Business Aviation Operations to the Brazil Formula 1 Grand Prix
This year’s Formula 1 Grande Premio Petrobas Do Brasil Grand Prix will be held November 23 – 25 at the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace circuit, located south of Sao Paulo. The city will come alive during this event, and demand for business aviation and related services will be higher than normal. Best options in terms of aircraft parking, local transport, and hotel accommodations will be available to those who book as early as possible.
1. There are four airports to consider for the Brazil Grand Prix
Two airports of entry (AOE) – Guarulhos, Sao Paulo (SBGR) and Campinas, Sao Paulo (SBKP) – are available near the circuit. SBGR is a 55-minute drive to the race circuit, while SBKP is about 30 minutes away. There are also two domestic airports to consider – Congonhas, Sao Paulo (SBSP) and Sao Jose Dos Campos (SBSJ) – but international operations will require an additional stop to clear customs both inbound and outbound. SBSP is a 20-minute drive to the circuit, while SBSJ is a one-hour, 45-minute drive.
2. Guarulhos airport requires aircraft parking to be confirmed in advance
SBGR is a 24-hour AOE with full ground handling services. Prior permission required (PPR) is necessary and a full schedule must be provided. If aircraft parking isn’t available on the civil side, there may be parking on the military side of the field with additional hourly charges. Aircraft parking confirmations are issued approximately one week prior to the scheduled estimated time of arrival (ETA). If parking is granted on the military side and the trip cancels, you must cancel any parking confirmation at least 72 hours prior to ETA, or you’ll be charged for the original planned stay.
The airport maintains security 24 hours a day. Airfield security services are strictly controlled by the airport authority. No other companies or organizations outside of the airport authority are permitted to provide airside or aircraft security. Please note that for vehicle ramp and parking access, a vehicle can obtain access to the ramp, but it will have to go to the security checkpoint. All access to the aircraft parking area must go through security. Additionally, all 4th-party vendors, such as in-flight caterers and fuelers, must go through security procedures to gain access to the ramp.
3. Campinas is another option to consider
SBKP normally operates 24 hours a day, but during this event there will be a closure. Specifically, during 22-29 November on Tuesdays and Thursdays, there will be a runway closure between 0130-0430 local. SBKP, like SBGR, requires PPR for all operations and aircraft parking is often an issue. Parking confirmations are advised approximately one week prior to scheduled operation. Full ground handling and jet fuel are available at this location.
4. Congonhas is a domestic-only airfield
SBSP operates 0600-2300 local and no overtime is possible. Airport slots are necessary for all arrivals and departures and may be requested from 25 hours to 1 hour prior to planned ETA via the CGNA Web site or with ground handler assistance. Be aware that certain aircraft are not permitted to operate between 0600-0659 and 2201-2300 local. It’s important to confirm with your 3rd-party provider that your aircraft type is not on the restricted list. Airport slot confirmations must be included in remarks section 18 of the flight plan with the abbreviation “RMK/CLR SP####.” Aircraft are expected to arrive within -/+ 5 minutes of the assigned reservation time, while it’s expected that aircraft will depart at the assigned reservation time. No CIQ is available at SBSP, but this may be arranged with prior notice for diplomatic flights. Full ground handling services are available at SBSP, but jet fuel uplifts should be arranged in advance. Be aware that aviation fuel cards are not accepted for non-Brazilian-registered aircraft. Payment for fuel must be made in cash with local currency and fuel prices will be higher than at AOEs. Aircraft arriving at this airport will be parked in hangars.
5. Sao Jose Dos Campos airport offers limited parking options
SBSJ is a 24-hour domestic airport with no airport slots or PPRs needed. Ramp space is limited and this airport experiences aircraft parking issues from time to time. Full ground handling services are available, but be aware that jet fuel prices are higher here than at SBGR or SBKP. Tankering fuel to this location is recommended whenever possible.
6. Be aware of crew documentation requirements
Crew will need to present passports, ATPs, and first-class medicals. Pilot and co-pilot must have first-class medicals that do not expire the same month that travel to Brazil is made. For crew members 40 or older, medical certificates will be considered first-class for one year after examination date. For those aged 39 or younger, medicals will be considered first-class for two years after examination date.
7. Know CIQ procedures for Brazil
For CIQ clearance, you’ll require six gen decs and clearance cannot be completed onboard. CIQ clearance is accomplished at the main terminal in the same lines used by commercial airline passengers. A separate line is only available for crew, individuals with diplomatic passports, the elderly, pregnant women, and the handicapped.
8. Domestic permits are required for all flights within Brazil
Brazil requires domestic landing permits for all operations within the country other than international operations to a single destination stop. The only exception is for a single tech stop in Brazil en route to your destination (outside the country). For more information on landing permit requirements, see this article by Andre Camargo: “8 FAQs on Flight Permits and PPRs in Brazil.”
9. Temporary admission of your aircraft may be required
If an aircraft remains in Brazil 24 hours or longer, the federal treasury will issue a “temporary admission,” which will be required for all other stops within Brazil. The only person permitted to sign this document, other than the owner of the aircraft, is the captain. This document will have to be returned to customs before the aircraft departs Brazil.
10. Consider hotel and transport arrangements as early as possible
SBGR and SBSP have a wide selection of 4- and 5-star hotel options (including large international hotel chains) available. Hotel options are more limited at SBKP and SBSJ. Best practice is to book 4- or 5-star hotel accommodations for crew as early as possible due to high demand anticipated during the Grande Premio Petrobas Do Brasil period. It’s recommended to avoid rental vehicles due to traffic and security issues and possible road closures during the event period. Prepaid local transport (car and driver) is the preferred option for many business aircraft operators, and your ground handler will be able to make these arrangements.
11. Check online for additional information
More information on the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace circuit race dates, schedule, and ticket purchase options can be found at the Formula 1 website.
Also, check out these other related articles on our blog:
- Flying to Brazil: 6 Tips for Navigating Customs, Immigration, and Agriculture
- General Overview of GA Airport Operations and Security in Brazil
- What You Need to Know about Fueling Your Business Aircraft in Brazil
- 8 Tips on Arranging Aircraft Ground Handling and Fuel in Brazil
- 4 Must Knows about Requesting Airport Slots in Brazil
- 11 Essential Tips for Flight Planning in Brazil
- 7 Tips for Flight Crews Visiting Brazil
If you’re planning or even contemplating flying to the Sao Paulo area in November to attend the Brazil Formula 1 Grand Prix, it’s important to begin considering permits, aircraft parking, and hotel accommodations as early as possible. While short-notice operations will always be possible, preferred parking and accommodations may not be available for last-minute trips.