2014 Brazil World Cup Update: Aircraft Parking Issues

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2014 Brazil World Cup Update: Aircraft Parking Issues

This is a post by authors Marcia Taue and Adonis Bastos. Marcia and Adonis are based at Universal Aviation Brazil, which has aircraft ground handling facilities in Sao Paulo, Brasilia, Manaus, Recife, and Rio de Janeiro. Marcia and Adonis are experts on business aircraft operations in Brazil and can be contacted at marciataue@universalaviation.aero or adonisbastos@universalaviation.aero.

The upcoming 2014 World Cup period will be an especially busy time throughout Brazil. It’s important to understand that, at this point in time, few options are available for airport slots, aircraft parking, and hotel accommodations. If you have not yet begun to set up your arrangements for planned travel to Brazil during this period, it’s highly recommended that you start without delay.

The following is an overview of what you need to know:

1. Airport slot requirements for Brazil

Brazil currently has 25 slot-controlled airports, and there are another 48 airports that are being monitored by Brazilian authorities who may impose slots if they receive a high number of General Aviation (GA) requests. Notification of any newly imposed slot requirements will be via NOTAM – in Portuguese – and may be last-minute.

2. Anticipate parking issues

So many airport slots have been requested for GA that Brazilian aviation authorities have determined that parking confirmations will be advised on day of operation only – at the earliest, four hours prior, and at the latest, upon arrival. At this time we do not foresee any changes to this policy established by Brazilian aviation authorities.

Not having parking confirmations in advance is problematic for operators as this impacts all local arrangements, including hotel bookings. Without confirmed parking you’ll have a relatively short max time on the ground for a drop-and-go only, and fines will be imposed if you exceed this time limit. In some cases and at some airports, limited hangar space may be an option; however, availability of hangar parking spaces is unknown at this time.

3. Aircraft parking at non-slot controlled airports

While some non-slot controlled airports in Brazil have suggested that they may be able to provide aircraft parking, this can be revoked at a moment’s notice if they receive too many parking requests, or if traffic is particularly high.

In addition, airport authorities are monitoring another 48 non-slot-controlled airports, and any of these airports may become slot-coordinated at any time – meaning you may be unable to secure slots. In the event this happens, keep in mind that even if your parking has already been confirmed, you will still be subject to obtaining slots or lose your parking spot in the event you cannot. Be aware that if you operate without a slot (and one is required), you may be denied landing, you may receive a fine, your permit may be revoked, and/or you may be forced to depart the country.

4. SBGL parking options

Rio de Janeiro (SBGL) currently has private GA parking available through a 3rd-party provider. One of the problems, however, is that hotel accommodations are not available at this location. So if an operator chooses to park here, crew members may need to travel to another airport via a commercial airliner for hotel accommodations. This may cause crew duty time issues as traveling to/from another airport may affect duty limitations. Note that private parking at SBGL requires full prepayment, and it’s non-refundable. Pricing depends on wingspan and dates of operation:

  1. For aircraft with wingspans of up to 30 meters, parking cost is 3,000 USD per day for all days except June 11, 12, and 13 and July 12, 13, and 14 when the price increases to 4,000 USD per day.
  2. For aircraft with wingspans of over 30 meters, parking cost is 6,000 USD per day for all days except: June 11, 12, and 13 and July 12, 13, and 14 when the price increases to 8,000 USD per day.

5. SDCO and SBTV parking options

Sorocaba (SDCO) is a full-service 24-hour airport, but this location is Visual Flight Rules (VFR) only and has a shorter runway. Porto Seguro (SBTV) is a private VFR-only airport, with a shorter runway, that normally operates sunrise to sunset. Full handling services are available at these locations.

6. Drop-and-go tips

Operators have the option to drop, go, and reposition within or outside of Brazil. Some operators are choosing to do international arrivals/departures, with just one stop in Brazil, to drop off/pick up passengers and reposition outside the country. This will avoid the need to obtain a domestic permit for Brazil – assuming that your drop-off point in Brazil is an Airport of Entry (AOE). Parking options outside Brazil include Maldonado (SULS), Montevideo (SUMU), and Asuncion (SGAS). These are all 24-hour AOEs with full support services and ample hotel accommodation options.

7. Time-on-the-ground restrictions

You may not be able to obtain an overnight aircraft parking at slot-controlled airports in Brazil because parking confirmations will only be given, at the earliest, a few hours prior to arrival – on a first-come, first-served basis. Be aware that each airport has different maximum time-on-the-ground limitations when parking is not confirmed. If you exceed these max allowable times, fines will be imposed. Exceptions to these fines are only for weather events and/or certain traffic issues that may occur at a particular airport. NOTAMs will specify max time on the ground, for drop-and-go purposes, but you can also find this information at our Brazil 2014 Trip Planning Resource Center.

8. Airport slot considerations

Be very careful with confirmed airport slots. If you have a confirmed slot and want to make changes, Brazilian authorities will require that you cancel what you have confirmed and request (or attempt to request) a new slot based on the revised times you provide. This can be a risky course of action as very flew slots are now available at this time.

9. Administration of fines for missing slots

If you miss a slot, fines will be imposed by Brazilian airport authorities. Notification of the fine will be given to both the entity that processed the slot (i.e., ground handler) and the operator. Such fines may lead to a ground handler, or whoever obtained the operator’s slot, losing their ability to request additional slots during the World Cup period. As mentioned above, keep in mind that the operator may also be kicked out of the country, so going into Brazil with a plan to “just eat the fine” is risky.

Conclusion

For business aircraft operators planning to travel to Brazil for the World Cup, be prepared for permit, parking, airport slot, and accommodation issues. While there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to travel to your destination of choice, creative solutions will be possible when working with your 3rd-party provider and ground handlers. Planning for aircraft parking options should be your primary consideration at this point. If you’re able to secure airport slots, it’s important to avoid making slot changes, as there will be a critical lack of slot availability during the World Cup period.

Questions?

If you have any questions about this article or would like assistance planning your next trip to Brazil, contact Marcia at marciataue@universalaviation.aero or Adonis at adonisbostos@universalaviation.aero.

World Cup, 2014 Brazil and Brazil 2014 are trademarks of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (“FIFA”). Universal Aviation is not in any way associated with FIFA.

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Marcia Taue has more than a decade’s experience in aviation and is an expert in ground support coordination throughout Brazil, with a special emphasis on operations to Sao Paulo–Guarulhos International Airport. Marcia currently serves as Operations Manager for Universal Aviation Brazil – Sao Paulo. Prior to joining Universal, Marcia worked in ground support for a major commercial airline at Guarulhos. She is fluent in both Portuguese and English, and you can reach Marcia at marciataue@universalaviation.aero.

About

Adonis Bastos is the Supervisor of the flight coordination office for Universal Aviation Brazil – Sao Paolo. While his areas of expertise cover a full range of general aviation (GA) support services throughout Brazil, Adonis is known for his in-depth knowledge on the ins and outs of Brazilian landing and domestic permits. With nine years in the aviation industry, working for airlines including Delta, Air China and TAM, five years in business aviation, and an educational degree in Air Transportation Logistics, Adonis is a key resource for GA operators heading for Brazil. He’s fluent in English, Spanish and Portuguese. Adonis can be reached adonisbastos@universalaviation.aero.

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