U.S., Brazil Sign Aviation Deal

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News that Boeing and Embraer will cooperate on future unspecified development projects is part of a much larger package of cooperation between Brazil and the U.S. to help the emerging South American country modernize and expand its air transportation system. The U.S. Trade and Development Agency announced Monday an interagency effort that will allow U.S. businesses to create new opportunities in Brazil's burgeoning aviation sector. Embraer and Boeing are among the six initial participants in the U.S.-Brazil Aviation Partnership. "We are excited to work together to support the growth of Brazil's dynamic aviation sector and deepen our commercial engagement with Brazil," said USTDA Director Leocadia Zak. Other government departments taking part in the project are the State Department, TSA and FAA, and Brazilian opportunities will be on display later this year.

In October, the USTDA will host a Latin American Aviation Summit in Miami "to introduce hundreds of U.S. aviation company representatives to aviation officials from countries across Latin America." Brazil's expanding economy is fueling aviation industry expansion but the system, which is largely controlled by the military, is not keeping up. High-profile events like the Olympics and World Cup of Soccer are expected to put even more pressure on the system. "Brazil is facing an urgent need to increase its investments in aviation infrastructure in order to accommodate the expected growth," the USTDA news release says. "U.S. companies are eager to connect to the export opportunities created by these investments." There has been some controversy about the relationship between the U.S. and Brazil in aviation matters. A Brazilian court convicted two American pilots of negligence in the midair collision of their Legacy 600 business jet with a GOL Boeing 737 that downed the airliner and the U.S. Air Force recently changed its mind on awarding a $1 billion contract for light air support aircraft to Embraer after Wichita-based Hawker Beechcraft alleged it was unfairly shut out of the competition.