Odebrecht and Changi to take control of Rio airport in August

Washington DC
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The Aeroporto Rio de Janeiro S/A Concessionaire will begin taking over operations of Rio de Janeiro Galeao International airport on 11 August, after signing a concession contract for the airport earlier in April.

The transition will take three to six months and be supervised by state-owned operator Infraero, says Odebrecht Transport, which owns 30.6% of the concessionaire.

Singapore’s Changi Airport owns 20.4% and Infraero maintains a 49% stake under the 25-year concession that was signed on 2 April and awarded in November 2013. Odebrecht and Changi paid R$19.01 billion ($8.48 billion) for the concession.

The concessionaire plans to invest R$2 billion before the Rio 2016 Olympics begin. This is up from an initial offer to invest R$1.4 billion during the first two years.

The investment includes 26 new jet bridges in a new concourse connected to terminal 2 and an 80% increase in the area of aircraft apron adjacent to the passenger terminal complex, according to Odebrecht.

“The airport is a symbol for the city of Rio de Janeiro and we have a very extensive improvement programme that includes training, resources and investments of some R$5 billion during the [25-year] operation,” says Luiz Teive, president of Aeroporto Rio de Janeiro, in a statement.

Changi said in November that it intends to increase annual passenger capacity at the airport to 60 million by 2038 in an effort to make Galeao the “international gateway for Brazil and South America”.

Galeao airport handled 17.1 million passengers in 2013, Infraero data shows. This was down 2.3% from 17.5 million in 2012.