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Pantanal: Ibama requests changes to aviation law to combat fires

Ibama (Brazilian Institute of Environment and Natural Resources) has asked the Ministry of Ports and Airports to make a change to the aviation law to allow the hiring of foreign aircraft and crews to fight fires in the Pantanal.

According to the agency, there are only small aircraft in the country for fighting fires. Given the critical situation that is expected to continue in the second half of 2024, the institute also points out the possibility of “overloading the capacity of Ibama and other public entities to respond to fire-related emergencies, especially aerial means, considering the overlap with critical conditions for forest fires in the Amazon and Cerrado biomes”.

The ministry stated that it received the request from the Civil Aviation Secretariat and is considering it as a priority due to the urgency of fighting the fires.

The Ibama document, signed by President Rodrigo Agostinho, sent on Friday (5), argues that one of the combat fronts is the airplanes.

Despite the possibility of hiring these aircraft, Ibama states that there are still difficulties in finding specialized Brazilian crew and there are still restrictions in the Brazilian Aeronautical Code for admitting foreign pilots.

The rule establishes permission for foreign crews only in the case of “reciprocity or bilateral agreement”.

In view of the situation, the agency requests that the legislation be changed to allow “in emergency situations of great scope and impact on the population and natural resources, the rapid admission of foreign crew members capable of operating aircraft involved in specialized air service provision contracts, with national companies, in forest fire control actions”.

The suggestion is that the law be changed through the issuance of a provisional measure (MP) signed by the President of the Republic.

On Monday (8), the Ministry of Ports and Airports stated that the suggestion is under analysis. The ministry said that there is no deadline but the matter is treated as urgent, due to the ongoing fires in the Pantanal region.

Source: CNN Brasil

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