Brazil increases fines after a series of incidents

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The Brazilian Civil Aviation Agency (ANAC) has increased the potential fine for creating large service disruptions to airports and airlines to up to R$20 million ($10 million), after a recent series of incidents that affected the operations.

The new regulation, which was published and became affective on 1 November, allows the aviation authority to impose the new fines on "aviators, aircraft operators, aircraft manufacturers and the manufacturers of other aviation products" that seriously disrupt the normal operation of airports and airlines. Previously, the maximum fine was R$20,000.

ANAC defines "serious incidents" as those that have a "major impact on commercial aviation and which leave an important number of passengers on the ground". The final fine will also take into account previous incidents by the infractor as well as its economic standing.

During October, three highly publicised events put pressure on local operators and regulators. On 13 October, a Boeing MD-11 operated by US based cargo airline Centurion blocked the only runway of Campinas airport in Sao Paulo state for two days after a landing incident, forcing the cancellation of nearly 500 flights. Campinas is the home base and main hub of Brazil's third largest airline Azul.

In addition, major information technology glitches prevented the check-in of thousands of passengers flying on GOL and TAM, which created chaos at Brazil's principal airports, in October.

ANAC says that it hopes these measures will "increase [its] ability to prevent infractions that create a major negative impact on the population and to increase the level of quality of Brazil's civil aviation".