Brazil Table of Contents
Air travel is very important for a country the size of Brazil. It has 3,581 airports, 3,024 of which are usable. The airports include 436 with permanent-surface runways, two with runways more than 3,659 meters long, twenty-two with runways 2,440 to 3,659 meters, and 598 with runways 1,220 to 2,439 meters. Principal international airports include the Campo Grande Airport, the Rio de Janeiro Airport, the Guarulhos Airport in São Paulo, and the Guararapes Airport in Recife.
Brazil has thirty-six deep-water ports. The largest ones are Belém, Fortaleza, Ilhéus, Imbituba, Manaus, Paranaguá, Porto Alegre, Recife, Rio de Janeiro, Rio Grande, Salvador, Santos, and Vitória. With the possible exception of Argentina and Uruguay, ocean-shipping arrangements are easier to the United States and Europe than to the rest of Latin America. In January 1993, the Brazilian Congress approved legislation that could allow for the privatization of the nation's ports. Brazil's major port, in terms of the value of exports and imports, has long been Santos, São Paulo State, followed by the ports of Rio de Janeiro and Vitória. Although all three ports handle some trade with other Latin American countries, they traditionally have handled more trade with Europe and the United States, and the Japanese presence has been increasing. Santos is Latin America's largest port. Located seventy-two kilometers south of São Paulo, it handles a daily average of 50,000 tons cargo. In 1994 Santos handled its largest volume of cargo since it first started operations in 1892. A total of 3,960 ships with 31.4 million tons of cargo passed through the port in 1994.
Data as of April 1997