Fortaleza Airport recently completed the first stage of large-scale investment. The work that finished at the end of March involved major upgrades and expansion throughout the entire airport. Its completion brings Ceará airport infrastructure to the standards seen at the world’s largest airports.
The German consortium, Fraport Brasil, took over the concession for Fortaleza Airport in January 2018. As part of their contract, the company committed to major investment in the airport infrastructure over a period of two years.
The upgrades have covered almost all the facilities from passenger check-in to the sound system. They also included better traffic access to the airport from Fortaleza. In all, Fraport Brasil has made investment to the tune of R$1 billion.
The aim of the investment was to bring Fortaleza Airport up to international standards and allow for much increased international traffic. In early 2018, the first stages of the work included the expansion of the passenger terminal, both for international and domestic departures.
Later developments moved to better security facilities and new check-in desks. These additions numbered 40 in total with 20 designated for international flights. In tandem with this, work was completed on a new access road to departures from Fortaleza.
Late last year, Fortaleza Airport implemented bar coded boarding pass access. Also part of the technology drive, the Internet of Things has greatly facilitated wifi connections throughout the airport and communications in general.
The completion of works at the end of March signals the end of the first stage. Still pending is the extension of the runway by 210 metres. This will be finished by the end of this year.
“Handling such an important project for the state and country is very gratifying,” said Andreea Pal, President of Fraport Brasil. “We are proud to keep to our side of the agreement and to be able to contribute to local development.”
Reaping the rewards
The R$1 billion investment by Fraport Brasil in Fortaleza Airport has already reaped rewards for Ceará. The upgraded facilities have allowed the expansion of international flights. Air France and KLM designated Fortaleza as one of their international hubs in 2018 and introduced direct flights to Paris and Amsterdam.
They joined destinations such as Miami and Lisbon, while other airlines have followed suite. Between them, they have put the airport well and truly on the international radar. At the end of 2019, the airport received 45 direct flights a week and took 500,000 foreign visitors to Ceará. This represented around 10% of all international tourists visiting Brazil last year.
While air traffic is currently low at Fortaleza Airport due to covid-19 restrictions, Ceará is well placed to welcome the return of visitors. Brazilian holidaymakers will lead the way this summer with international travellers expected later on in the year.
Major investment at the airport continues with the second stage on the horizon. This will undoubtedly mean even better experiences for passengers and more tourism for Ceará in Northeast Brazil.
At BRIC Group, we believe the improvements at Fortaleza Airport have contributed significantly to the area’s prominence on the tourist map. And by extension, this enhances the potential for property investment in the area.
(Source: Diario do Nordeste)