Aviation in Natal - early History
An article about the importance of Natal and river Potengi for the development of aviation in Brazil during early 20th century.
Information about the city of Natal, in Brazil.
An article about the importance of Natal and river Potengi for the development of aviation in Brazil during early 20th century.
According to the last figures published by Infraero, Natal is being less and less visited by foreign travelers.
Every year, the federal National Institute for Education Studies and Researches (INEP) subjects students of higher learning institutions to evaluation exams; these exams are known as ENADE (National Exams of Students Performance), and the results, aggregated by institution, are made public (individual results are informed only to the students).
Since June 20th, Brazil has had a new law regarding drinking and driving.
Last week, cell phone operator Claro announced that they would start to offer 3G GSM services in Natal.
On June 13th, the Federal Police conducted an operation which resulted in the enprisonment of 13 people, one of them being Lauro Maia, son of Governor Wilma de Farias (Lauro's father is Lavoisier Maia, currently a State Representative).
Local newspaper Jornal de Hoje published a report about the growing violence in Avenida Roberto Freire, one of the most important in Natal (this is the long avenue which connects highway BR-101 to Ponta Negra beach).
In Brazil, the popsicles (ice creams with a stick) are very popular, particularly in the beaches (see Ponta Negra beach), and particularly with tourists; popsicles are cheap, clean (when properly produced and wraped - avoid the R$ 0.50 popsicles which are sold unpacked) and help relief the heat.
The mayor of Natal issued a decree declaring the city to be in State of Emergency; see report by Tribuna do Norte; see also report by Diario de Natal informing that more than 50 cities in the State are also under State of Emergency.
Newspaper Tribuna do Norte published today, December 30th, an article called "Lack of planning is the biggest problem of tourism in Rio Grande do Norte".
Note from Natal-Brazil: last year (2007) was quieter than the previous one (2006); and this year, so far, is quieter than last year. Natal is still sunny, beautiful, cheap and peaceful, and this downtrend can turn out to be benefic for visitors.
"The charter flight coming from England is 15 hours late. This is not news neither for the passengers embarking in London, nor for the staff of Infraero (airport management) which work in Natal.
But there is one thing which surprises Gina Robinson, a representative of the Secretary of Tourism of Rio Grande do Norte who arrives in the flight: a escalator which goes the wrong way. When passengers disembarked, at 5 am in the morning, there was nobody to provide assistance, and the only way to get upstairs was climbing the escalator which was rolling down. As the passengers were not used to open doors without authorization, they were surprised to see Gina calling for someone from staff to open the doors and start working with the luggage.
And there are more things in the Airport Augusto Severo that need fixing. The air conditioning, for example, has been broken for months (in a city where temperatures about 100 degrees F or 35 degrees C are common); the cost of fixing it would be R$ 200 thousand (about US$ 110 thousand), but Infraero doesn't seem to have the money (the boarding tax in Brazil, which goes entirely to Infraero, is one of the highest in the world). According to Mário Barreto, President of Via Costeira Hotels Association, the airport is a wreckage.
One of the reasons is the lack of planning. The tourism authorities are trying to raise numbers for a report about the number of tourists coming to Natal, but not even this seems easy. Once again, there are talks about a joint action between the city and the State (someone discovered that there are no bus lines between the airport to the city, which obliges passengers to pay outrageous taxi fares or pay for closed packages to tour operators); this time, talks include the help of Federal funds, as the Ministry of Tourism also seems to have found out that Tourism can be a good business for Brazil.
And, as in previous years, the lack of reliable statistics creates rumors about the actual number of guests in the hotels of Natal. Every year, hotel owners claim that business are not doing well, and ask for more Government action, support and subsides. In the beginning of 2007, the Association of Hotels forecasted "the worst year for the hotels in 21 years", but at the end of the year several hotels in Via Hosteira claimed a "very successful year". Now, again, the hotels say that "2008 won't be good; the dollar is down, the air traffic in Brazil is still a mess, more and more tourists are staying in cruising ships (rather than hotels)". But, as Tribuna says, there are more and more hotels being built, and very few have been closed down.
Hotels are again asking for more promotion: "we have to attract again the European passengers". The Secretary of Tourism says that the priority should be attract the Brazilian travelers, particularly the business travelers."
A report published by newspaper Tribuna do Norte shows that visitors still complain much about the quality of tourism services in Natal.
The new bridge Natal - Redinha was officially opened yesterday, November 20th 2007.
Starting this year, October 3rd is a Holiday in Natal and in the Rio Grande do Norte. Private businesses like hotels and restaurants should open as usual, but Government offices should be closed.
Veja magazine (the biggest in Brazil and the fourth biggest in the World) published an interview with the American Ambassador in Brasil, Clifford Sobel.
A Spanish group which is building a hotel and a mall in Ponta Negra was carving a tunnel without any authorization.
On July 15th, newspaper Tribuna do Norte published a report about the number of people who died in transit accidents in the federal highways of Rio Grande do Norte.
Another schedule was announced with regards to the new airport to be built in the city of São Gonçalo, about 30 km from Natal.
The Secretary for Economic Development of Rio Grande do Norte released a report about the products exported by the State of Rio Grande do Norte; the original report, in Portuguese, is here.
Today, for the first time since February of 2001, the dollar fell below the R$ 2 barrier: markets closed with the course of US$1 = R$ 1.9890.
The Ponta Negra bridge, which links Avenida Roberto Freire to BR-101, was re-opened, now with an extra lane; there used to be two lanes from BR-101 to Avenida Roberto Freire and only one the opposite way; now there are two lanes each way.
A joint operation between the Federal Police of Brazil and Okokrim, the National Police of Norway, resulted in the prison of nine people in Natal and fifteen people in Norway.
The Pope Benedict XVI (in Portuguese, he is called Bento 16) arrived today in Brazil, and will stay here until the 14th. Brazil is THE biggest Catholic country in the world.
Two news which are likely related.
According to Exame, a well regarded magazine oriented to business and finances, the city and beach of São Miguel do Gostoso, in Rio Grande do Norte, will become one of the most popular travel destinations in Brazil in the near future; São Miguel has potential to become as popular as Porto Seguro and Bonito.
The Public Prosecution of the State of Rio Grande do Norte filed a public civil suit against the Governor, Mrs. Wilma Faria, and members of her staff.
Natal will host, from 23rd to 25th February, the II Neuroscience International Symposium.
Natal is still known for not having a big carnival. Actually, it looks like the big carnivals in Brazil (Rio, Salvador and Recife) gain more and more popularity (with tourists and media) every year; there is a rumour that the cities will try to push a carnival tour, by which a tourist can spend two days in each city.
Newspapers report that the Association of Soldiers and Sargents of the Military Police are in talks with the State Government to talk about raises of salaries. According to the Association, the Government would not be honouring promises made last year, during the elections campaigns.
Since a few years ago, Brazil has been attempting to do what other countries have been doing for decades: measure how much students actually learn.
IBGE, the Brazilian Institute for Geography and Statistics, published yesterday a report with some figures about internal tourism; this is the first time that IBGE made such study.
The States of the Northeast of Brazil (the area of the coast with latitudes between the Equatorial Line and the Tropic of Capricorn) compete fiercely for tourists, both domestic and foreigner.
Newspaper Jornal de Hoje published a report on Wednesday, December 27th, about foreign investments in the Northeast of Brazil.
I lived in London for a few months.
Natal is the Portuguese word for "Christmas".
Carnatal 2006 finished yesterday.
Yesterday, America FC, one of the football teams in Natal, managed to qualify to play in the first division of Brazilian football in 2007.
On September 29th, a tragedy occurred in Brazil: a Boeing 737 and a Legacy jet collided on air; the Boeing crashed, killing 155; the Legacy managed to land. Read what BBC wrote about the airplane collision in Brasil. Until today, the investigations about the causes of the accident are still in progress.
At 00:00 am of November 5th, several States of Brazil, including Brasília, will adopt daylight saving time; clocks shall be setup to 01:00am. This will last until 00:00 am of February 25th 2007; then, in the States which adopted the saving time, clocks should be setup to 11:00 pm.
Some people may find this interesting.
Wilma Maria de Faria was re-elected, in a second round, Governor of Rio Grande do Norte; Mrs. Wilma will finish her first term on December 31st, and will be empowered for a second term, from January 1st 2007 to December 31st 2010.
From 6th to 15th of October 2006, Pipa will see the Third Gastronomic Festival.
Two Brazilian windsurfers, Diogo Guerreiro and Flavio Jardim, windsurfed all the way from the island of Fernando de Noronha to Natal, a distance of 370 km (about 230 miles). The journey started on September 26th and finished on the 27th; the surfers were not accompanied by any boat.
There is a project under progress to build three vertical condos very near the Morro do Careca, in Ponta Negra beach, main landmark of Natal. The project was approved by the Secretaries of Urbanization and of Environment.
Important Spanish newspaper Elmundo published on September 17th 2006 an article describing the troubles that some Spanish tourists faced in Natal when they engaged in paid sexual encounters.
The Secretary of Tourism of Rio Grande do Norte announced a financial assistance of R$ 60 thousand (about US$ 30,000) to the Natal Convention Center. The intention is to help the NCC attract new events, by visiting potential candidates and by bringing them to visit Natal.
On Sunday, October 1st 2006, there will be general elections in Brazil. Voters are called to vote for President of the Republic, Senators, Federal Deputies, Governor of State and State Deputies (elections for Mayor and City Councils happened in 2004, and will happen again in 2008).
The Mayor of Natal met yesterday with representatives of Spanish group BCM Ingenieros S.L.
The State of Rio Grande do Norte is not amongst the Brazilian States with big presence of black culture. The black slaves were brought to Brazil mostly to work on the sugar canes farms and in the gold mines; Rio Grande do Norte was only partially taken by the sugar cane, and has no traces of gold (see History of Rio Grande do Norte).
From 1990 to 2000, more than 300,000 people died in Brazil because of problems related to transit (see here). In 1997, a new Code of Transit was passed; this Code is comparable to those in developed countries.
Dengue is a tropical disease transmitted by mosquitoes which exists in several States of Brazil, including Rio Grande do Norte.
Ronaldo, the football player of Real Madrid, is coming to Natal this Sunday, July 23rd.
On July 16th, Tribuna published statistics about the transit in Natal.
July is considered a high season month for the tourism sector in Natal. Children take a winter break, and many people travel to the Northeast of Brazil escaping from the cold weather of the South.
Tribuna do Norte published an article on June 18th about the quick diminishing of lobster production in Rio Grande do Norte.
As everywhere else in Brazil, Natal is going to change the routine to follow the Brazilian team in the Germany World Cup.
A couple of French tourists who was staying in a small Pousada by the beach in Ponta Negra had their room invaded by a thief; the man reacted, and was stabbed with a knife in the belly; he was taken to a hospital, where he is under intensive care (see report here).
From May 27th, the ticket of public buses in Natal will raise from R$ 1.45 to R$ 1.60, or, at current exchange rates, from US$ 0.66 to US$ 0.73, or, in euros, E 0.52 to E 0.58.
Every year, Quatro Rodas (Four Wheels), the most important vehicles magazine in Brazil, surveys the federal highways in Brazil to assess their quality.
Two related news.
Tribuna do Norte published today that the murderers of Alex Fernando de Santana were arrested; read here.
An official survey conducted in 2006 concluded that Natal is the safest capital city in Brazil; there are no reasons to believe that this situation had changed.
On May 7th, the electronic edition of the New York Times published a two-page article about Forró in Brazil.
Clodoaldo Silva is not only a Paralympic Swimming Athlete; he is the best one in Brazil and one of the best in the World.
From May 4th to May 6th, Natal will host a music festival called MADA - Música, Alimento Da Alma - Music, Food of the Soul.
It has been raining as expected in Natal, and more than the average in the interior of Rio Grande do Norte.
Fundação José Augusto is a foundation mantained by the State of Rio Grande do Norte with the purpose of supporting cultural events in the State. The support includes providing space for presentations (the Foundation has a mid-sized, comfortable theater in the district of Tirol), passing knowledge and expertize to smaller towns and, of course, providing financial assistance.
For nearly ten years now, there has been a bus service (known as "Circular") which runs around the main campus of the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte, for free. Students take the bus to move inside the campus, or to get to the external boundaries and take another bus.
Tribuna do Norte published a report today about people who make a living by selling stuff on the beach.
April 21st is one of Brazil National Holidays.
As predicted by the weather forecast institutions, April is being a wet month.
The State of Rio Grande do Norte doesn't have much presence in Brazilian football. The two main teams are America and ABC, both from Natal; the former is disputing the second division of the Brazilian championship, and the latter is in the third division.
Tribuna do Norte reported today that two men were arrested for attempt of stealing money using bank cards.
Jabuticaba (scientific name Myrciaria cauliflora) is said to be a fruit which exists only in Brazil. It is originary from the Atlantic Forest, in Brazil; as it is fragile, it is unlike it will be exported. If you want to taste a fruit you won't find in any other country, try jabuticaba.
In Brazil, there is something called "cesta básica" (essential basket), which is a theoretical basket containing all the essential food that a typical family (parents and two kids) needs to live during one month.
The Government of Rio Grande do Norte invested R$ 650,000 (about US$ 300,000) to refurbish the Fortress of the Wise Kings (Forte dos Reis Magos).
Around 2 am of this April 1st, Federal agents started a blitz in the nightclub Hollywood, in Ponta Negra beach.
Natalenses know they live in one of the most beautiful cities in Brazil, and have a preoccupation to keep it like that.
From March 29th to April 9th, more than 2,000 shops in Natal will be promoting a big clearance sale, with discounts from 10% up to 70% (so they say); the name of the promotion is "Liquida Natal".
On March 29th 2006, there will happen a total eclipse of the Sun, a rare event in which Earth, Moon and Sun become aligned; the shadow of the Moon will be projected on Earth, and the Sun will be temporarily invisible.
Yesterday, the Penitentiary João Chaves was demolished; the inmates were transferred to other prisional units. Soon, the State Government will start the construction of a Cultural Center, which will be the biggest in Rio Grande do Norte.
Flamengo won ABC yesterday by 1 x 0, playing in the new ABC's stadium, Frasqueirão.
The Highway Federal Police in Rio Grande do Norte is responsible for overseeing 1,345 km of federal highways in the State.
The Norwegian newspaper Dagens Naeringsliv published an article this last weekend informing that Norwegian citizens are making investments in Natal as a means to launder illegal money.
Yesterday, March 19th, Natal saw mild showers; today the rain is somewhat heavier.
Tribuna do Norte published an article about the contamination of the phreatic sheet in Natal. Phreatic sheet (in Portuguese, "lençol freático") is the name given to the water which naturally accumulates in the subsoil; the rain water penetrates the soil and flows downwards until reaching a rocky layer, where it accumulates.
In the past two years, with the explosion of tourism, Natal has been facing a growing problem: prostitution.
With the presence of Governor Wilma de Faria, Natal celebrated the March 8th, International Women's Day.
Tribuna do Norte published today an article about the main Bus Terminal in Natal.
It is a well known fact that the ecological agressions that men inflict to Nature are changing weather in many parts of the world.
The Tourism Board of Rio Grande do Norte announced today that Reinatour, a Czech tour operator, will operate weekly charter flights to Natal; in a first stage, there will be flights from November 2006 through April 2007.
Carnival in Natal is not big.
Officially, carnival goes from Saturday through Tuesday. In the days before carnival, there are some events called pre-carnival, which are a preparation for the real feast; in Rio, the pre-carnival starts a few days earlier; in Bahia, it starts a few weeks earlier.
Pipa is known to be a cosmopolitan place, visited by young people from many countries. Pipa has one of the busiest nightlifes in Brazilian northeast.
Teachers who are employed by the municipality of Natal are at a strike.