Sorocaba airport-based corporate chief pilot and operations manager captain Mario Silva has started flying again after the pandemic. But more than that, he is involved in setting up the Brazilian airport for instrument approaches, and gaining approvals so it can start international operations.
On 15 July 15 last year, the Sorocaba airport concession was one of 11 auctioned by the state government to Rede Voa, under the name Consórcio Voa NW e Voa SE. The company has plans to increase commercial and business flights and make improvements across the whole network; investments will total R$ 260 million over the 30 years of the new concession. It will be working alongside the Sorocaba Airport Operators Association (ASOS) to enable development of the airport into an international departures and arrivals location and IFR operation.
"ASOS is working with the new owner, and we hope to have it all approved by the end of this year," says Silva. "At the airport we have Falcons and Globals that could depart to and arrive from overseas because the airport operates 24 hours a day. At the moment all operators need to reposition their aircraft at Campinas or Guarulhos, as they are the international airports. But we could equally facilitate these turn arounds, and it would be less expensive than it is for them today."
Sorocaba airport is just 100 km from São Paulo and is dedicated to maintenance and flight operations. It is home to Dassault and Embraer-owned maintenance facilities, alongside other companies offering support services for Dassault and Embraer aircraft.
In June this year, Embraer inaugurated its new Sorocaba service centre hangars, doubling the useful area from 20,000 sqm to 40,000 sqm, with three hangars dedicated to MRO services and one to support FBO operations. This new capacity will support current and future demand in the executive jet segment but also commercial and defence aviation customers.