Bizav Planning for the Brazil Grand Prix 2015 – Part 1: Airports & Parking

Bizav Planning for the Brazil Grand Prix 2016 – Part 1: Airports & Parking

This business aviation blog post is part of a series on the Brazilian Grand Prix.

This is a post by author Adonis Bastos. Adonis is the Flight Coordinator at Universal Aviation Brazil, which has aircraft ground handling facilities in Sao Paulo, Brasilia, Manaus, Recife, and Rio de Janeiro. Adonis is an expert on business aircraft operations in Brazil and can be contacted at

The Brazilian Formula One Grand Prix takes place November 13-15 in the Interlagos neighborhood of Sao Paulo. This is a popular event, so planning in advance for services such as aircraft parking and your landing permit should be done as soon as your schedule is known.

If you are planning on operating in Sao Paulo during this event, the following is an overview of what you need to know:

1. Primary airport for this event

This event takes place in Sao Paulo city, and the closest available airport for general aviation (GA) is Congonhas (SBSP), approximately a 30-minute drive to the race circuit. SBSP is a domestic airfield with 0600-2300 local operating hours and no overtime available. International arrivals must stop first at an airport of entry (AOE) and depart Brazil via an AOE. For many operators, depending upon where they’re flying in from, Recife (SBRF) and Manaus (SBEG) may be preferred tech stops to consider to/from SBSP.

2. Other airport options

Additional airports to consider are Guarulhos (SBGR) at a 40 to 60 minute drive from the race circuit and Campinas (SBKP), about a one to one and a half hour drive to the Interlagos circuit. Both airports operate 24/7. Note that drive times are approximate and vary depending on traffic conditions. Peak periods of road traffic congestion for Sao Paulo are 0600-1000 and 1700-2000 local, with morning hours having the most severe road congestion. Another airport option is 24-hour Sorocaba (SDCO), but this location is not an AOE and does not have a control tower. Looking farther afield, Rio de Janeiro (SBGL) and Belo Horizonte (SBCF) can be considered for repositioning purposes.

3. GA parking options

SBSP will likely have GA parking available throughout the Grand Prix period, but this domestic airfield requires an additional stop into and out of the country in order to clear CIQ. Parking at SBGR can only be used for pick up and drop off between November 11-15 as airport authorities are limiting parking to two hours on the ground – with no exceptions. SBKP is primarily a cargo airport with only three parking positions for GA. If you do not have longer term parking arranged at SBKP max time on the ground, as per NOTAM, is limited to three hours.

11/9/2015: Updated by the author

4. Parking costs

SBKP and SBGL are particularly expensive airports in terms of GA parking. SBGR also has high parking charges compared to other airports in Brazil. Full handling services and credit are available at all Sao Paulo area airports. Note that for SBKP a towbar onboard is mandatory as the aircraft needs to be towed to the parking position. At SBGL, operators may experience long delays until the towbar arrives on the position, so it’s recommended that operators bring one with them.

5. Hotels and local transport

There’s a good selection of 4- and 5-star hotels throughout much of Sao Paulo, including major international brands. For those attending the Grand Prix, closest hotel options are in the southern part of the city. Room prices will not necessarily be higher during this event period, and we do not anticipate hotel availability selling out. For local transport between the airport/city and hotel/ race circuit, secure transport options are recommended using drivers who speak your language. Pre-paid taxis are also an option, but there may be language barriers to consider as most taxi drivers do not speak English. Road congestion is constantly an issue in Sao Paulo, so it’s important to allow additional time when moving around or through the city.

6. Additional information

For more information on the 2015 Brazilian Formula One Grand Prix see the official website.


While we do not anticipate aircraft parking issues at SBSP during the Brazil Grand Prix period there may be parking limitations to consider at SBGR and SBKP. As road congestion in Sao Paulo can really be a challenge, particularly during morning rush traffic periods, it’s best to try to book accommodations on the same side of the city as the Interlagos race circuit.

Universal is not associated in any way with the Formula One group of companies. F1, FORMULA ONE, FORMULA 1, FIA FORMULA ONE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP, GRAND PRIX, and related marks are trademarks of Formula One Licensing B.V.

Stay tuned for Part 2, which covers permits, slots, and customs and immigration information for operations to Brazil for the Grand Prix.


If you have any questions about this article or if you’d like assistance planning your next trip to Brazil, contact me at