At Least 800 Regional Airports On The Drawing Board In The South American Country
Saying the continent-sized country needs more than railroads, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff indicated Wednesday that her nation would embark on an ambitious program to build at least 800 regional airports, bringing service within 40 miles of any city with at least 100,000 residents.
Speaking in Paris, Rousseff said that the country "needs more than railways. Some people in Brazil can travel only by air." She also said that the airports are "a necessity for the country's growth."
The French News Service AFP reports that Brazil has privatized Sao Paulo's Gharulhos and two other airports ahead of the 2014 World Cup, which will be held in several cities around the country. The Rousseff administration auctioned the rights to operate the airports, raising some $14 billion to upgrade already-congested terminals. Roberto Kriete, the president of the Latin American and Caribbean Air Transport Association, said recently that there would be problems during the major sporting event if "things don't improve."
Statistics indicate that commercial air transportation has grown over 120 percent over the past decade, with more than 30 million people traveling by air for the first time during that period.