Since 2012, Brazil has been undergoing a considerable change in airport terminals. Formerly managed by the state company Infraero, and several other state companies, now a good part is in the hands of the private sector, through government concession programs. It is undeniable that these concessions, even if carried out experimentally initially, added a lot to the infrastructure of Brazilian airports. The evolution is remarkable, even in those terminals that needed little change after delivery to the private sector.
But there is still a lack of the right way for all airports in the Brazilian capitals to gain an adequate infrastructure and to be transferred to the private sector. And in the near future, maybe we will see all airports in the capital in the hands of the private sector.
This is due to the two bidding processes that the current government needs to do to reduce Infraero to the maximum size. Altogether 22 terminals are expected to be auctioned in early 2021, and a further 22 to 24 terminals will be auctioned in early 2022, according to the most recent forecasts.
The next concession (the 6th round) will take place for 22 airports distributed between the Southern Block, which covers the airports of Curitiba, Foz do Iguaçu, Londrina and Bacacheri (PR), Navegantes and Joinville (SC), and Pelotas, Uruguaiana and Bagé ( LOL); Northern Block, which includes the airports of Manaus, Tabatinga and Tefé (AM), Rio Branco and Cruzeiro do Sul (AC), Porto Velho (RO), and Boa Vista (RR); And the Central Block, which includes the airports of Goiânia (GO), São Luis and Imperatriz (MA), Teresina (PI), Palmas (TO) and Petrolina (PE).
In 2022 comes another wave of concessions, the 7th round. The great highlight of this is the confirmed presence of Congonhas Airports, in São Paulo, and Santos Dumont, in Rio de Janeiro. Also, terminals such as Macapá (AP) are expected to enter this 2022 auction.
Despite this, up to 24 terminals will be auctioned in 2022, also following the block scheme, as in the 6th round of concessions, and without Infraero’s participation. These rules were also established in the Government of President Michel Temer, and are proven to guarantee more security and quality of investments for the airports granted.
If it can complete this process in 2022, the federal government will reach the mark of about 60 airports that were auctioned, but which were previously managed by Infraero.
Viracopos and Natal
These two airports, located in Campinas and Rio Grande do Norte, respectively, must be concessioned again by the government. These are part of the first concessions, which had complicated rules, and failed in some cases.
The relicitation of the international airports Aluizio Alves (São Gonçalo do Amarante, in Rio Grande do Norte) and Viracopos (Campinas, in São Paulo) was approved by the government.
Viracopos airport, in Campinas, can urgently enter the auction in the second half of 2021, while Aluizio Alves, in Natal, can be auctioned in the first half of 2022.
Withdrawal of Infraero’s stake
In addition to the concessions for new airports, it was decided that the federal government will offer Infraero’s shareholding to the current private partners of the terminals already granted in Brasilia (DF), Confins (MG), Galeão (RJ) and Guarulhos (SP).
Operators have a preemptive right to purchase; if they do not want to, the assets may be auctioned or sold to third parties. The state-owned company currently holds a 49% interest in each of these projects.
The forecast is to make this participation transition in 2021, according to the financial condition of each administrator of these four terminals.
As we mentioned at the beginning of the article, these airports are part of the first concessions, which were carried out with “defective rules.”
Concession for state airports in São Paulo
In addition to Federal Government concessions, state governments are also on the same path. Some cede their airports to Infraero, to grant these locations through the Federal Government, others make their concessions.
The Government of São Paulo, under João Doria, established a plan to grant 22 state airports quickly. According to the government of São Paulo, the forecast is to hold the auction in December this year.
These airports will be delivered to the participating concessionaires, a project capable of handling 4.2 million passengers in 2050. The total investment in 30 years should be R $ 233.4 million.
The auction of the 22 airports will be held in two lots, southeast and northeast, always prioritizing the combination of commercial aviation airports and those of business aviation only.
There are nine airports involved in commercial aviation, which receive passengers on scheduled flights, and 13 destined to the executive mode. The Ribeirão Preto Airport is the most attractive of the auction, which should occur in 2020.