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Brazilian appeals court reverses airplane ban

An appeals court on Wednesday overturned a ban on large passenger jets at Brazil’s busiest airport that had been set by a judge citing safety concerns.
/ Source: The Associated Press

An appeals court on Wednesday overturned a ban on large passenger jets at Brazil’s busiest airport that had been set by a judge citing safety concerns.

The federal court ruled the ban on three types of planes was too harsh because it would have severe economic ramifications, and that there were not enough safety concerns to prevent the planes from landing and taking off at Congonhas airport.

The court sided with Brazilian Civil Aviation Authority, or ANAC, which said that measures are being taken to improve a runway that has proven too short for some jets when it rains heavily.

On Tuesday, a federal judge issued an injunction banning Fokker 100s, Boeing 737-800s and Boeing 737-700s from the airport, which handles domestic flights from all parts of Latin America’s largest nation.

Officials said the ban would have affected 10,000 passengers a day and caused severe delays across Brazil. Brazil’s two largest airlines — Tam Linhas Aereas SA and Gol Linhas Inteligentes SA — would have been forced to divert many planes to airports outside of Sao Paulo.

The injunction said the airport’s main runway needs to be extended 388 meters (1,275 feet) to provide an adequate safety margin for the three aircraft — the largest planes that use Congonhas.