Brazil's new president Dilma Rousseff has revealed plans to create a new civil aviation authority.
The new body will be given ministry status and will oversee both the existing National Civil Aviation Agency of Brazil (ANAC) and INFRAERO, the government-owned company which operates 94% of the country's airports.
Furthermore, the new authority will be given powers to privatise airports for the first time in Brazil, according to the local newspaper Folha de S. Paulo.
The announcement comes following calls for Brazil to improve its airports in preparation for the football World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016.
Giovanni Bisignani, director general and CEO of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), welcomed President Dilma Rousseff’s focus on aviation.
According to Bisignani, preparations to host the FIFA World Cup and the Olympics make urgent progress necessary.
The Brazilian government has plans to invest 5.6bn reais (US$3.38bn) to update the country’s airports in preparation for the events, but many of the planned projects have yet to get underway.
He added: “President Rousseff’s intention to create a ministry-level Civil Aviation Secretariat is an opportunity to achieve change.