Changi announced this Friday (10th) its intention to retain the concession for Galeão International Airport, in Rio de Janeiro, according to a note from the Ministry of Ports and Airports.
The folder states that the federal government and the company will talk about the matter again after Carnival. The alternatives for managing the airport are being analyzed by the National Secretariat for Civil Aviation.
Changi, from Singapore, owns 51% of RIOgaleão, the concessionaire that manages the terminal in Rio. The other 49% belong to Infraero.
In 2022, the company even announced the delivery of the concession, claiming economic difficulties aggravated by the pandemic in the airport sector.
The Minister of Ports and Airports, Márcio França, had a meeting this Friday with the international CEO of Changi, Eugene Gan, in Brasília.
“The company reiterated its intention to maintain operations at Galeão Airport and committed to dedicating special attention during the Carnival period, when Rio de Janeiro, Brazil’s postcard, receives a large number of tourists”, said the ministry.
“It was defined that, after Carnival, the parties will talk again. The alternatives for the administration of Galeão Airport are in the study phase, which are being carried out by the National Secretariat of Civil Aviation (SAC),” he added.
A Sheet RIOgaleão said that, after this Friday’s meeting, talks will continue on “alternatives regarding the future of administration” of the terminal. The concessionaire also claims that it will maintain “special attention” in the operation during the Carnival period.
“RIOgaleão remains committed to operating with already recognized operational and safety excellence, and continues to work for the commercial development of the airport, the largest urban facility in Rio de Janeiro”, he added.
In February 2022, the concessionaire announced the request to return the terminal’s concession. With that, the government of Jair Bolsonaro (PL) started to design a joint auction for Galeão and Santos Dumont, the other major airport in Rio.
By that logic, the same investor group could manage the two terminals. Santos Dumont operates only domestic flights and is managed by Infraero.
In November, RIOgaleão even signed, with reservations, an amendment to proceed with the return of the Galeão. At the time, Anac (National Civil Aviation Agency) indicated that, upon signing the document, the concessionaire would declare “irrevocable and irreversible adhesion to the rebidding”.
With the change of government, the debate gained new contours. In January, Minister Márcio França had already signaled the interest of the management of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT) and the company itself in putting together an agreement for the concessionaire to remain in Galeão.
The terminal has been emptied over the last decade and has not yet returned to pre-pandemic traveler movement levels.
Santos Dumont lives a different situation. As shown to Sheetthe domestic airport surpassed the annual capacity of 9.9 million passengers in 2022, according to data from Infraero.
For Rio de Janeiro leaders, it is necessary to curb demand at Santos Dumont. In the local assessment, the measure is necessary to generate greater coordination in air traffic in Rio and direct more flights to Galeão.
The international airport is located on Ilha do Governador, in the northern part of the capital of Rio de Janeiro. Access is via routes such as the Red Line, a frequent location for traffic jams and cases of urban violence.
Santos Dumont, on the other hand, is closer to businesses in the central region of Rio and tourist attractions in the south zone.
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