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Montevideo, July 13th 2024 - 22:04 UTC



Rio Grande do Sul's death toll updated to 177

Wednesday, June 19th 2024 - 09:49 UTC
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Fraport not leaving Salgado Filho airport despite local CEO's remarks Fraport not leaving Salgado Filho airport despite local CEO's remarks

According to an updated report on the floods in the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul released Tuesday, 177 people had perished while 37 others were still unaccounted for. Agencia Brasil also said some 10,000 people were still in shelters as Civil Defense authorities issued a new heavy rain alert after at least 19 municipalities were damaged by new floods this past weekend.

In São Luiz Gonzaga, a microburst occurred, a phenomenon characterized by heavy rain in a short space of time. The event left 400 people homeless, one injured, and around 15,000 people affected.

In this scenario, Fraport, the international airport operator handling Porto Alegre's Salgado Filho since 2017, will not be relinquishing the concession, although the terminal has been closed since May 3 and is not to be reopened for passenger traffic anytime soon.

Federal Ports and Airports Minister Sílvio Costa Filho said Tuesday that Fraport would not return the terminal's concession. He made those remarks after a meeting at the Planalto Palace between members of the federal government and company executives, including CEO Stefan Schult, who attended virtually.

The meeting had been convened after Fraport's Brazilian CEO, Andrea Pal, told Rio Grande do Sul lawmakers that she could return the concession if she did not receive any money from the federal government to rebuild the airport.

“I officially asked Fraport's CEO this question, and he said that this was an inopportune speech by the representative in Brazil, and they reaffirmed their commitment to betting on Brazil, not only on Salgado Filho but on other concession opportunities that may arise in the country,” Costa Filho told reporters.

According to the National Civil Aviation Agency (Anac), Fraport's contract runs until 2042.

In the meantime, Brazilian authorities expect to complete a runway assessment at Salgado Filho in the next four weeks. “We have been informed once again, now by the global CEO of the company [Fraport], that they need four weeks to complete the technical analysis of the safety conditions of the runway and the other equipment affected by the floods, mainly the engine room, the substation, all the energy, but also a range of other equipment. Within four weeks, we will have a definitive diagnosis of the airport's situation,” said Presidential Communications Secretary Paulo Pimenta.

Schult is due in Brazil in the next few days to present the results of the complete diagnosis of the airport and to announce the schedule for the resumption of flights there.

In the meantime, operations at the nearby Canoas Air Base, in the Porto Alegre metropolitan region, are expected to double the number of weekly flights shortly as new slots are being authorized, Costa Filho explained.

Categories: Politics, Brazil.

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