Brazil's Civil Aviation Authority (ANAC) has signed contracts for the long-term concessions of the Brasilia, Sao Paulo-Guarulhos and Viracopos-Campinas airports with the winning consortiums.
The delayed signing formally transfers management of Guarulhos, which is Brazil's largest international gateway, to the Invepar, Airports Company of South Africa and OAS consortium for 20 years, Brasilia to the Inframerica Aeropuertos (Engevix Engenharia and Corporacion America) consortium for 25 years, and Viracopos to Aeroportos Brasil (Triunfo Participacoes e Investimentos, UTC Participacoes and Egis) consortium for 30 years. All of the concessions may be extended for one five year term.
The Brazilian government-owned operator Infraero maintains a 49% stake in each of the airport concessions and continues to operate the majority of airports in the country.
Brazil raised R24.5 billion ($14 billion) from the tender but has received strong criticism from airlines and the International Air Transport Association who fear that the concession payment obligations will result in high airport usage fees.
ANAC did not announce the next airport tender, which will presumably be for Rio de Janeiro's Galaeo airport, during the signing ceremony as was widely expected. A source close to the deal at the authority says that the "learning process from the first major concession tender" has not concluded and hints of some dissatisfaction within the government that there are not "highly experienced" international airport operators in all of the consortiums.
"There is some internal discussion about eventually changing the concession rules, separating the investment part of the concession from the operation contract of the airport," they say. "This could make it easier to attract the kind of operators that have the kind experience and resources Brazil's main airports need, particularly Galeao for the 2016 Olympic games."
Brazil's airport system faces capacity challenges during peak travel periods and is expecting significant additional traffic during the upcoming 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Olympics in Rio.