The role of the FAB at airports in the context of the GLOThe role of the FAB at airports in the context of the GLO

Topics on the subject involving the performance of the Institution in conjunction with other security forces to combat organized crime

Air Force Agency, by Lieutenant Marize Torres

Based on Decree No. 11.765, of November 1, 2023, which involves security forces acting to combat organized crime through the Guarantee of Law and Order (GLO), the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) was called in by the Federal Government to act at Tom Jobim International Airport – Galeão (RJ) and São Paulo International Airport – Guarulhos (SP), from November 6, 2023 to May 3, 2024. The aim of the mission is to strengthen the fight against drug trafficking, weapons and other illicit conduct through preventive and repressive actions.

The Commander of the Operation for the Brazilian Air Force (FAB), Major General Luiz Guilherme da Silva Magarão, explains ten points about the operation. Check them out:

1) Basic premises

Increasing society’s perception of security and fighting organized crime in a way that can degrade the capacity for any type of illicit activity, such as transporting drugs, weapons, ammunition, among others. Another premise is respect for society. The FAB’s actions are being carried out as discreetly as possible, always respecting the privacy and integrity of each passenger, without interfering with the flow of aircraft or coming and going.

2) Main actions

The main actions are restricted to the area of property, as delimited by the GLO, inspection of suspicious cargo or passengers who are in the routine of airports. The aim is to join forces with the Federal Revenue Service and the Federal Police. Operations in the airport lounge are carried out as a kind of patrol, with or without dogs, and patrols at sensitive points in the airports, whether these are vulnerable access points or navigation aids.

3) Institutions involved

The Federal Police, the Federal Highway Police, the Federal Revenue Service, the National Health Surveillance Agency, the Military Police and the Civil Police, as well as agencies that operate at airports, in this case GRU Airport in Guarulhos and Rio Galeão in Rio de Janeiro and, depending on how the airport operates on a day-to-day basis, other agents may work together. Access to Guarulhos Airport is supervised by the Federal Highway Police, while in Rio de Janeiro it is by the Military Police.

4) Armed Forces

Within the scope of the GLO, the Armed Forces act in a unique way. The Brazilian Navy and the Brazilian Army are operating on the borders and can call on the FAB for air support, either to transport troops or to use, for example, surveillance equipment such as remotely piloted aircraft.

5) Air Force Police (FAB Security Police)

They carry out searches of luggage, cargo and passengers, using dogs, i.e. sniffing. Also, in these same areas, patrols in the lounges aimed at deterrence and, in the case of sensitive points, with the presence of vehicles and armed military personnel acting periodically.

6) Surveillance and patrol aircraft

Only if required by another GLO actor, such as the Federal Police and the Brazilian Navy, which have already expressed an interest in using this equipment. The FAB has made its resources available and, if necessary, will call in the Aerospace Operations Command for coordination.

7) Specificities of Rio de Janeiro and Guarulhos Airports

Although the FAB operates with similar actors at both airports, each airport has its own peculiarities and the way in which the agencies operate there. So it’s possible that the way the FAB works with the Receita Federal and the Polícia Federal at Galeão airport has a certain scope and at Guarulhos airport another. In addition, access to the airports is different. The Galeão airport is controlled by the Military Police and the Guarulhos airport is controlled by the Federal Highway Police, which changes the way the FAB must act.

The administration of Galeão Airport already works in partnership with Galeão Air Base, while Guarulhos Airport works in partnership with São Paulo Air Base. Thus, there is already a prior relationship in the context of GLO.

8) Airport routine

The aim of the operation is to interfere as little as possible with the routine of the airports, with passengers, which is why synergy with other actors is important. The main aim is to adopt a cooperative stance, adding to the efforts already being made by other agents in the airport routine. The FAB is basically reinforcing what is already done on a daily basis at the airport.

*** Translated by DEFCONPress FYI Team ***

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