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Panel SA: Congonhas Block for Concession Has Got Too Big, Says Former Secretary of Aviation


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With an auction scheduled by Anac, the 7th round of concessions, which includes Congonhas, left the airport block too big, in the opinion of Dario Rais Lopes, who was Secretary of Civil Aviation in the Michel Temer government.

He assesses that distances can disadvantage synergies. The largest block in the new round, led by Congonhas, has ten other terminals in Minas, Pará and Mato Grosso do Sul.

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Now president of ASP Aeroportos Paulistas, which this year took over the operation of 11 terminals in São Paulo, Lopes has also followed the evolution of the flying vehicle market, which, according to him, has a short time to solve bottlenecks. “There will be equipment on the market from 2025 onwards. So, you have two years to resolve”, he says.

like mr. evaluate the progress of the 7th round? I think that, in the eagerness of wanting to solve it, we ended up losing a little hand in assembling the block. It was a very big block.

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Santos Dumont, Galeão and others that will be returned, Natal and Campinas, are already out. So why not leave out a few more? If there are going to be more rounds ahead, then, take the other airports out of Minas and return the block as it had been originally conceived. The original block of Santos Dumont was with the three from Minas.

It’s complicated. Networking depends on distance. With these distances, for example, from Marabá to São Paulo, there is no chance of creating synergy.

How does synergy happen in the sector?It has some administrative functions that have gains of scale. Make a purchase of consumables for all airports and distribute them from a single point, because they are all close.

The other point is more specific. When operating in a network, the company that manages the airports can sit down with the airline and make a commercial agreement to charge the small airport less, to create movement between it and the larger airport. This type of arrangement is possible if they are close together.

Another problem that draws attention in Congonhas is the traffic in the surrounding streets. How to deal with it?Many airports were placed in the Congonhas block and, to make it more attractive, the demand was thrown up there. This can be good inside the airport, but not in access to it.

The reduction of the block would bring back gains in scale and scope and would minimize this issue of road impact, because you don’t have to go chasing the market, since the liability to be compensated is smaller.

How is general aviation? the jets private they go having to leave Congonhas? That’s nice?It’s not good. In the initial version they were leaving, but in the final version they should stay. It should not have this orientation of taking out general aviation.

To give you an idea, if we take the general aviation flights that left Congonhas and Campo de Marte before the pandemic, there are more than 3,000 destinations. It is difficult to stimulate a concession in which this type of market takes a back seat.

like mr. has evaluated the process of the airports of concessions returned?In the case of airports, the return process only strengthened the current concession model, because the government signals that it will not break the contract rule. He messes with the model. But once the model is decided, it goes ahead. As they are doing, they decided to do it en bloc. That’s why I say it’s very difficult to change the program now.

As far from ideal as it may have been, the market likes predictability. And this proposal, although not ideal, is very close, it is in line with the model that was made there in the Temer government.

And this new issue of the pollution tax to be charged to planes, which was created in Guarulhos? Other prefectures are studying to replicate. Will this trend catch on?By the end of the decade, there is an ICAO program [organização internacional de aviação civil] which provides for compensation by airlines. No fees of that nature. I think people are misreading what is forecast and trying to anticipate revenue.

At some point, aviation will have to compensate for the effects it causes. But this is not the time to implement any of these measures. The concept exists and it must be implemented at some point, but not now in a time of crisis.

Mr. has studied flying vehicles. it’s a future distant?The eVTOL issue has complicated problems from an operational point of view. From the market point of view, there is great expectation. There are interesting segments, some connections in the city of São Paulo and to the airport of Guarulhos. They are very promising.

In the test carried out in Rio de Janeiro, there were many problems, such as microclimate, with rain at some point of the trip, wind shading between buildings. As it is a very light equipment, you have to solve these problems. There is a very positive expectation for the manned vehicle, but it will have serious difficulties in carrying out an unmanned operation.

I see this possibility, with some specific connections in São Paulo, but it has to solve the local operational problems associated with the microclimate of the city.

There will be equipment available on the market from 2025 onwards. So, you have two years to decide.


An engineer and professor at Universidade Mackenzie, he is CEO of ASP (Aeroportos Paulistas), a company that this year took over the operation of 11 airports in São Paulo. He was national secretary of Civil Aviation in the Temer government. Before that, he held the position of national secretary of transport and urban mobility.

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