The Brazilian Government has confirmed that overseas bids for the projected concessions for management of three of Brazil's busiest airports will be welcome.

The draft of the tenders for the bidding on the concessions for Brasília, Viracopos and Guarulhos airports confirms that international bids will be accepted, without any restrictions. The government hopes, however, that international bids will come from conglomerates formed together with domestic companies.

According to Infraero, the three airports in question handle 30% of the country's air passengers, 57% of its air cargo and 19% of all aircraft.

The bidding process is expected to occur on December 2, but could be subject to delay.

Infraero will be able to hold up to 49% of the shares of the companies which win the bidding processes on each of the three airports. The minimum share of the winner will therefore be 51%.

It has been suggested that the winning bidder will be expected to invest R$ 4.2 billion (US$ 2.36 billion) in the airports through until 2013, but it has still not been defined how much will be expected from Infraero.

The airport administration concessions will be for 20 years at Guarulhos, 25 years for Brasília and 30 years for Viracopos.

According to data published by Infraero itself, the number of passengers using Brazil's airports rose 118% between 2003 and 2010. Furthermore, a BNDES study suggests that the country's airports will receive 165 million passengers in 2014 and this number will have grown to 530 million by 2030.

"The participation of foreign investors in the airport concession process should benefit all stakeholders," said Isabel Andrade, Senior Associate at Felsberg e Associados and specialist in aviation law. "These stakeholders are the government, which will leverage its revenues; the passengers, since airport infrastructure will be taken care of by the bidder willing to make the largest investment; and Infraero, which will finally have a private business partner with whom to share the challenging and urgent task of developing Brazil's air transport infrastructure in Brazil."

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