AFP – Delays are plaguing work at airports in seven of the 12 Brazilian cities that will host the World Cup nine months from now, the daily O Globo reported Sunday.
Citing a survey by Infraero, the federal airports agency, the paper said the worst delay was in the southern city of Porto Alegre, where work on expanding terminal at a cost of $69 million has not even begun.
Work on the two terminals at Rio’s Galeao airport, at a cost estimated at $137 million, is supposed to be completed by next April but is running behind schedule, it added.
In the southern city of Curitiba, only 6.19 percent of the airport upgrade has been completed while the percentage in the northeastern city of Salvador, capital of Bahia state, reached 20.2 percent and 23.09 percent in Cuiaba, capital of the central state of Mato Grosso.
A similar situation is reported at the airports of the northeastern city of Fortaleza and the southern city of Belo Horizonte.
By contrast, things are better at privatized airports not run by Infraero, including Sao Paulo’s Guarulhos airport, where 60 percent of the work has been completed.
In Brasilia the percentage is 50 percent and at Natal’s new airport which is 54 percent completed, it noted.
The daily quoted Brazil’s Civil Aviation Minister Wellington Moreira Franco as saying Infraero’s problems were linked to the poor quality of projects presented by bidding companies.
An auction to privatize Rio’s Galeao and Belo Horizonte’s Confins airports, is to be held at the end of October, officials have said.
In February 2012, 20-year concessions were granted to manage three airports: two in Sao Paulo and one in Brasilia, breaking Infraero’s monopoly.
Brazil, a continent-sized country of more than 200 million, is modernizing its aging and congested airports in preparation for handling tens of thousands of tourists expected for the coming World Cup and the 2016 Rio Olympics.