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 firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
This is part one of a two-article series on business aircraft operations to LABACE.
This year’s Latin American Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition (LABACE) takes place August 11-13 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. LABACE is the largest business aviation event in Latin America, attracting General Aviation (GA) flight departments, trade professionals, and exhibitors – original equipment manufacturers, support service providers, etc. – from across Latin America and the world. If you’re planning to fly into the Sao Paulo area during this event, you can expect that the overall increase in airport congestion will impact business aviation activity and parking availability during this period.
The following is an overview of what you need to know:
1. Event venue
LABACE takes place at Congonhas (SBSP), located close to the Sao Paulo city center. Much of the airport apron will be closed to transient GA parking for the duration of the event, to accommodate static display aircraft. If you’re planning to be at SBSP during the LABACE period and are not part of the static display, you’ll need to try to obtain hangar space if you want to stay at SBSP. Applications for hangar parking should be submitted as soon as possible as this will likely sell out for the duration of – and few days before and after – the event. Be mindful that SBSP is a domestic airport, and operators arriving from outside Brazil will first need to stop at an Airport of Entry (AOE).
2. Alternate airports for parking
Two other airports in the Sao Paulo area are available to GA: Guarulhos (SBGR) and Campinas (SBKP). Both are international AOEs with SBGR located 40 km from the Sao Paulo city center and SBKP 100 km away.
3. Services at SBSP
SBSP operates 0600-2300 local with no airport overtime available. While Customs, Immigration, and Quarantine (CIQ) clearance is not possible at this domestic airport, all aircraft support services can be arranged, and credit is available with prior approval. Be aware that airport slots are needed for SBSP, and these are obtained via an online slot allocation system. Slots are obtainable as late as one hour prior to estimated time of arrival or departure and – at maximum – up to 120 hours prior to arrival/departure.
4. Airport slot confirmation
When your SBSP slot is approved, you’ll be given a confirmation number which must be included in remarks section 18 of your International Civil Aviation Organization flight plan. Slot deviation is +/- 5 minutes, and, if you’re not going to use your approved slot, it must be cancelled at least four hours prior to confirmed time. Be aware that operators who have a history of obtaining multiple slots or not cancelling confirmed slots may face significant fines and/or lose the ability to obtain airport slots for SBSP in the future.
5. SBGR options
SBGR is a 24-hour AOE with full aircraft support services and credit available. Aircraft parking is normally limited to a maximum of 48 consecutive hours, and requests for extension are difficult to obtain due to congestion at this location. Prior Permission Required (PPR) is needed for parking purposes at SBGR. While there’s no minimum lead time when applying for a PPR, we recommend a minimum of seven days’ prior notice. PPR confirmation numbers are provided but do not need to be noted on flight plans. To better understand unique CIQ requirements at SBGR, see our blog posts:
- UPDATE: Procedural Changes for Customs at Sao Paulo (SBGR) – Part 1: New Requirements
- UPDATE: Procedural Changes for Customs at Sao Paulo (SBGR) – Part 2: Gen Decs & Documentation
- UPDATE: Procedural Changes for Customs at Sao Paulo (SBGR) – Part 3: Operating Considerations
6. Operations to SBKP
SBKP is also a 24-hour AOE with full services/credit available, and PPR is needed for parking at this location. While there’s no official lead time for PPR requests, we recommend applying at least a week in advance. If you do not have a PPR for SBKP, you’ll normally be limited to three hours on the ground. Additionally, operators traveling to SBKP should always carry a tow bar onboard.
7. CIQ clearance for SBSP
For aircraft destined to SBSP, the best CIQ clearance option into Brazil will depend on where you’re flying in from. Aircraft arriving from South America may do best to clear at SBGR while aircraft arriving from the north might use Manaus (SBEG), Brasilia (SBBR), or Boa Vista (SBBV). If you’re flying from Europe to SBSP, Recife (SBRF) may be your best option for CIQ clearance into Brazil.
8. CIQ clearance for SBGR and SBKP
CIQ clearance at SBGR and SBKP is within the main passenger terminal and takes an average of 30 minutes, including transport from aircraft to the terminal. For SBKP passengers wait in line for CIQ with commercial airline travelers, but crew members have their own clearance lane. Passports and visas are checked, and luggage is screened by X-ray. Passports must have validity for your length of stay in Brazil, and visas, when required for passengers, must be obtained prior to arrival in Brazil. Crew members do not require visas for Brazil if the crew members are on duty, listed on the gen dec, and carry professional licenses, such as pilot licenses issued by their home countries.
Though the main airport for LABACE is SBSP, it’s not an AOE, and there are several alternate airport options for operators traveling to Sao Paulo. If your aircraft will be on the static display, SBSP parking won’t be an issue. However, if you are traveling to Sao Paulo for the event but aren’t taking place in the static display or are there for business, you can utilize SBGR or SBKP.
Please note that Brazil is a complex operating environment, and we recommend you work with an experienced ground handler in Sao Paulo and trip support provider.
Later, we’ll discuss permit and local area considerations for travel to LABACE.
About Adonis Bastos
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Marcia Taue
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 email@example.com.
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