7 Tips for Flight Crews Visiting Brazil

> | August 15, 2012 | 2 Comments
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This is a post by author Andre Camargo. Andre is Country Manager for Universal Aviation Brazil which has aircraft ground handling facilities in São Paulo, Brasilia, Manaus, Recife, and Rio de Janeiro. Andre is an expert on business aircraft operations in Brazil and can be contacted at andrecamargo@universalaviation.aero.

This business aviation blog post is part of a series on operating to Brazil.

After all your pre-trip planning is done and you’ve landed in Brazil, you’ll find our local area and culture a welcoming environment. We always hear from flight crews that they find operating here a satisfying and rewarding experience. Options for adequate hotel accommodations are available throughout the country, and local-area culture and cuisine are well worth taking the time to enjoy.

Here are tips to help you plan for your time with us on the ground in Brazil.

1. Stay in 4- or 5-star hotels. There are plenty to choose from.

It’s always recommended to stay in a 4- or 5-star hotel, as personnel speak English well, amenities are better, are in a more secure area, and offer better security for their guests. Major U.S., European, and Brazilian hotel chains are of similar standards and are all good options. Most airports in Brazil have acceptable hotels close by for crews on the ground for a few hours or a short overnight stop.

2. Plan ahead if your stay overlaps with a major Brazilian event.

Holidays such as New Year’s, and some large events – like Formula 1 in Sao Paulo each year, and Carnival and peak summer season in January and February in Rio de Janeiro – can make it more challenging to find hotel rooms. During these periods, prices will be higher, cancellation policies will be extended, and some reservations may be non-refundable.

3. Consider working through your ground handler or 3rd-party provider if you have special hotel needs.

Items like additional security and private check-ins at the hotel can be arranged with sufficient notice. Short-notice hotel requests are possible, but choices may be more limited and costs higher closer to day of operations. Also, some ground handlers have special rates for specific hotels, and, of course, your 3rd-party providers should have options with contract prices and often extra included amenities.

4. Only use pre-paid ground transport.

It is not recommended that you rent or drive a vehicle due to traffic congestion and security issues. It’s always best to use vetted transportation companies with drivers. Your ground handler or 3rd-party providers will be able to assist you with this.

5. Understand passport and other documentation requirements.

Have your passport with at least six months’ remaining validity. Alternatively, you may be permitted to stay in Brazil as long as your passport is valid. Yellow fever vaccination is no longer required in Brazil, but is recommended. Always check visa requirements for any nationalities onboard to avoid issues on arrival. No visas will be issued to passengers on arrival, and an individual without a visa will be immediately deported. When out walking, carry a copy of your passport, a photo ID, and just the cash and credit cards you’ll need for that day.

6. Don’t bring guns and check food restrictions.

Brazil has restrictions on certain food items that may be permitted into the country. Dairy products are generally not allowed, so it’s best to check with your 3rd-party provider on what is allowable. It’s unlikely that you will be able to bring guns into the country. If you’re in transit with a single stop in Brazil, it may be possible to leave guns on the aircraft. However, you may not keep guns onboard if your next stop is domestic. In this case, you’ll need to make arrangements with your ground handler or your 3rd-party provider to have weapons left securely with customs.

7. Have a good time. It’s Brazil!

Brazil has a very open, welcoming, and tolerant culture. Try to take advantage of the many available cultural experiences and special events. Your ground handler or hotel can recommend the right places to go to experience the local, one-of-a-kind Brazilian culture.

Conclusion

There are many good hotel options for both passengers and crew throughout Brazil. Best practice is to arrange accommodations well in advance, particularly when travelling during major events. From a security standpoint, avoid rental vehicles and be aware of your surroundings when off-airport.

Questions?

If you have any questions about this article, contact me at andrecamargo@universalaviation.aero.

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Universal Aviation Brazil Country Manager Andre Camargo has more than 20 years’ experience in the aviation industry in both ground handling and flight operations management. Based in Sao Paulo, Andre is an expert on operations to and from Brazil.

Andre holds both a law degree from the Universidade Cidade de Sao Paulo and an MBA from Fundação Getulio Vargas. He can be reached at andrecamargo@universalaviation.aero.

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