Viracopos opens new terminal nearly a month late

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Campinas-Viracopos International airport has opened the first phase of its new terminal, nearly a month late.

The international pier and apron opened for the arrival of FIFA World Cup delegations today, according to the concessionaire Aeroportos Brasil Viracopos. The team from the Ivory Coast is scheduled as the first arrival.

The rest of the R2.5 billion ($1.11 billion) terminal will open after the World Cup, which runs through 13 July, a statement says. The facility can handle 22 million passengers annually with 28 jet bridges and seven remote aircraft parking spots.

The gradual opening comes nearly a month after the scheduled opening on 11 May.

“We will deliver our brand new, greenfield terminal by May next year,” said Luiz Kuster, chief executive of the concessionaire, in October 2013.

The Egis, Triunfo and UTC-owned concessionaire could face fines from the Brazilian Civil Aviation Authority (ANAC) for the late opening under the terms of the 30-year contact to operate the airport.

New terminals built by private concessionaires at Brasilia International and Sao Paulo Guarulhos International airports opened on time in May. The projects were awarded at the same time as the Viracopos contract.

Azul operates its primary hub at Viracopos airport and plans to launch new nonstop flights to Fort Lauderdale and Orlando as early as December 2014, and flights to New York JFK in early 2015.

The routes mark the airport’s first regularly scheduled nonstop services to North America since Guarulhos replaced it as the primary international gateway for Sao Paulo in 1985.

Viracopos was not immediately available for comment on the terminal opening.