The president of Brazil's airports agency Infiero Jose Carlos Pereira rejected point blank Monday suggestions that Brazil should accept international help to overcome the air space situation.
"They are a bunch of idiots trying to interfere. Brazil does not need international help, let them look after their own air space, we'll look after ours", according to quotes from Pereira aired in Brazil's main televisions station O'Globo. Pereira was referring to the International Air Traffic Controllers Federation, IFATCA, which prodded Brazil to accept foreign assistance in controlling its air space following the accident in Sao Paulo that killed over 200 people when an Airbus 320 skidded off the wet runway on July 18 and hit a cargo terminal and gas station. The head of IFATCA, Marc Baumgartner, said Brazil was trying to save face following the crash at Sao Paulo airport and accused the Brazilian authorities of putting the lives of the traveling public at risk. "We think they need an independent view," Baumgartner told reporters adding that "it has the advantage of being neutral and it has worked before in other countries facing aviation crises". Pereira said the accident on Tuesday was "a tragedy, but our tragedy. Yes mistakes were committed, but we're going to address and solve them cutting our own flesh". Flight delays and cancellations have become regular affair with air traffic controllers staging periodic work slowdowns to protest at what they say they are bad radar and radio equipment and poor pay Air traffic controllers recalled that ten months ago another tragedy occurred when a jet from Gol airlines crashed in the Amazon killing all 154 on board.