Airport safety is now under scrutiny in the wake of Brazil’s deadliest air disaster, which killed 200 passengers, crew and ground staff after an Airbus 320 crashed at Sao Paulo’s busiest airport. Angry accusations are now being directed at Cagonhas airport, amid concerns about its short, slippery runways.
For months, congressional hearings have heard complaints from pilots and traffic controllers who have been worried about the conditions of the non-grooved runway.
One day before the accident, which occurred in heavy rains, two other planes had skidded off the runway’s end.
The main runway was resurfaced last month, but more work was scheduled for September to build grooves into the surface to allow for better breaking in rainy conditions.
Brazil’s justice ministry has now ordered an investigation to find out whether the runway met legal and technical security standards.
Brazil’s aviation infrastructure has come under fresh scrutiny after the September crash of a Gol airliner with 154 people on board in the Amazon jungle.
The plane had collided with a small jet in an incident blamed on a deficient air traffic control system.