Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Преступление и наказание

Преступление и наказание, things they've never heard of in Brasilia.

In 2005, I published a chapter called "Por uma nova logística nacional" in this book. Easy money... I wrote the plain obvious: the federal government is broke. Everything needs to be privatized, starting by the airports, in order to keep things going.

Also in 2005, a study I conducted with Fabio, a former masters student, and Cristian, a London Business School Economist, came out in the Journal of Air Transport Management, downloadable here. The whole planet, except Brazil and perhaps China, has seen deregulation, decentralization, privatization, market forces take over the soaring demand for air travel.

But over here in our jungles, our weak, populist, demagogue, president, will always respond with ideology. Never decide by looking at the sheer plain naked data. His omission and lack of leadership have created an incredible circus in which authorities from ANAC, INFRAERO, the ministry of defense, the airlines, the air traffic controllers, among many many others, can't speak the same language. We've had, 10 months ago, an impossible accident, a Hollywood-style mid-air crash in the middle of the Amazon; something of unbelievable, epic, proportions. Now, after months of an intensifying crisis and countless small incidents, the obvious happened. Around 200 people are dead, in the heart of São Paulo.

The news today was pathetic. All authorities have denied problems. The laws of physics were claimed not to hold, as an official, with a straight face, explained to reporters that it was "impossible for a plane to slip over the landing track"--an event that had happened the day before the tragedy.

In the end, the dead will be at fault. The pilots will be claimed to be responsible. The pilots can't defend themselves now, can they? "So sad, it was human error", they'll say. Over here, nobody is ever held responsible for anything.

Brazil stands before a decision. Either the president falls, or more planes will.

So here's some hoping for Преступление и наказание.