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NEWS Last modified on August 18, 2011

GAP withdraws from race to operate Brazil airport

Mexican airport operator, Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacífico (GAP), has pulled out of the running to build and operate Brazil’s São Gonçalo do Amarante international airport.

Mexican airport operator, Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacífico (GAP), has pulled out of the running to build and operate Brazil’s São Gonçalo do Amarante international airport.


According to a statement released by the company, GAP has decided to withdraw from the tender because the “regulatory system which the government has chosen for the tender makes the project financially unviable.”


Factors which contributed to GAP reversing its decision included proposals of revenue-linked reductions for aviation tariffs, reduction in tariffs during the construction period and the requirement to build, equip and operate control towers at a cost of $1 million–a–year.


The Sao Gonçalo do Amarante project calls for the construction of an international airport in Rio Grande do Norte state capital Natal.


Located 11km from Natal, the airport has been under construction since 2004 and is only partially complete.


However in 2010, Brazil's civil aviation agency Agência Nacional de Aviação Civil (ANAC) launched a tender to concession the airport.


The 28-year concession contract entails finishing construction of the airport –including completing the runways, take-off and taxiing lanes – and will also include building new terminals and operating and maintaining the airport.


Whoever wins the tender will need to pay a canon of at least $33.5 million with an investment of $409 million expected over the contract period, which covers three years for construction and 25 years for operation.


On completion, it will be the largest airport terminal in Latin America and the seventh largest in the world estimated to handle around 3mppa in its first few years of operation, with traffic increasing to 11 million passengers by the end of the concession period.


It will also be the first gateway in Brazil to be privatized. Bids are due on August 22.

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