Government approves plans to privatize 16 Brazilian airports

Congonhas airports Photo: Rovena Rosa/ABr
Congonhas airport. Photo: Rovena Rosa/ABr

Brazil’s Infrastructure Ministry has made progress in its plan to auction off 16 airports to the private sector, publishing an ordinance this morning approving concession plans. The group of airports includes Congonhas, in São Paulo, and Santos Dumont, in Rio de Janeiro, both highly important domestic hubs.

According to the ministry, “the operation of the listed airports will remain the responsibility of the Brazilian Airport Infrastructure Company (Infraero) until the full takeover of operations by the companies that win the bidding processes.”

The grants still need to be approved by the National Civil Aviation Agency (Anac), being formalized through concession contracts. The ministry intends to hold auctions for most of the 16 airports this year, dividing them into three blocks.

According to the government timetable, the Congonhas auction should take place in the second half of the year alongside smaller airports in the states of Mato Grosso do Sul, Pará, and Minas Gerais. The planned investment for this block is BRL 5.889 billion (around USD 1.2 billion), with an initial grant of BRL 255 million.

Santos Dumont Airport, on the other hand, should be auctioned off alongside Galeão Airport, also in Rio de Janeiro, after the company responsible for managing the terminal gave up the concession. Anac indicated this month that the operation should take place in 2024, although the Infrastructure Ministry is still betting on completion in the last quarter of 2023.