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Brazil beefs up airports for Confed Cup
Brazil is beefing up the number of staff and plane slots at its airports to ensure smooth travel for fans and teams headed to the Confederations Cup, a dry run for the 2014 World Cup, according to officials.
Air traffic will be a major challenge during the June 15-30 event with an estimated 335,000 passengers expected to visit the six host cities in addition to Sao Paulo, home to the country's main international airport.
To meet the heightened demand, the government launched a plan to ensure safety and quality customer service for incoming travelers, Civil Aviation Minister Moreira Franco told reporters on Thursday.
To avoid congestion and delays, the number of aircraft slots are being increased 140 percent to 1,153, said Guilherme Ramalho, another civil aviation official.
Authorities are also beefing up by 77 percent the number of air traffic personnel.
The Confederations Cup will be held in six of the 12 cities that will host next year's World Cup: Belo Horizonte, Brasilia, Fortaleza, Recife, Rio de Janeiro and Salvador.
In addition to airports in those cities, 27 regional airports will serve as backups in case of inclement weather.
Air traffic will be temporarily restricted over the host cities to accommodate flights transporting competing teams and officials.
The coming weeks will see a series of test flights simulating the arrivals of authorities, teams and special guests.
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