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Sun, Aug 05, 2007

Report: Second Brazilian Official Ousted In Wake Of TAM Disaster

Space Agency Head Brought In To Restore "Normalcy" At Airports

The fallout continues in Brazil following that country's worst aviation disaster in its history. The head of Infraero, Brazil's airports authority, will be replaced next week, according to news reports.

Reuters reports Jose Carlos Pereira will be replaced by Sergio Gaudenzi, the head of the Brazilian Space Agency , citing an unnamed source. The announcement is expected to be made public Monday.

Pereira has been on the job only 13 months, a tenure marred by the country's two worst air disasters -- the midair collision between a Legacy 600 business jet and a Gol Airlines 737 last September, and the July 17 TAM A320 landing crash at Congonhas Airport in Sao Paulo. He would be the second aviation official in Brazil to be forced out of a job since last month's accident, which killed at least 199 people.

Beleaguered Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva fired Defense Minister Waldir Pires on July 25, and replaced him with former Supreme Court Chief Justice Nelson Jobim.

Reuters states Gaudenzi's first duty at Infraero will be to restore a sense of normalcy at Brazilian airports... already stung by cancellations and delays for nearly a year, in the wake of the Gol crash.

Many passengers have opted to take buses to travel throughout Brazil, the news service reports, despite notoriously poor road conditions throughout the large country.

Others -- notably rapper Ice-T -- have avoided Brazil altogether. The performer blamed "aviation chaos" when he canceled his scheduled concert last month, according to local media reports.



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