest cities.
 
Those projects were made possible by a recent change to federal rules allowing private investors to build, operate and charge fees at new airports. However, the only such airport expected to open by the start of the World Cup in June 2014 is the Aerovale airstrip outside Sao Jose dos Campos, about 100 km (60 miles) northeast of Sao Paulo.
 
A closer project in the southern reaches of Sao Paulo's city limits, has been slowed by trouble obtaining environmental licenses and is unlikely to open before the end of next year.
 
($1 = 2.30 Brazilian reais)

You May Like

Video Video Claims to Show Shi'ite Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

While not yet independently confirmed, brutal killing already has gotten attention of Islamic State followers on social media More

After Six Years, Little Change for Niger Delta's Former Militants

Nigerians who laid down arms in exchange for government amnesty subsidies fear program may end with upcoming presidential elections More

Vietnam Pushes for More Educated Drivers to Curb Road Deaths

Transportation officials hope that making a greater effort to get drivers to learn the rules of the road will reduce fatal crashes More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boyi
X
Jeff Seldin
March 05, 2015 2:36 AM
A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.
Video

Video Volunteer Gauge-Watchers Help Fine-Tune Weather Science

An observation system called CoCoRaHS is working to improve weather science, thanks to thousands of volunteers across the country who measure precipitation in their own backyards, then share their data through the Internet. VOA's Shelley Schlender reports.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video African Americans Recall 1960's Fight For Voting Rights

U.S. President Barack Obama and thousands of people will gather in the small southern U.S. city of Selma, Alabama, Saturday, March 7th to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a historic voting rights march that became known as “Bloody Sunday." VOA’s Chris Simkins traveled to Alabama and introduces us to some of the foot soldiers of the voting rights struggles of the 1960’s.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

More Americas News

UN Official: Fight Against Terrorism Must Not Violate Human Rights

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights says efforts by states to combat terrorism are resulting in large scale rights violations against the very citizens they claim to defend
More

Brazil's Rousseff Races to Contain Congressional Revolt Over Austerity

President meets with legislative leaders from her coalition after they unexpectedly reject presidential decree to raise payroll taxes, help close large budget gap
More

Prosecutor Appeals Dismissal of Complaint Against Argentine Leader

President was accused, by investigator later found dead, of trying to whitewash Iran's alleged involvement in 1994 Buenos Aires bombing
More

Maduro Reprisal Could Clog US Visa Process in Venezuela

President's order to slash US embassy staff will hit consular section, which in 2014 processed 232,500 applications
More

Mexico Captures Zetas Drug Kingpin in Another Blow to Cartels

Arrest is second high-profile capture of a kingpin in past week and a boost to President Enrique Pena Nieto's efforts to battle organized crime
More

Colombia Detains China Cosco Shipping Vessel Over Illegal Arms

The detained vessel, operated by Cosco Shipping Co Ltd, was headed for Cuba when it was stopped; the illegal cargo was detected during an inspection
More