2021 ended bringing a new package of changes for Brazilian aviation, which is still suffereing the consequences of the significant demand recudtion caused by the pandemic. The changes were implemented through Provisional Measure (MP) 1,089/21, edited in the context of the Simple Flight Program (Programa Voo Simples), a partnership between the National Civil Aviation Agency (Anac) and the Federal Government created in 2020 to modernize and simplify the national aviationsector.

MP 1,089/21 amended and revoked articles of the Brazilian Aeronautical Code (Law 7.565/86 – CBA), the law that created Anac (Law 11.182/05) and Law 6.099/73, which regulates the use and operation of airports in Brazil. Law 5.862/72, which provides for the creation of the Empresa Brasileira de Infraestrutura Aeroportuária (Infraero), also had a small change, with the extinction of the mandatory intervention of the Federal Government in lawsuits in which Infraero is a party.

The main objective of the changes implemented by MP 1.089/21 is to make issues related to the aeronautical sector less bureaucratic and costly. One of the most significant changes was the revocation of  articles of the CBA that required foreign airlines interested in operating international flights in Brazil to obtain authorization from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (or other competent body) of their country of origin and an operating authorization issued by Anac, as a representative body of the Federal Government.

According to the new provisions, to operate international air transport services, foreign companies must obtain only one operating authorization, to be issued in accordance with regulations issued by Anac. The simplification of the process should attract new investments for the sector and may promote the entry of new airlines into the market, increasing competition and  the provision of services.

Another measure to reduce bureaucracy was the revocation of the CBA article which determined the revalidation of operating authorizations of companies providing domestic air transportation services every five years. It also worth mentioning that the new wording given to Article 40 of the CBA, which now exempts air service providers from the public bidding process for the use of areas for dispatch services, office, workshop, warehouse or shelter, repair and refueling of aircraft. In relation to airports , one of the main amendments was the revocation of Article 34 of the CBA, which required prior authorisation from the aeronautical authority before an airport could be built.

Relevant changes have also been implemented in relation to the concession regime previously applicable to airlines. As a result of the revocation of Articles 177 to 191 of the CBA, the concession regime is no longer applicable and air services will now be considered as economic activities of public interest subject to the regulation of the civil aviation authority in accordance with the new wording of Article 174. The revocation of the above mentioned articles excluded the legal definitions of the concepts of public air service and private air service. According to the new sole paragraph of Article 174, issues relating to sceduled and non-scheduled air services will be regulated with exclusively through regulatory rules issued by Anac, in compliance with the international agreements to which Brazil is a signatory.

In practice, the revocations and amendments to the CBA transferred to Anac the competence to decide on operational and procedural issues through infralegal rules that, in theory, can be changed more easily and, therefore, adapt more quickly to the constant changes required by market dynamics.

MP 1,089/21 also deals with a series of revocations and inclusions of new provisions to simplify aircraft registration and certification procedures and processes at the Brazilian Aeronautical Registry (RAB), as well as creating new categories of civil aviation taxes and inspection fees (TFAC).

The amendments introduced by MP 1089/21 came into force on 30 December 2021 (except for the annex dealing with the new supervisory fees, which will enter into force 90 days after publication). According to constitutional rules, the provisional measure must be converted into law within 60 days from its issuance, being such period extendable once for another 60 days if the voting process  in the Senate and the House of Representatives has not been completed. If the legislative decree is not issued within the legal period, the provisional measure loses effectiveness, and only the acts performed during its validity will remain governed by it.

The Brazilian aviation sector is still recoveringand the changes introduced by MP 1,089/21 indicate a willingness of the Federal Government and Anac to reduce bureaucracies in the sector to boost activities and enable the survival of airlines and other air service companies.