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Brazil leases airport to private consortium


Rio De Janeiro : President Dilma Rousseff signed a concession plan Monday that would allow private investments for the first time in airport construction and operation as Brazil races to prepare for the 2014 soccer World Cup.

Under the plan, the Sao Goncalo do Amarante Airport in the northeastern state of Rio Grande do Norte, would be run by Inframerica, a consortium formed by Brazil’s Engevix and Argentina’s Corporation America, reported Xinhua.

Rousseff said the concession has opened a new phase in Brazil’s civil aviation history and that she was counting on private companies to help improve the country’s aviation sector.

Inframerica won the contract by beating three other bidders with 170 million reais ($92 million) or 228 percent more than the minimum price raised by the government.

The Inframerica consortium will run the airport for 25 years, with a possible maximum extension for five more years.

According to National Civil Aviation Agency, Inframerica will invest some 650 million reais on the construction and operation of the airport. The construction will be finished in three years.

The government expects the airport to be ready for operation before the 2014 FIFA World Cup, and the Brazilian state’s current airport is still being renovated in case the new airport is not finished in time.