Brazil's state-owned airports operator Infraero invested 1.14 billion Brazilian reais ($640 million) in improving airport infrastructure in 2011, a figure it plans to almost double this year.
According to an Infraero source, the investment made in 2011 covered engineering and construction work at the following airports: Sao Paulo Guarulhos, Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte, Manaus, Curitiba, Porto Alegre, Natal, Recife, Sao Luis and Brasilia.
"We will double this [investment] effort in 2012," said the source, adding that "both private and public investors will ramp up investments" in order to "enlarge and renew" Brazil's airports ahead of the 2014 World Soccer Championship and the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
In addition to concluding the ongoing 2011 construction projects, the 2012 renewal activities include projects at the airports of Florianopolis, Foz do Iguazu, Goiania, Cuiaba, Salvador de Bahia and Fortaleza, among others.
Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff recently called for the airport privatisation process to be sped up. No winner has yet been announced for the first tender process, which includes the airports of Brasilia, Campinas and Guarulhos.
The sale was initially planned to be concluded in December, but the new deadline is now the end of this week.
According to local media reports, 15 companies are interested in operating these three airports, including 5 international groups such as Germany's Fraport, Spain's Aena and France's Aéroports de Paris.
However, according to a source familiar with the process, the creation of consortia with local firms is "complex" and its inherent difficulties are "pushing all deadlines to the limits".
While no official announcement has yet been made about a second airport privatisation tranche, the Brazilian government is expected to announce its plans for the rest of the country's airports on 6 February. This is when it is expected to present the National Plan for Civil Aviation, which is currently under development.
The most likely candidates for a second privatisation package include Rio de Janeiro Galeao International and Belo Horizonte Confins airports.