Brazil to Build 800 New Airports and Take Bullet Train from Drawing Board

Brazil's Bullet Train Talking in Paris, Brazil's president, Dilma Rousseff, told reporters her government intends to build approximately 800 regional airports in Brazil. According to the president, the project considers that each city with over 100,000 inhabitants should have an airport within a 60-kilometer range.

"It is a necessity, and it is also important to the country's growth," Dilma told French businessmen after attending the seminar Challenges and Opportunities of a Strategic Partnership, in the French capital.

Dilma discussed the importance of privatizing major airports and increasing the qualification of the Brazilian Airport Infrastructure Company (Infraero) and stressed the need to expand inland air transport in a continent-sized country such as Brazil.

The president stressed the need to strengthen regional aviation in the country, "differentiating it from long-range aviation."

In addition to airports at a maximum distance of 60 kilometers from municipalities with up to 100,000 inhabitants, Dilma said airports must be built at the country's main tourist spots, and said the government has sufficient funds to do so.

"We have the funds for it - and some of them originate from the very concession fees we charge from major airports," she said.

At the meeting with the French businessmen, the Brazilian president also discussed the High-Speed Rail, which will be built to connect Campinas and São Paulo to Rio de Janeiro.

Dilma confirmed that up until Thursday (13th), the government should float a tender for the first phase of the high-speed rail. Last week, the Federal Court of Auditors approved the tender, with qualifications.

"Tomorrow we will take a decisive step, because the high-speed rail, which will be tendered in two phases, will have its first phase - the technology tender. In it, the technology to be adopted and the rail operator will be tendered; after that, there will be a tender for the construction itself," said Dilma.

She also said that throughout 2013, all pending transport sector tenders will be floated. After her trip to Paris, Dilma left for Moscow, where she should meet with the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, and prime minister, Dmitri Medvedev. She is scheduled to return from Russia on Saturday, December 14.

ABr

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