Brazil is to allow foreign companies to rent its Alcantara launch site. Brazilian airports authority Infraero, which administers the site on the north-eastern coast, says it has signed a letter of intent with Fiat Avio of Italy, which would allow the company to use the site by the end of 2001. Infraero, which estimates that it would need to invest around $50 million to bring the site up to full international standards, says it needs to raise funds to help maintain Alcantara, which is underused by the fledgling Brazilian space programme. The Brazilian concern believes that Alcantara's position near the equator could make it a sought-after location.

Source: Flight International