Brazilian Airports Unlikely To Be Ready For 2014 World Cup

A study by Brazil's Economic Research Institute released on Thursday stated that it is unlikely that Brazil's airports will be ready in time for the 2014 World Cup. The study went as far as stating that "ten (airports) would be operating in critical situation." The study recommended sweeping changes of the airports' investment programs for there to be any chance of getting the airports completed on time.

''If the usual timelines for infrastructure projects in Brazil are maintained, 10 of the 13 passenger terminals will not be completed by 2014,'' the report said, adding that ''the low efficiency in the execution of investment programs is worrisome.''

Brazil is in the midst of massive infrastructure upgrades so they can host the 2014 World Cup and the airport issue join delays in stadium building as early warning signs about the country's ability to host the world's biggest sporting event. Brazil is investing $20 billion in infrastructure improvements not just for the World Cup, but for the 2013 Confederations Cup and 2016 Olympics. Of that, $3 billion is earmarked for airports that are expected to serve 600,000 visitors for the month-long tournament 

Brazil's substandard airport infrastructure was one of the greatest concerns when it was awarded the right to host the World Cup not only because they require massive renovations, but because the country is so large that airport travel is the only way to make it from most cities in the country to another. The Brazilian Football Federation and organizing committee had already expressed their concern about the delays in airport renovations and the government study is just the latest question mark in Brazil's building project.

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff addressed the issue a few weeks ago, saying that the upgrades to the airports would be opened up to private investment to ensure they are finished by the summer of 2014. She also stated that a civil aviation ministry would be created to oversee the civil aviation agency and airport authority, but it is unclear when the ministry would be created or how much it will help the situation.

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