Carnaval (Mardis Gras) is one of Brazil's most important celebrations
Anyone traveling on an airline in Brazil will land at an airport operated by Empresa Brasileira de Infraestrutura Aeroportuária, or Infraero, the government agency responsible for operating the main Brazilian commercial airports. Millions used Infraero facilities in order to attend the World Cup in 2014, and will do so again in 2016 during the Summer Olympics.
Brazil is a country of enormous dimensions. It is the fifth largest country in the world, both in terms of population and land mass. The Amazon River discharges more water into the sea than the next seven largest rivers in the world, and the river has never been bridged. Brazil boasts the sixth largest economy in the world and by far the largest in Latin America.
Such a vast country requires a vast transportation network, and given the geography of Brazil, air transport has been a key to Brazil’s phenomenal economic and social advancement during the past half century. Brazil has the second largest number of airports in the world, has the fourth largest domestic airline market in the world. Not only has air travel increased rapidly in the past few years, but the economy continues to grow at a far faster pace than the United States and Western Europe.
Keeping Passengers and Freight Moving in Brazil
Managing such an immense and complicated system requires special skills and expertise. According to Infraero, Airports managed by Infraero move 100,000,000 passengers and 1,500,000 tons of cargo annually with about 3,000,000 takeoffs and landings. With a team of 25,000 people and more than 25,000 more jobs created indirectly, Infraero keeps people moving safely and efficiently over the vast expanses of tropical rain forests, mountains and river valleys that make up this beautiful country.
Airplanes move a lot of freight, and Infraero operates the largest logistics terminal in South America and provides reception, depalletization, utilization, movement, and storage services for international and domestic goods. There are 7,600 cubic meters of refrigerated storage space, elevators, wrappers, barcode readers, self-propelled transfers cars, scanners, and other equipment.
Infraero believes that an organization is only as good as its people, and invests significant amounts of money in training and in improving systems. In fact, Infraero is the only Brazilian State Enterprise authorized by the National Civil Aviation Agency (ANAC) to offer specialized training. Infraero also offers its expertise abroad, with projects in Paraguay and the Czech Republic.
Keeping People Connected
In a country as vast and as rural as Brazil, air travel infrastructure plays a vital role in communication and delivery of goods and services to remote areas that would otherwise be isolated. Infraero serves these less populated areas faithfully, some which do not have any commercial air service at all. And all of its stakeholders have access to the office of the Ombudsman, established specifically to provide Infraero’s customers with a point of contact where they can make complaints or suggestions, or seek information. The Infraero website contains a wealth of information, including an extensive FAQ section, where clients can interact with the company. Infraero uses this information to identify improvement opportunities and offer new services to customers.
Technology plays a key role in keeping passengers up to date, using apps that allow anyone to know flight departure and arrival schedules, distance from airports in real time, and the ability to share through SMS, e-mail, Facebook or Twitter. Weather data is also at passengers´ fingertips, along with information about specific airports and tips for improving the air travel experience. It is this constant concern for the client that makes infraero a point of reference for customer service and quality in improving the air travel experience.
Continuous Improvement in Infrastructure and Systems
Along with its growth in air travel comes the need to constantly improve and upgrade, and Infraero has invested billions of dollars in capital improvements throughout the nation. Infraero is self supporting, meaning that none of this investment comes at taxpayer expense. Instead, through careful financial management, the company keeps up with passenger demands by generating revenues through a diverse stream of income such as air cargo storage and customs duties, granting of commercial licenses in airports, boarding and landing fees, and delivery of communication and air navigation auxiliary services.
Brazilians are proud to have hosted the 2014 World Cup and will again be on the world stage as it becomes the first South American country to host the Olympic Games in the summer of 2016. These two events have spurred an enormous amount of activity in air travel infrastructure improvement in the country, with projects in Belo Horizonte, Rio, Natal, Salvador, Brasilia, São Paulo, Porto Alegre, Recife, Campinas and other important urban centers of Brazil. Total investment is expected to be well in excess of $15,000,000,000.
Good Corporate Citizenship is Part of the Corporate Culture
Infraero’s social commitment is evident all over the country. For instance, in São Paulo it manages a program directed at low income neighborhoods where it offers expertise in construction, school improvement, cultural activities and professional training to help provide upward mobility for Brazil’s most disadvantaged citizens. The company even sponsors a local orchestra. Partnering with local governments and NGO’s, Infraero serves more than 10,600 of Brazil’s needy around more than 50 airports throughout the country.
Along with its people, Infraero cares deeply about the environment, and is dedicated to leaving the smallest footprint possible in everything it does. It issues periodic reports on its environmental impact, and follows a transparent and public policy which guides it in the creation and implementation of strategies for building, planning and operation of airport facilities that employ best practices and at all time adhere to strict compliance with applicable legislation. A Superintendence of Environment was created at the headquarters in Brasilia in order to coordinate Infraero’s efforts and help with outreach to the community so that the citizens of Brazil may be better informed partners in helping to keep Brazil clean and green.
Keeping Brazil’s millions of air passengers safe and ensuring the timely delivery of more than a million tons of cargo is a job which requires attention to detail, constant commitment to quality, and the hard work of 50,000 dedicated people. Infraero has been up to the task for decades, and will continue to apply best practices in management, customer relations and quality assurance for decades to come.
Because of its commitment to continuous quality improvement, Infraero has been selected to receive the BID International Star Award for Quality for 2015 at the convention in Geneva.
About BID and the International Star Award for Quality:
BID is a private and independent organization founded in 1984, whose primary activity is business communication orientated towards quality, excellence and innovation in management. A leader in the broadcasting of Quality Culture, BID recognizes those companies and organizations which lead the most important activities in the business world, and is considered the founding organization in the broadcasting of the Culture of Quality, Excellence and Innovation in 179 countries.
The trophy symbolizes a pledge to the principles of Quality Culture. The QC100 Total Quality Management Model, together with the Quality Mix program, media coverage of the convention and its impact on the community and business sector, create an unmatched platform for continuous improvement within the organization and awareness of the achievements of the company at an international level.
Awards are given only to those who are committed to improving their Quality Culture based on the principles of the QC100 Total Quality Management Model. Candidates are proposed by the leaders of previously awarded companies who they consider worthy of the award. Especially meritorious candidates may also be nominated. The International BID Quality Award Selection Committee then chooses the winning companies who will receive the award in New York, Paris, Geneva, Frankfurt, Madrid and London.