Shaken with Air Tragedy Brazil Tells the World to Mind Own Business

Infraero's president José Carlos Pereira Brigadier José Carlos Pereira, the president of the Brazilian airport authority, Infraero, seemed annoyed this Monday, July 23, when reacting to the suggestion by Ifatca (International Federation of Air Traffic Controller’s Associations) that the international community should intervene to help Brazil solve its air transportation crisis.

Ifatca has stated that the Brazilian government doesn't have the capacity to get out of this mess without international assistance.

"There are some morons out there willing to interfere," said Pereira, irritated. "Brazil doesn't need international help. They should look after their own air space and we will take care of ours."

The brigadier, however, admitted that the Brazilian authorities have made some mistakes while trying to solve the Brazil's air crisis,  which became evident on September 29, when a Boeing 737 collided with a Legacy executive jet over the Amazon killing all 154 people aboard the Boeing. The situation just exacerbated last Tuesday, July 16, when another plane accident left at least 200 dead.

Infraero president said that he knows that authorities will have to deal with their own mistakes. And added: "It certainly was a tragedy, but it was our tragedy. For sure we've made mistakes, but we are going to solve them cutting our own flesh."

Pereira also dismissed the criticism to the reopening of Congonhas to traffic just a few hours after the tragedy:  "It's easy to blame the Congonhas airport for the accident. The plane can't brake and the culprit is the runway." He also protested against an action by the Public Prosecutor's Office demanding that Congonhas be closed: "This just disrupts air traffic even more."

Meanwhile, Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva reiterated today that in 90 days, the Conac (Civil Aviation Council) will present a proposal and a location to build a new airport in São Paulo. As for the causes of the accident, he stated that "there is no chance that the truth won't come to light."

For the president, it's still too early to point fingers and people should wait for an analysis of the black boxes contents that have been sent to the United States.

Lula called on Brazilians to not recklessly judge anyone. "I think," said Lula, "that all premature judgment is, I would say, almost irresponsible. In a time such as this, when there is a tragedy, the best thing we have to have is prudence to investigate correctly instead of start making inferences, blaming someone or acquitting someone else".

Lula also repeated that Congonhas should have less flights and that all connection flight there should end. "We will try to make a new airport to lower the chances of a new tragedy," he said.

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