Brasília International Airport (also called Juscelino Kubitschek International Airport) is located in the federal capital city of Brazil. The airport is named after Juscelino Kubitschek de Oliveira, the 21st president of Brazil.
Located 11km (approx) from the city centre, it is one of the busiest airports in the South American country. The airport served 15.39 million passengers, with 189,570 aircraft movements in 2011. It handled 60,975mt of cargo in that same year.
The airport was officially inaugurated in May 1957 and was under the administration of Infraero. In February 2012, the consortium InfrAmerica, consisting of Brazilian construction firm Engevix and Argentinian operator Corporación América, was awarded a 25-year concession for operating and maintaining the airport.
The consortium won the bid for $2.2bn. Infraero will retain 49% shares in the airport.
History and development of Brasília International Airport
The airport was previously called Vera Curz Airport. It was opened in 1955 with a soil runway of 2,700m and a passenger terminal resembling a hut. It was opened in order to have a transport link for the city of Brasilia being built at that time.
Plans for an airport were drawn in 1956 and the construction was completed in 1957, with a 3,300m runway and a wooden passenger terminal.
Major refurbishment of the airport took place in 1990. In the first phase, a passenger terminal and an access viaduct were built. In the second phase, the passenger terminal was renovated so that it included a shopping mall.
Airport expansion projects and investment in time for the FIFA 2014 World Cup
In August 2009, Infraero revealed its plan to upgrade and expand the airport with an investment of $306.06m as part of the country’s preparations for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. The first phase of these renovations included: enlargement of the apron and taxiway, plus refurbishment of the existing passenger terminal. These aims were completed by 2011.
In the second phase, the passenger terminal is scheduled to be expanded with an investment of $2.75m. Estimated to be completed by 2013, the expansion provides the airport with an additional area of 1,200 square metres, which would allow the airport to handle one million more passengers each year. New parking spaces are planned to be constructed by 2014.
The InfrAmerica consortium is required to invest $1.6bn on terminals and parking. The works are divided into two phases. The first phase, with an investment of $410.82m, is scheduled to be completed before 2014. This phase will increase the airport’s built-up area from 80,000square metres to 175,000 square metres, allowing the airport to handle 32 million passengers a year.
Construction of a new 3,300 square metre eight-floor hotel was started in January 2012. The contract worth $32.6m was signed in July 2011. The project is scheduled for completion in 18 months.
Work on a new ramp area, toilets, an inspection room in the landing area, extension of the departure lounge (from 482.89 to 1315.30 square metres) on the satellite remote north of the passenger terminal, is underway. A new elevator will also be installed.
Terminals operational at Juscelino Kubitschek International Airport
The airport consists of two terminals. Terminal one has two levels. The ground level includes arrival gates and a baggage claim area. The first level contains ticket counters, check-in areas, departure gates and a few commercial spaces. The second level consists of theatres, restaurants and shops. The terminal is under expansion and is expected to be completed by the time Brazil hosts the World Cup.
The second terminal was opened in 2010. The old general aviation centre was converted into the new terminal. The terminal includes two banks, a post office, 140 shops and six ATM centres.
The two terminals are connected through a shuttle service.
Runways at the important South American airport
The airport has two runways 11L/29R and 11R/29L, both built of asphalt. The second runway was inaugurated in December 2005.
Parking facilities for the airport serving the federal capital city of Brazil
The parking at the airport currently has 1034 slots for vehicles. New parking spaces are planned to be constructed as a part of airport expansion.