Márcio França says that the government can take back Galeão if alternatives do not advance


The Minister of Ports and Airports, Márcio França, said this Thursday (19) that the government does not rule out, in an extreme situation, taking back control of Galeão Airport.

The uproar about the site has been going on since 2022, when the concessionaire that manages the space submitted a request to return the concession.

The minister said that the idea is to find an “orthodox solution, which follows the script” for the administration of Galeão, but that, if that is not possible, he will “take action”.

“Are several [soluções]but among them, evidently, the government can at any moment resume the situation so as not to let the situation become chaos for the people who are arriving,” he said.

França said the current situation worries the government. “We are concerned that people who come to Rio feel cared for by the conditions of a public facility that is under concession,” she said.

RIOGaleão is the concessionaire responsible for Galeão. The company is controlled by Changi, from Singapore. The airport came under the control of the company after an auction at the end of 2013, won in partnership with the Brazilian group Odebrecht.

Odebrecht, which went into crisis after the effects of Operation Lava Jato, sold its stake to partner Changi — who, in turn, recently decided to start the process of returning the Rio de Janeiro terminal, claiming that there were difficulties generated by the economic crisis that hit Brazil in the last years.

The company’s intention is to transfer the management of the asset to a new operator, who would take over after a new auction is held.

França should have a meeting with the mayor of Rio de Janeiro, Eduardo Paes (PSD), and those responsible for the company next Saturday (21) to seek a solution for the administration of the airport.

The legislation on the subject authorizes the granting power (in this case, the Union, represented by Anac) to intervene in the concession, with the aim of ensuring the adequacy of service provision and faithful compliance with contractual rules. The intervention must be carried out by decree, which will contain the designation of the intervenor, the term of the intervention and the objectives and limits of the measure.

The law also provides for a more extreme measure, the termination of the concession. It can be done in cases like this through the so-called expiry, which can be declared by the granting authority if the service is being provided in an inadequate or deficient manner. In this case, however, there are more steps to be taken – such as an administrative process that ensures the company is fully protected.

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