The Legislative Assembly of the State of Rio de Janeiro (Alerj) published, this Monday (10), the suspension of the effects of the environmental license issued by the State Institute of the Environment (Inea) that authorized the carrying out of structural works on the runways of Santos airport. Dumont.
Next Wednesday (12), the governor of Rio de Janeiro, Claudio Castro, is going to Brasília to discuss the concession of Santos Dumont airport with the federal government. Castro defends that a restructuring be carried out in the terminal’s concession notice. If this does not happen, the government of Rio de Janeiro has already stated that it will go to court.
The decree, originally authored by the president of Alerj, deputy André Ceciliano (PT), prevents, among other works, the expansion of the Santos Dumont take-off and landing strips over Guanabara Bay, with the use of piles to be fixed in the two headboards – the measure was approved by Parliament last December.
According to the president of Alerj, André Ceciliano, the license was granted without environmental impact studies and public hearings as required by law. In addition, both the Federal Constitution and the State Law (PL 1700/90) prohibit this type of construction. On other occasions, legislation has already prevented, for example, the expansion of airport runways and the construction of structures at Marina da Glória.
The bidding provides for the grounding of part of the Guanabara Bay, a permanent preservation area, whose maintenance is provided for in the Constitution of the State of Rio de Janeiro. The executive and legislative powers of Rio de Janeiro are trying to convince the federal government to change the Santo Dumont concession model.
For the authorities of Rio de Janeiro, the concession as proposed will cause a financial loss to Galeão International Airport, which is already being underused, in addition to the environmental impact. They defend that the Santos Dumont is intended only for trips within a radius of up to 500 kilometers, in addition to the Rio-Brasília-São Paulo air bridge. On the other hand, due to its characteristics, Galeão should be dedicated to longer domestic flights and international trips, in addition to a cargo terminal, which is essential for the state’s economy.
Last month, Alerj pointed out illegality in the Santos Dumont concession model and filed a preliminary injunction with the Federal Audit Court (TCU) asking for the suspension of the bidding, coordinated by the National Civil Aviation Agency (Anac). The Assembly also asked for the public notice to be annulled after judgment on the merits of the case.
The draft notice for the concession of the terminal was approved by Anac in December last year. The public notice also included another 15 terminals. The Union expects the auction to be held in the first half of 2022.
However, authorities and associations in Rio de Janeiro asked ANAC to amend the document, for fear of an emptying of the Galeão. But so far, the only change in the public notice presented by the National Agency was the extension from three to five years in the time for infrastructure works at the airports to be tendered.
In a note, the Ministry of Infrastructure stated that the Alerj decree does not have the power to interfere with the concession and that the work is important to increase the safety of the runway as it expands the space for the aircraft to escape. In addition, the ministry informed that a similar work is already being carried out at Congonhas Airport (SP).
The Ministry also added that whoever wins the concession auction will be able to choose the engineering solution that it deems most appropriate. The winner of the competition must carry out the interventions within a period of five years from the signing of the concession contract (until mid-2028, maintaining the schedule of the 7th round).
Data from the Federation of Industries of the State of Rio (Firjan) indicate that cooperation between the Santos Dumont and Galeão terminals could yield the equivalent of R$ 4.5 billion to the state’s economy per year. Galeão International Airport is responsible for receiving around 30% of foreign tourists visiting the country and has regular flights to 24 international destinations. The terminal generates more than 17 thousand direct and indirect jobs.
Reference: CNN Brasil