Operation Air Bridge completes 90 days with positive performanceOperation Air Bridge completes 90 days with positive performance

The success is the result of the integration and alignment of the security forces and agencies involved in the Operation

Air Force Agency, by Lieutenant Monica Lopes

This Saturday (03/02), Operation Air Bridge completed 90 days of combating the activities of criminal organizations at the Galeão (RJ) and Guarulhos (SP) International Airports. The action is coordinated by the Brazilian Air Force (FAB), through the Aerospace Operations Command (COMAE) and Numbered Air Force 34 (FAN 34), and involves the airport authorities.

The actions of the FAB military, within the scope of the Guarantee of Law and Order (GLO), aimed at acting in collaboration with the activities carried out by the Federal Police (PF), the Brazilian Federal Revenue Service (RFB) and agencies operating at airports, resulted in 1,349 missions, 313 of which were interagency actions in Guarulhos and 374 in Galeão, up to February 3rd. During the period, around 272 kilos of drugs were seized and 36 people arrested.


The missions carried out in the Operation include checking cargo and passenger luggage that is routinely at airports. Another activity is the vehicle search, which consists of an inspection of cars and trucks entering the airport. Personal searches are carried out at the international and domestic gates at strategic times, according to the movement of passengers at the airports. The ostentatious patrol in the lobby is a patrol carried out at sensitive points and in areas of common access.

A special activity that is also part of the list of actions is the sniffing mission. Crucial to the operation, the Air Force’s sniffer dogs, accompanied by their handlers, work in the cargo terminals, on postal consignments and on aircraft.

Veterinary Lieutenant Priscilla Rodrigues Mady Paciullo, a member of the GLO RJ team, explains that the animal’s participation in the search for these illicit items requires training that begins when it is still a puppy and lasts up to two years, when it is able to detect different types of narcotics in different environments. “The dogs go through initial socialization and obedience training, where they learn to live with people, with other dogs, in airport environments, on aircraft, when they are introduced to different noises, as well as acquiring the practice of obeying basic commands, such as sit, lie down, walk next to the handler, play with balls and jaws, and, in the end, return them to the handler. And it’s precisely because of this reward with the toys that they enjoy going to work on the missions with the drivers so much,” he explained.

In all their activities, the military personnel work without hindering the flow of airport operations, guaranteeing tax secrecy and the privacy of travelers, while respecting everyone’s rights.


The preventive and repressive actions carried out by the FAB total more than 5,000 hours of military personnel and sniffer dogs, ostentatious patrols in the lounges, terminals and other areas considered sensitive. So far, the total volume of cargo searched has reached 95,713 m³. FAB military personnel have also searched 98,583 people, 16,530 vehicles and 181 aircraft.

“It has been gratifying to see how this operation has matured. The highlight of these 90 days has certainly been the gradual building of a synergistic relationship between the various agencies involved. And the result of this synergy is very clear when we look at the effort and results indicators,” said the Commander of Operation Air Bridge, from November 6, 2023 to February 2, 2024, Major General Luiz Guilherme da Silva Magarão.


The progress of the operation is the result not only of the unity of capabilities, but also of the sum of values of each of the military forces and agencies involved, in order to fulfill a single objective: guaranteeing public safety.

For the Head of the Special Police Station at Guarulhos International Airport, Federal Police Delegate Dennis Coli, the work of the Brazilian Air Force military at the airport site is very positive. “In 2023, the Federal Police exceeded the number of drugs seized and people arrested in 2022. We had several occurrences of passengers transporting drugs abroad in the most diverse ways, from people who check bags with the narcotic, who mix it in food and other chemical products, such as shampoo, conditioner, wine, as well as people who ingest drug capsules. Without a doubt, Operation Air Bridge has strengthened the Brazilian state’s operations at São Paulo International Airport,” he said.

“The synergy between the teams reflects not only effective cooperation, but also a bond of collaboration that has strengthened since the beginning, highlighting the commitment of the Federal Revenue Service and the Air Force to preserving order and integrity. Joint performance, combining the keen olfactory skills of sniffer dogs with human expertise and effective risk management, emerges as an essential element in optimizing customs operations,” said Deputy Delegate Patricia Miranda de Meneses Bichara Moreira, Customs Officer at Galeão International Airport.


Operation Air Bridge, in its three months of operation, has already degraded the capabilities of criminal organizations, as evidenced by the seizures of illicit goods and arrests of people. Success is also measured by the inhibition of crime, making local airports safer.

For RIOgaleão’s Operations Director, Dimas Salvia, the presence of FAB military personnel at the airport has resulted in a significant increase in passenger safety at the airport. “The partnership with the FAB is a beneficial action for strengthening security at RIOgaleão. With the increase in the number of passengers passing through Tom Jobim International Airport, the initiative lends even more credibility to the work we do,” he said.

Passengers have also noticed the increase in security. “With the presence of the military at the airports, I feel safer to travel,” said José Luiz Ferraz, 67.


The handover of the Number 34 Air Force Command, from Air Major Brigadier Luiz Guilherme da Silva Magarão to Air Brigadier Helmer Barbosa Gilberto, took place on 02/02.

“The Command has changed, but the objective of FAN 34 is the same: cooperation and collaboration in the fight against crime at airports. We will continue to implement joint initiatives, which will result in endless benefits for passengers who demand security,” said the new Commander, Air Brigadier Helmer.


Operation Air Bridge was launched under the Law and Order Guarantee (GLO) decree No. 11.765, of November 1, 2023, with the aim of combating organized crime, disrupting possible illicit routes and increasing passenger safety.

Photos and Video: Sergeant Mônica / CECOMSAER *** Translated by DEFCONPress FYI Team ***

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