Bottlenecks at the Departure Concourse of Airports for the 2014 World Cup

worldcup_brazil-213x300By Giovanna Miceli Ronzani and Anderson Ribeiro Correia

Brazil will be hosting two important international events: FIFA soccer world cup – 2014 and the Summer Olympic games in 2016. Since several international tourists will be traveling to and within Brazil, the airports must be prepared for these additional passengers. One of the main bottlenecks of Brazilian airports is the emplaning hall, as will be presented in this article.
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Public Participatory GIS in urban planning around a Major Gateway of Latin America

participation-300x224By Gustavo Sobreiro Santos, Rogéria de Arantes Gomes Eller, Emmanuel Antonio dos Santos

In Brazil, there is a lack in urban planning on aircraft noise impacted areas. People living around airports are often not aware of land use restrictions that are determined by different levels of government. This study aims to develop a Web-Based Public Participatory GIS. This model can aid both people and authorities to minimize conflicts between airport and population by providing more confident information in real time. Keywords: Aircraft noise, GIS, Urban planning, Public Participation.

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Brazil Needs a Much More Modern Airport Infrastructure Model

GRUBy Respicio A. Espirito Santo Jr.1, Erivelton Pires Guedes2, Dorieldo Luiz dos Prazeres3, Rogerio Pecci Filho4

During the AIRPORT EVOLUTION LATIN AMERICA 2011 conference in São Paulo on May 11th‐12th what many suspected became true: neither Infraero nor the federal authorities in Brasilia have a “Plan B” to the current torrent of various bottlenecks and very low level of service at major Brazilian airports for the short‐term (neither for the FIFA Soccer World Cup of 2014). And this was confirmed by the evasive responses given by the representative of Infraero during the before mentioned event when specifically asked about this matter.

Also, the lecturers agree on the fact São Paulo needs urgently a new airport. As a matter of fact, considering that nothing real has been done and officially confirmed by the government at the time of writing, common sense suggests that – as strange as it may sound – probably there is also no “Plan A” as well. Complementing it, GRU’s Terminal 3 is “being designed” and “the project is on time” since the late 90s when the then‐president of Infraero “confirmed” that it would be operational “in the next few years”. Twelve or more years have passed, domestic enplanements in Brazil have more than doubled since then but there isn’t a single brick of GRU’s T3 put in place. Considering the above plus all the past mis‐sayings and long‐lasting undefined issues, a question arises: Is there any strategic planning culture at Infraero and at the higher government levels regarding airport infrastructure?

In order to collaborate with the debate, the authors have written this 2‐page article highlighting a series of relevant aspects to be raised in the discussion. These aspects were built up on a simplified bullet‐point format.
What the Brazilian government (and the Brazilian society) should be looking for in terms of airport infrastructure and airport management to effectively modernize the current slow‐pace, centralized and monopolistic model:

a) Safety and security (this must always be the starting point, no matter in the world where the airport is located).
b) Agility and flexibility for planning, operations and management decisions.
c) Multi/plural and systemic approaches and expertise.
d) A continuous flow of (and large amounts of) capital/investments.
e) Direct competition between airports.
f) Modern, future‐thinking management and operational practices.
g) A very high level of service (in all terms) for passengers, companions, visitors, and all other airport customers.
h) Pro‐active and direct partnerships plus coordinated planning, operations and execution between the airport operator, airlines, border control and immigration authorities, law enforcement, transit and transportation authorities, environmental authorities, health authorities, etc.
i) The airport as a social, cultural and economic multiplier for its catchment area.
j) The airport as a multi‐service provider for the Brazilian society, the economy and the aviation industry.

Looking at the above, concessions of airports to private consortiums, authorizations to private firms built and operate private airports, and wise public‐private partnerships (PPPs) immediately come into the debate. We could sum these three as “privatization” options. Following this way, it is possible to list the potential reasons for privatization as:

a) To encourage more efficient and commercial operations.
b) To reduce/minimize government bureaucracies.
c) To secure financing and building of airport infrastructure on a faster pace.
d) To access international expertise.
e) To provide a wider share of ownership.
f) To provide funds for governments (and for non‐profitable airports).
g) To increase flexibility, speed and wider‐view approaches in daily, tactical and strategic decision making.
h) To install or increase direct competition within the airport system (between airports).
i) To indirectly promote airline competition.
j) To turn the airport into a true social catalyzer and economic multiplier.
k) To turn passengers, companions, visitors, airlines, catchment area businesses, etc. into customers and not simple “users”.

However union representatives and other individuals will argue that major airport management and operation is a “strategic” and “sovereign” activity that cannot be passed on to private firms. Besides this, it is common to hear that Infraero is “the largest airport operator in the world” and its critical problems are not internal, but a result of some “unreasonable” federal regulations and very rigid oversight by the TCU, the Brazilian parallel of the U.S. General Accountability Office.

In response to the above, not only there are several much more “strategic” and “sovereign”‐related services that have been privatized in Brazil (telecommunications and water distribution/treatment, just to mention two of a set that could be labeled as “truly strategic”), but there is a set of conveniently forgotten aspects that are never raised by the ones against any sort of privatization:

a) Infraero‐managed airports do not belong to Infraero.
b) Infraero is a state‐owned and state‐controlled company guided by federal government policies, not otherwise!
c) As a direct result of the above, Infraero does not have the right to claim or to input any ‘political pressure’ regarding its preference to manage this or that airport.
d) Infraero is not a concessionary; it is a firm that represents the federal government for airport operation and management.
e) Infraero’s full cross‐subsidy model is not well seen by ICAO.
f) Other state‐owned and state‐controlled organizations are immersed in highly competitive and open markets (like Petrobras, Banco do Brasil, etc. and operate very successfully!), therefore – if faced by strong private airport operators – Infraero should not fear anything.
g) Just as mentioned above, other once 100% state‐controlled and state‐run sectors – much more “strategic” than airports – have been “privatized” in Brazil and the level of service to the general public has been overwhelmingly enhanced if compared to when operated by state firms.

But in order to achieve any significant success in any future airport privatization model (either concessions of the entire airport, or just the passenger terminals, or several PPPs, or authorizations), several aspects must be very well taken care of and special attention must be focused on:

a) The regulator (in the Brazilian case the National Civil Aviation Agency, ANAC) must be strong, proactive, system wide‐thinking/planning, neutral and independent from the government.
b) The regulator must elaborate a wise, thorough and comprehensive (yet uncomplicated) bidding process and the concession/privatization contract itself.
c) The concession contract must contain a future expansion plan for at least a 20‐year horizon.
d) The concession contract must introduce the obligation of an extensive array of plausible, measurable and to‐bepublicized and to‐be‐monitored indicators (social, economic, environmental, etc).
e) The concession contract must impose a set of present and future environmental obligations and responsibilities.
f) The concession contract must impose and state the terms of establishing direct and continuous society/community participation and how it would function as an “outside controller” and a “guardian” of specific
terms of the concession contract itself.

Though privatizing some of its major airports, Brazil would introduce direct competition between airports; with competition comes efficiency and much better services to the public, companions, visitors and to the airlines. Besides privatizing, the federal government could also turn a few major airports to its home States to operate and manage (São Paulo‐Congonhas/CGH would be a clear potential example). By doing this, more competition would take place. And the expectation with all this new competition is that Infraero will definitely be a much better organization.

Many people in Brazil ask “Why privatize?” But the question to be thoroughly answered should be: “Why not?!”

1 Corresponding author: respicio@poli.ufrj.br respicio@institutocepta.org
2 D.Sc. in Transportation Engineering, eriveltonguedes@gmail.com
3 MBA in Air Transport Regulation, dorieldo@hotmail.com
4 rogerio.pecci@gmail.com

Column: Air Transport Regulation in Brasil

As it has been widespread in market economies, air transportation in Brazil has a history of strict regulation. Curiously, the activity does not present any characteristic of natural monopoly: there is no relevant scale and scope economies to be explored in face of market dimensions; there are no relevant barriers to entry; the investment required can be financially leveraged and recouped without losses and so on. Thus, regulatory mechanisms for decades reflected a different logic: the aim was not neutralize the damages of monopoly power but to avoid competition to lead the market.

The air transportation market, let to itself, presents an intense competitive dynamic, generating instability in the short run, although one can expect an horizon of stability, in terms of sustainable configuration of the market, in the long run. Instability in public service provision is not a desired result for governments. That is the main reason behind pervasive intervention in this market.

During the nineties, Brazil economy experienced a new time of deregulation and it was no different for air transportation. By the beginning of this decade, new companies have entered the market, prices were free and demand has increase in a significant way.

Nonetheless, in the macroeconomic scenario, there were turbulence, with two cambial crisis (1999 and 2002) and years of recession. Not surprisingly, this environment brought huge problems to incumbent firms, namely Vasp, Transbrasil and Varig that, with Tam divided the domestic market. Vasp and Transbrasil left the market and Varig, the dominant firm so far, drowned itself in high costs and debts till recently, when a tiny reflect of its ancient exuberance – 10% of market share against the 50% of old times – was bought a month ago.

By 2003, the official diagnosis was that competition was responsible for the incumbent companies crisis, so, the liberalization program was revised. The step behind meant basically supply control, avoiding new entries and expansion of recent entrants.

In the meanwhile, the regulation environment was changed wit the creation this year of a new Regulatory Agency, ANAC, following the model of independent and technical decisions. The expectations over its performance are great, as the Brazilian air transportation market became highly concentrated: two companies, Tam and Gol – this entered the market in 2000 – dominate more than 90% of the market. Hopes are that ANAC will promote new entry and expansion of smaller companies, in benefit of tourism and business travelers, and the multiplication effect of this expanded demand.

Professor Lucia Helena Salgado, researcher in regulation and competition. (Instituto de Pesquisa Econômica Aplicada – IPEA – and Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro – UERJ).

Aircraft Noise Perception in Brazil: the Sao Paulo International Airport Case-Study

By Rogéria A.G. Eller, Ligia M. S. Urbina and Protógenes Pires Porto, Instituto Tecnológico de Aeronáutica – ITA

This research aims to evaluate the aircraft noise perception in the vicinity of the Sao Paulo International Airport – AISP/GRU (the biggest airport of South America). The relationship between aircraft noise perception and social class levels, are specifically studied. This relationship is expected to be positive. Since noise perception is an intangible variable, this study chose as a proxy the value
losses of residential properties, caused by aeronautical noise. The social class variable had been measured utilizing average per capita income of the population who live nearby the airport.

This research aims to evaluate the aircraft noise perception in the vicinity of the Sao Paulo International Airport – AISP/GRU (the biggest airport of South America). The relationship between aircraft noise perception and social class levels, are specifically studied. This relationship is expected to be positive. Since noise perception is an intangible variable, this study chose as a proxy the value losses of residential properties, caused by aeronautical noise. The social class variable had been measured utilizing average per capita income of the population who live nearby the airport.

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