Another Normal Day at Brazil Airports: Cancellations, Delays and Chaos

Congonhas airport in São Paulo, Brazil Chaos in Brazilian civil aviation continues this week. From midnight to 10 am today, 43.6 of all flights in the country were cancelled or seriously delayed. On Monday 38% of flights were delayed and another 20% cancelled according to Infraero, the agency that manages the country's airports.

Since the week end chaos in Brazilian air space seems to have become the rule. Of the 1.637 flights scheduled Monday in Brazilian airports, 625 suffered delays of over an hour and another 328 simply did not take off.

On Saturday morning an electric breakdown knocked out the whole air control system in the north of the country affecting communications with Central and North America and forcing flights to be rerouted.

Problems have cascaded since last Tuesday when an Airbus 320 crashed in Congonhas, São Paulo and Brazil's busiest airport, killing, at the last count, 199 people.

The main landing strip has been since closed and was to be reopened Tuesday but hopes dissipated when heavy rainfall forced the collapse of the end of the runway, precisely where the Airbus shot past crashing into a TAM cargo storage and fuel depot. Congonhas is operating with an auxiliary runway.

Infraero president Brigadier José Carlos Pereira said "security comes first and we must take measures to address the issue. I'm afraid passengers will have to pay for increased security and this means higher air rates."

Pilots from TAM and Gol, the main Brazilian airlines, rerouted several flights from Congonhas to Cumbica arguing they feared to land under rainy conditions (as happened with the Airbus tragedy).

Last Friday, three days after Brazil's worst air accident, Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva said operations in Congonhas will be drastically reduced and promised a new airport for São Paulo, the country's industrial and trade hub.

An estimated three million people will be affected by the closure of Congonhas.

Pereira. who is under intense pressure from the press and opposition, had stated that Brazil can do without any foreign help, but now has softened his stance saying that Brazil welcomes international cooperation but from "competent organizations" such as the International Aviation Organization.



  • Show Comments (9)

  • rem

    Jobs will likely be lost
    Some people are going to lose their jobs over this, pilots included, don’t you think? Not to mention that chaos can cause other serious problems. Obviously, toursits aren’t interested in flying whithin Brazil.

  • Brazilian Dude

    A bit of advice…
    A small suggestion to all international tourists:DON’T COME HERE! You have no idea of the kind of chaos that reigns in Brazil’s airspace.Unfortunately, there is no end in sight to the infernal situation of air traffic over here.The ones responsible don’t give a rat’s ass, telling us there is no crisis, and that the runway at Congonhas is in tip-top shape… OOPS, sorry, it just collapsed in the rain!! Oh, well, but that’s per the norm, believe us, it IS up to international standards…
    The minister of tourism tells the passengers sleeping over at airport lines to “relax and enjoy it” , as in the infamous, “if rape is inevitable…” quip. The minister of defence, senile, blithering old coot, says he “doesen’t see” the existence of a crisis, saying it is all an “emotional problem”. The president’s direct counselor mimes an on-camera “f— you” to the passengers and those that call for governmental action on a crisis caused by inertia.
    If you have several seriously masochistic bones in your body, and want to turn vacations into a nightmare, then feel free to come over.Just be warned that flying here (IF you manage to take off) is sort of like going to the Bates Motel: sure, you check in. But will you check out??
    Aviation here is seriously,SERIOUSLY F.U.B.A.R.

  • doggydaddy

    A little Humour
    Today two motor coachs transporting Pax for ( GOL Airlines) from Congonhas to Cumbica got lost and could not find the international airport! Hope the Brazilian pilots don’t get lost finding their destination airports as well. Any of you that live in SP or have lived here knows that it is a 90% chance that getting into a taxi and expecting the driver to know the way to where you are going is not going to happen.If you don’t know the way to show him you are screwed.and with the meter running full bore!

  • Simpleton

    Stop Frothing at the papo ch-ratsie!
    “Or stated otherwise, Brazil is the biggest Topical Mud on Earth !!!! “

    I’ve got a natural spring fed bio mass right in my own back yard – water is cold though, only 49F. Probably not as big but might get way more popular if I add a couple tubs with a tank heating system for soaking in this natural wonder. I’d call it Topical Mud do Norte. Nothing but LED lit fake palm trees so calling “Tropical” is out of the question. ur SLPN.

  • forrest Brown

    air port , or tourtist traps
    this storie is like what is the best way to boil a toad

    we all have very good ideas , but getting congress

    best idea would be to let it rain and put all people unconcerned on a tam with bad revers thurs units

    and lets see how many want to get on the plane

  • Joáo Pinga

    [quote]Problems have cascaded since last Tuesday when an Airbus 320 crashed in Congonhas, SÀƒ£o Paulo and Brazil’s busiest airport, killing, at the last count, 199 people.[/quote]

    I wish these newsroom writer would wake up and look around them. This line should have been written: “Problems have cascaded since last years Gol/Legacy collission killled 174, and everyone said it was going to happen again but no on ein government cared”

  • ch.c.

    “Obviously, toursits aren’t interested in flying whithin Brazil. ”
    They are also not interested to be robbed, assaulted, raped and killed…..if you dont mind !!!!!

  • ch.c.

    ….everyone should know that the only competent people and experts on this planet are…..BRAZILIANS !!!!!!!
    On all subjects, from poverty reduction, to corruption reduction, to wealth inequality reduction, to housing, infrastructures ande …..just name it ! Of course including aviation and air security expertise.

    – they sent a part of the fuselage, believing it was the flight recorder.
    – New miracle …….collapse of the end of the runway, same as the collapse in the SP metro that created a HOLE of massive and impressive proportion !
    – Brazil has ONLY 10 % of its roads….paved !!!!! Sad….but true !
    – Brazil has abolished slavery in its constitution over 100 years ago, but still has slaves….TODAY !!!!!!
    Of course, no one has ever yet been condemned to jail term for having used slaves, despite your strict laws saying the exact opposite !
    – After 15 interests rates cuts, Brazil still has the World Highest Interests Rates….AFTER INFLATION !!!!

    Ohhhhhh….I could continue for hours !!!!!

    Viva Brazil….the only country that is a mirage economy and not a miracle economy !
    Or stated otherwise, Brazil is the biggest Topical Mud on Earth !!!!

  • doggydaddy

    So the International Asso of Air Traffic Controlers is not compentant to offer help or opinons? Does Pereira think he can just cherry pick what org’s are compentant?

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