Brazil Launches a Profound Reform of its Aviation Sector to Boost its Growth

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After more than 70 meetings, the Brazilian government launched yesterday the «Simple Flight» (Voo Simples) program, with 52 initiatives to simplify civil aviation and promote the growth of the sector for professionals, aircraft operators, educational institutions and small airlines.

The program, launched under the wing of the National Civil Aviation Agency (ANAC) and the Ministry of Infrastructure (Minfra) brings structural improvements to the sector with a focus on simplifying procedures, aligning with international standards, increasing connectivity and fostering a new business environment, maintaining the high levels of security required.

“We are launching initiatives that seek to reduce the weight of the State in the general aviation sector, which represents 97% of the total aircraft registered in the country and encompasses strategic sectors for the Brazilian economy, such as cargo transport, air taxi and operations aero agricultural”, said the Minister of Infrastructure, Tarcísio Gomes de Freitas

ANAC CEO Juliano Noman explained that air connectivity, especially in the most remote regions, will also benefit. “Air transport gains connectivity with the simplification of the aerodrome registration process in the Legal Amazon. We are also creating a regulatory framework for amphibious operations, guaranteeing a jump in mobility to places that need transportation services», said Noman.

The requirements for air taxi companies are still being simplified, balancing regulation appropriately to the size of each company. The idea is to allow new small operators to enter the market so that, at a lower cost, they could provide air transport services, increasing the mobility offer in less crowded areas, while maintaining safety standars.

One of the most relevant points of Voo Simples is the simplification of aircraft manufacturing, import or registration processes. Currently, this requires many phases and it can take months to import and register an aircraft in the country. With this simplification, small businesses serving remote locations will have more agility in service delivery.

The program also brings initiatives that will help agribusiness and aero-agricultural aviation, which is in charge of fumigating the products in the plantations. Regarding aircraft maintenance, the idea is to allow the use of a mechanical maintenance assistant, under remote supervision, for the aero-agricultural operation.

This will allow an aviation mechanic closest to the aircraft to provide the necessary services quickly, without the need, as it is today, to transfer a mechanic from a maintenance center, which can take days or even weeks.

«Voos Simples» will revoke a series of regulations dated 30 years ago.

What changes from now on?

More testing locations

– Currently, only 13 ANAC offices in seven states are qualified to test for pilot, commissioner, mechanic and dispatcher licenses. This number should be expanded to all states in the federation, with more than 50 locations in 2020.

Extended simulator

– Nowadays, depending on the type of aircraft that the pilot flies, it is necessary to carry out simulator training once every 12 months, now this period can be extended to 24 months.

Lifetime license

– Aeronaut qualifications, such as instrument flight qualifications, type qualifications to operate in a specific aircraft or class of aircraft, are currently renewed on an annual or semi-annual basis. With “Voo Simples” they would not expire, requiring only the initial practical test and approval.

– Another update is that it will not be necessary to wait for the qualification process to be approved and published in the system by ANAC; after approval, the aeronaut will be able to fly in the aircraft with the qualification obtained.

Reduce bureaucracy for companies in the sector

– Many of the requirements for air operators such as airlines and air taxis are the same, regardless of their size (but depending on the type of operation, be it regular, special air service or commercial flights). Now, the government will be able to adapt these requirements to the size of the company, making the process easier for small aviation companies.

New businesses such as commercial drone flights, executive jet flight sharing and other businesses that are not yet regulated, can be marketed even without the provision in the regulation;

– The aircraft registration process will now be completely digitized and simplified.

Differentiated training for copilots and captains

– Today, the technical training on the aircraft is the same for co-pilots and captains, with practically the same cost for the company. Now, according to the government, these processes will be differentiated, reducing costs and allowing greater opportunities for pilots who are starting their careers.

Simplified medical certificate

– Today, the Aeronautical Medical Certificate can only be performed in accredited clinics in Brazil, now with «Voo Simples» medical examinations performed in other countries, such as the United States, can be accepted.

– Another point raised by President Jair Bolsonaro is that the Medical Certificate can be made by any doctor instead of only clinics and doctors accredited by the ANAC. But for this, the president said that it will need to be approved by Congress, which «has the power to make life easier for the Brazilian people.»

No passenger list

– Currently there is a large list of mandatory documents that must be on board the aircraft during the flight. You will no longer need all of these mandatory documents, but a more succinct list. An example is the end of the passenger list requirement on non-commercial flights. All other documents will be migrated to digital format.

Private airports with commercial flights

– Brazil is one of the few countries that prohibits regular commercial passenger flights at airports that are not governmental or run by the state. With “Voo Simples”, private airports, such as Catarina Airport, in Greater São Paulo, could receive flights from airlines or air taxis on regular routes.

Prior authorization for the construction of airports

– The “Voo Simples” plan should also end the prior authorization for the construction of airports. Now, it is proposed that the aerodrome certification is only necessary once the works are completed.

Amphibious operation

– Currently there is no specific regulation on amphibious operation (when the aircraft can operate on land or water runways, such as rivers, lakes or seas). Now, it would be possible to operate in Brazilian waters with this type of aircraft, including commercial flights, in order to increase connectivity in the Legal Amazon region.

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Edgardo Gimenez Mazó
Cofundador de Aviacionline.com. Redactor en Aviación Comercial e Infraestructura. Director Comercial. Lic. en Marketing. Especialización en Gestión Aeroportuaria. Egresado de la Escuela de Educación Técnica Aeronáutica N°32 de Resistencia.

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