The first round of auctions for the privatization of Brazilian airports, promoted by the Ministry of Infrastructure, took place on March 15. The objective is to hand over the responsibility for management and the need to invest to private initiative, previously under the auspices of Infraero.

In all, in this round, 12 terminals with the lowest volume of traffic were auctioned. The winners were the Spanish group Aena (six in the Northeast), the Swiss group Zurich (two in the Southeast) and the Brazilian consortium Aeroeste (four in the Midwest). The total offers exceeded the amount of R$2.3 billion, which proves the great success of the round for having raised ten times more than expected.

In this setting of confidence before the foreign and domestic investors, the Ministry of Infrastructure has begun studies that will define the values and expectations of investments required at each auctioned airport. The initiative will serve as a parameter for those interested in the next round of auctions to financially and legally prepare for the submission of proposals and to participate in the dispute.

One of President Jair Bolsonaro’s campaign platforms, the government’s plan is to take all the state-run airports from Infraero by the beginning of 2022, the last year of his mandate, when two rounds of auctions are planned including Santos Dumont in Rio, and Congonhas, in São Paulo, two of the most important airports in the country.

The privatizations have been a great direct source of income for the public coffers, and investments made by new administrators are expected to improve not only the infrastructure of the airports but also the local quality of life. After all, they are important employers, capable of increasing the flow of people, commerce and the provision of services.