Brazil airport privatizations: Success or failure?

Author: Frode Skulbru (Vancouver, Canada)

Now that yet another round of Brazilian airports has been successfully completed, let’s look at some high-level statistics for each round.

All airports in rounds 1 to 4 were sold individually as these are some of the busiest sites in Brazil.

One unique element of the Brazilian concession awards worth mentioning is the live auction that takes place a few days after the official deadline for technical and financial offers. All technical offers are evaluated on a pass/fail basis, then the financial offers are ranked with the top three given the opportunity to better its offer in the live auction.

Until 2001, Infraero managed most of the larger federal airports in Brazil (various cities, states and the Federal Air Force managed others). In 2001, the CABO FRIO airport (CFB) was granted to Costa do Sol Operadora Aeroportuária S.A. as the first to be privately managed. Until 2011, operating grants to the private sector were limited to regional airports. A few local airport operators emerged during this period, namely Dix (Gov. Dix-Sept Rosado Airport (MVF)) and SOCICAM (ten regional airports in four states). In order to speed up investments and development of airports a concession program for a number of Infraero operated airports was developed. This led to the auction of long-term concessions of 23 airports between 2011 and 2019.

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