On 31 August 2009 the state airport management agency Infraero unveiled a R$ 5.3 billion (approx. €3 billion, £ 2 billion, US$2.5 billion) investment plan to upgrade airports of ten of the venue cities, increasing their capacity and comfort for the hundreds of thousands of tourists expected for the Cup. A significant amount (55.3%) of the money will be spent overhauling the airports of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. The investment figure covers works to be carried out up to 2014.
To try to improve the airports renovation and expansion projects for the World Cup, the Brazilian government has started a plan to privatize some airports. Currently 3 airports have already been handed over to the private sector out of 5 initially planned: Guarulhos(GRU), in São Paulo, Viracopos(VCP) in Campinas and Brasilia International Airport(BSB); Galeão in Rio de Janeiro and Confins in Belo Horizonte may also be handed over soon. All the private concession bid winners will have to invest a significant amount of money to meet the requested expansion projects; these projects will be funded by the Brazilian Government Development Bank(BNDES).
For Natal, the private sector has already won a bid to build a new airport for the city, located at the metropolitan region in São Gonçalo do Amarante; it may be ready for the World Cup 2014. The main airport runway was already completed before the bid and the airport project works already started. The government will be responsible for building the access route to the new airport. All projects will be ready on April 2014, according to the government.
The announcement by Infraero came in reply to criticism made by the Brazilian General Aviation Association, a grouping of private aircraft owners, that Brazil’s airports currently could not cope with the World Cup inflow. The vice-president of the association, Adalberto Febeliano, told reporters that more than 500,000 football fans were expected, with each one taking between six and fourteen flights during the tournament to get to the games in various cities. In May 2010, the Government of Brazil changed the bidding legislation to allow more flexibility to Infraero