Brazil plans massive airport expansion

A Brazilian aircraft Embraer 175 is seen at the airport next to Embraer's factory in Sao Jose dos Campos, about 100 km east from Sao Paulo, Brazil, on October 17, 2012.

The President of Brazil has announced plans to build at least 800 new regional airports in the country.

There are 194 million people in Brazil and President Dilma Rousseff wants almost all of them to have access to air travel. She says the new airports are necessary for the country's continued economic growth.

The announcement took many people in the country by surprise with some critics saying there's just not the demand to justify this number of airports, especially in the interior.

Brazil has seen strong growth over the last decade but has experienced a slow down recently.

Julia Carneiro is the BBC's correspondent in Rio De Janeiro and says the President's plan appears to be a strong statement that Brazil is able to keep up the growth.

But Carneiro also points out that Brazil's existing airports are in great need of investment so "how to expand and do so in a sustainable manner" without causing further disruption and chaos will be important.

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