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Airports

Ownership What rules govern the ownership of airports (both public and private)?

According to the Aeronautic Code, airports can be classified as civil or military (Article 28). Civil airports may be used for public or private purposes (Article 29). Civil airports used for private purposes must be built, maintained and operated exclusively by their private owners (Article 35). Article 36 sets out that civil airports used for public purposes may be built, maintained and operated by:

  • the government;
  • specialised public companies;
  • states and municipalities; or
  • private companies through a concession or authorisation process.

Operation What is the authorisation procedure for the operation of airports?

According to the Aeronautic Code, the construction of any airport must have prior approval from the Brazilian Civil Aviation Agency (ANAC). For civil airports used for private purposes, after the approval and once the construction process is completed, an authorisation to operate must be obtained from ANAC.

If the civil airport will be used for public services, the authorisation procedure for the operation is more complex due to the public interest in the airport. The process is called ‘homologation’ and a specific rule from ANAC regulates this process (Brazilian Rules of Civil Aviation 139).

What ongoing operating requirements apply (including obligations relating to safety, security and facilities maintenance)?

Airport operations entail the issuance of several technical documents certifying that operations will be conducted in an adequate manner. Airport operators should therefore have the following:

  • the Airport Operation Guide (Brazilian Rules of Civil Aviation 139);
  • the Airport Protection Zone Guide;
  • the Noise Zoning Plan;
  • the Heliport Protection Zone Guide;
  • the Protection Zone Guide; and
  • the Air Navigation Aid Guide (Aeronautic Code).

Further, the Brazilian Rules of Civil Aviation 107 issued by ANAC requires issuance of several plans in order to ensure the safety of civil aviation against acts of unlawful interference. The Brazilian Rules of Civil Aviation 153 applies to the operation, maintenance and emergency responses at airports. As a result of the risks associated with bird strikes, ANAC has also issued the Brazilian Rules of Civil Aviation 156 covering rules for wildlife risk management at airports.

Airport charges What airport charges apply and how are they regulated?

Airport charges in Brazil were all created and regulated by Law 6.009/73. Currently, the following fees are charged:

  • boarding fees;
  • connecting flight fees;
  • landing fees;
  • parking fees;
  • warehousing fees; and
  • wharfage fees.

In addition to these fees, Law 6.009/73 establishes three other fees due as a result of the use of facilities and services which support and secure air navigation.

Access What regulations govern access to airports?

Access to airports is regulated by the Brazilian Rules of Civil Aviation 183, issued by ANAC in 2011.

Slot allocation What regime governs the allocation of airport slots (including slot transfer, revocation and disputes)?

ANAC Directive 338/2014 applies to the allocation of slots in coordinated airports. Generally, the regulation follows the standards suggested by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Worldwide Slot Guidelines, but has certain peculiarities, such as the inclusion of punctuality as one of the factors that could influence historical calculation.

Ground handling How are ground handling services regulated?

According to Brazilian legislation, ground handling is classified as an ancillary service. Until 2009 the establishment of any company to render ancillary services required prior approval by the Aeronautic Authority. With the issuance of Directive 116/2009, ANAC revoked this restriction and transferred to the airport authorities the obligation to control which service providers will be authorised to provide any kind of ancillary service. Air carriers in Brazil normally use the IATA Standard Ground Handling Agreement to establish all obligations and conditions for the rendering of ground handling services.

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