quinta-feira, 24 de abril de 2008

Mysterious power which intoxicates good sense

Mysterious power which intoxicates good sense :: Cláudio Magnavita

The external signs that something strange is going on at the National Civil Aviation Agency(Anac) are already emanating. The new commissioners have already ended the transparency process of publishing the complete minutes of the commissioners' meetings. They are now adopting only the summaries, covering up a strange table of voting results, which always result in a score of 5 to 0 or 4 to 1.

At the agency's heart there appeared signs that there was a thinking head. That would be brigadier Allemander Pereira, ex-head of the former Civil Aviation Department (DAC) and one of the people with the largest technical knowledge of those currently at the agency. He was the first commissioner nominated in the current commission, and was responsible for the process of succession at the agency, establishing a cordial and polite relation with the outgoing president, Milton Zuanazzi.

Living in the Solange Viera era, brigadier Allemander began to go through a bad time, principally because the agency has been occupied by loyal sheep, who only say amen to the new president's whims. One episode exemplified the climate of arrogance that came to rule the new Anac. It is an act that has already become folklore in the barracks. The brigadier entered the president's office, and she, without raising her head or looking at the visitor, shot off, "Brigadier, I don't remembering ordering you to be called...". Politely he turned around and left to record to his friends an act of profound discourtesy and inelegance.

It is on this same note that the agency threatens to place Brazilian aviation in danger by permitting dangerous plunges, such as freeing rate limits, from $400 up, for flights to Europe and the United States. In this case, it would not be similar to what happened in the Southern Cone of the continent, where the companies were on the same level. On the other side of the line are airlines that don't depend on these routes. Brazil represents less than 1% of the income of American Airlines. It can afford the luxury of flying at a loss on this route, without going broke. But for a Brazilian company, which has its flights to the USA as the spine of its international billing, it can have a strong effect on its health if it flies in the red.

On the European routes, the Portuguese TAP and the Brazilian TAM would be seriously harmed. As to Air France, Lufthansa and British Airways, which have the lucrative North Atlantic traffic, they can fly to Brazil at a loss, just to gain market share.

For there to be fare freedom, all are in principal in favor, as long as there is a level playing field. The costs of leasing, of insurance and even of fuel are much different for the giants than for a company that has little more that 100 planes.

In the midst of the VarigLog crisis, Anac has been dangerously absent, allowing a foreigner to be in charge of, for the first time, a Brazilian aviation firm. The Brazilian company sees its clients being transferred in vampiric fashion to Arrow, Matlin Patterson's own American airfreight firm, which should take over the cargo flights to Miami. There is not a single inspector worried about defending the national interest. What is said now is that coastal [domestic] navigation will be allowed to international cargo firms, which can then sell and transport cargo within the country.

Besides opening Brazil to cargo transport by foreign firms, Anac decided to indicate as Brazil's permanent representative to the International Civil Aviation Authority (ICAO), a polemical figure: Alex Romera (author of the incestuous Anac Fair). Even without being fluent in either English or French, he drew the winning ticket to live in Montreal. Romera was defenestrated from Defense by then-minister José Alencar, after trying to impose, along with his good friend Denise Abreu, a presidential decree to divide Varig between Tam and Gol. Ex-director of Embratur [the government tourism bureau] in the government of the PSDB party, Romera is a rare case of survival. In the military area, he has accumulated at least a hundred facts which demonstrate his widely known "competence" and Brasilianness.

The magnetizing beauty of Solange Vieira, who is already being considered the muse of the regulatory agencies, has had an almost hypnotic power over minister Nelson Jobim, who doubles over to the whims and the charm of his aide, granting all her requests. There were even attempts by Solange to keep under her wings the command of the National Aviation Secretariat commanded by active brigadier Jorge Godinho, who diplomatically knew how to brake the interferences that almost became the brunt of jokes among the military.

If brigadier Allemander leaves Anac, the country will lose an important counterweight, which has been vital for the existence of good sense within the agency. It would be the victory of an inexplicable force, capable of melting hearts and corroding a sector which now lives under the threat of the enthroning of foreign capital and presence.

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