Air Transport World

Brazil air transport in crisis.(NewsBriefs)

Brazil's air transport system sank further into crisis following the closing of Sao Paulo Congonhas Airport to much commercial traffic in the wake of the July 17 TAM runway overrun accident in which 199 people were killed including all onboard and 12 persons on the ground.

Brazilians already had been coping with extensive flight delays and cancellations owing to a work slowdown by controllers in the military-run ATC system as well as a shortage of ATC staff and equipment to manage the current traffic boom. The country's two major airlines, TAM and Gol, reported losses for the June quarter, attributed in large part to the ATC situation (see Latin America/Caribbean report).

In the wake of the country's worst aviation accident, President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva sacked Defense Minister Waldir Pires and replaced him with former Supreme Court President Nelson Jobim, who subsequently fired Jose Carlos Pereira, head of national airport authority Infraero, and replaced him with Space Agency President Sergio Mauricio Brito Gaudenzi. …

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