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Last Updated: Tuesday, 24 July 2007, 07:42 GMT 08:42 UK
Brazil rejects outside air help
Brazil plane crash
The 18 July crash has led to doubts about flight security
The head of Brazil's airport authority has dismissed calls for the country to accept foreign help to address concerns over its aviation system.

An international air traffic controllers group said foreign experts should intervene in the wake of the crash in Sao Paulo that killed 199.

A radar outage worsened the air traffic crisis in the country over the weekend.

But Infraero head Jose Carlos Pereira said the proposal was just an attempt to intervene in Brazil's affairs.

Efforts to return Sao Paulo's Congonhas airport to normal are meanwhile being hampered by heavy rain which caused a landslip near the main runway.

They're a bunch of idiots wanting to intervene in our affairs
Jose Carlos Pereira, head of Brazil's airport authority

The head of the International Federation of Air Traffic Controllers' Associations, Marc Baumgartner, said on Monday that Brazil should bring in foreign experts to oversee its aviation system.

He said the Brazilian authorities were trying to save face following the crash at Congonhas and accused them of putting the travelling public at risk.

"We think they need an independent view," he told Reuters news agency. "It has the advantage of being neutral and it has worked before in other countries facing aviation crises."

Chaos and disruption

But his comments prompted a scathing response from the head of the national airport authority.

"They're a bunch of idiots wanting to intervene in our affairs," Jose Carlos Pereira told reporters.

"Brazil doesn't need international help. They should care for their air space and we'll take care of ours."

Air travel in Brazil has been severely disrupted since last September, when a Boeing 737 clipped wings in mid-air with a private jet and crashed in the Amazon jungle, killing all 154 people on board.

Flight delays and cancellations have become routine, as air traffic controllers, fearing they were being blamed for the accident, have staged periodic work slowdowns to protest at what they say they are bad radar and radio equipment and poor pay.

On 18 July an Airbus A320 skidded off the wet runway at Sao Paolo airport and hit a cargo terminal and gas station, killing 199 people.

It was the deadliest air accident in Brazil's history.

Brazil radar fault stops flights
21 Jul 07 |  Americas
Brazil jet thrust reverser 'off'
20 Jul 07 |  Americas
Calls for Brazil airport to close
19 Jul 07 |  Americas
Brazil jet 'too fast on runway'
19 Jul 07 |  Americas
Brazil jet disaster probe begins
18 Jul 07 |  Americas
Brazilian plane crash 'kills 200'
18 Jul 07 |  Americas

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