CG/LA Infrastructure's InfraBlog

Private airports in control


PFI Issue 500 – March 13, 2013

Fifty per cent of all passenger traffic will be at airports under private control when the airports in Rio de Janeiro (Galeao) and Belo Horizonte (Confins) are privatised, said Helcio Tokeshi, managing director of EBP Brasil, which is a bid adviser for public-private partnership projects.

A R$4.8bn (US$2.4bn) investment is expected for Confins (also known as Tancredo Neves) and a R$6.6bn (US$3.3bn) investment for Galeão (also known as Tom Jobim). The tenders are scheduled to start in August and the bidding in September. Galeao now has 17m passengers a year and 150,000t of cargo. Confins has 10m passengers and 17,000t of cargo.

The three other privatised airports – Brasilia (17m passengers, 40,000t of cargo), Guarulhos (30m passengers, 470,000t of cargo) and Viracopos (7m passengers, 270,000t of cargo) – have a total of 54m passengers and 780,000t of cargo. The five airports have 81m passengers a year and 947,000t of cargo. With five Brazilian airports privatised, that will free the airport system of congestion, Tokeshi said during the CG/LA Global Infrastructure Leadership Forum.

Tokeshi said the concession winners of the first three airports were happy with their airports’ operations. By the end of 2013, the government plans to award the second round of concessions.

Ferrovia, through its subsidiary Ferrovial Airports, will participate in the international airport concessions of Galeao and Confins, the Spanish company said. Ferrovial started airport management in 1998 with Asur, a Mexican airport operator. Thus far, Ferrovia and Asur have managed Sydney, Belfast, Bristol, Antofagasta, and Naples airports, among others. In 2006, the group acquired Heathrow Airport Holdings (HAH) in London, and it is now an industrial partner and the principal shareholder.

The group bid in last year’s Brazilian international airport concession auction handled by Anac, the nation’s civil aviation agency. A year ago, the government concessioned three other airports. Brazil sold long-term operating licences for the Guarulhos (Sao Paulo), Viracopos (Campinas), and Brasilia airports to three consortia led by Invepar/ACSA, Triunfo Participacoes e Investimentos/UTC/Egis Airport Operation, and Engevix/Corporacion America, respectively. The auction grossed R$24.5bn (US$12.3bn).

For the Galeão and Confins airports, government officials from Brazil have visited Europe to discuss the concessions. They met with BAA (Heathrow Airport in London), owned by the Ferrovial-led group and Germany’s Fraport, which runs Frankfurt airport, France’s Aéroports de Paris (ADP), which operates the Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris, and Dutch company Schiphol (Amsterdam airport).

The operator must show prior experience operating a single airport with annual traffic capacity of at least 35m passengers, and the operator must make up at least 25% of the consortium bidding for the concession. Infraero, the national airport authority, will own 49% of the special purpose companies planned to operate the airports. The authority will be permitted to provide no more than 5% of the employees at each airport.

EBP advises the government on promoting the structuring of a series of infrastructure projects that may be carried out jointly with private enterprise and made feasible by funding, particularly project finance.
Alan Gersten
Latin America Reporter
Project Finance International
Reuters Professional Publishing
Thomson Reuters


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