The Grantee invites submission of qualifications and proposal data (collectively referred to as the “Proposal”) from interested U.S. firms that are qualified on the basis of experience and capability to execute Technical Assistance (TA) for the Santos Dumont Airport Safety Assessment and Improvement Plan.
Santos Dumont Airport (“SDU”) is operated by the parastatal Brazilian Airport Infrastructure Company (Empresa Brasileira de Infraestrutura Aeroportuária, or “Infraero”). In the mid-2022, SAC intends to publish a tender for the concession of SDU, whereby SAC would grant a concession to an operator for a period of 30 years. It is anticipated that the tender would be awarded in late 2022, and the selected concessionaire would replace Infraero as the operator of the airport.
SDU is currently at capacity and demand is expected to increase by an additional five million passengers by 2030 (pre-pandemic demand projection). Increasing SDU’s airside capacity is a top priority. SAC requested assistance from USTDA in identifying technologies and investments that would enable SDU to increase airside operations and passenger growth at the airport in a way that complies with applicable safety standards and certification requirements.
About the Grantee
SAC was established in 2011 to lead all federal activities in the aviation sector, while facilitating state and local involvement in airport development. SAC coordinates and supervises activities related to the strategic development of the civil aviation sector, as well as aeronautical and airport infrastructure (including feasibility studies). Under the Grant Agreement and the Terms of Reference, SAC would be responsible for coordinating and ensuring any necessary participation of Infraero, ANAC and DECEA in managing the TA.
About the Technical Assistance
The TA will develop a safety assessment and improvement plan to address existing safety issues in the short term, while facilitating future passenger and airside operations growth in a way that meets safety standards and federal airport certification requirements promulgated by the Brazilian National Civil Aviation Agency (Agência Nacional de Aviação Civil, or “ANAC”), and the Department of Airspace Control (Departamento de Controle do Espaço Aéreo or “DECEA”). SDU will need to meet these certification requirements in order to increase take-off and landing slots and augment the hourly capacity of its runway system. In light of the planned tender in the mid-2022 and planned awarding of the tender in late 2022, the TA is structured in two phases, as follows:
Phase I: Benchmark Analysis and Financing Options
Phase I of the TA is estimated to be completed before the tender is published in the mid 2022, and will conclude with a public report on the airside development and (applicable) expansion scenarios and the baseline investment analysis (as further described below), to determine the asset valuation of SDU and to identify the improvements that will be required as part of the tender.
Phase I of the TA would address existing safety deficiencies that include inadequate runway conditions and spatial issues. Principally, Phase I would provide an assessment on how to increase airside operations and passenger growth while maintaining safety requirements. Given that SDU is located on the city’s coastline and the airport is surrounded by water on three sides, physical expansion of the runways is difficult. As such, technologies including engineering materials arresting systems (“EMAS”), air traffic flow management tools, and surface radar, can help to optimize aircraft operations. The TA would also assess potential alternatives for repurposing the access roads within the airport premises.
Phase I would also include an analysis of the expansion of the SDU terminal complex. Expansion alternatives include a new terminal departure and arrivals facility with air bridges, new baggage systems, and new climate and operational controls, among others. There might also be the need for additional ground handling equipment and fire and rescue equipment. The analysis will provide SAC a benchmark to evaluate proposals submitted by prospective concessionaires, including equipment and systems requirements, implementation strategy, life cycle costs, and financial forecasts including cash flow and metrics.
Phase I also includes the development of a 20-year benchmark financial model that will assist SAC with evaluating concession bids. The model will enable SAC to assess proposed uses of various financing structures including equity components, debt structures including debt service, foreign exchange risks, capital repatriation, and allow for a useful means to compare financial plans offered by competing concessionaires. The financial model can later serve as a guide during Project implementation, as well as the basis for Project performance measurement after the concession becomes operational.
Phase II: Investment Plan
Phase II would begin immediately upon completion of Phase I, and is expected to be completed by late 2022. The results of Phase II (and of the full TA) will inform the final airside and terminal recommendations and investment plan (including an implementation plan) that could be used by the selected concessionaire in implementing the Project.
The U.S. firm selected will be paid in U.S. dollars from a $651,910 grant to the Grantee from the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA).