2017 Brazil Formula One Grand Prix in Sao Paulo – Part 2: Alternate Airports & CIQ

2017 Brazil Formula One Grand Prix in Sao Paulo – Part 2: Alternate Airports & CIQ

This is a post by author  Marcia Taue. Marcia is the Operations Manager at Universal Aviation Brazil, which has aircraft ground handling facilities in  Sao Paulo,  Brasilia,  Manaus, Recife, and  Rio de Janeiro. Marcia is an expert on business aircraft operations in Brazil and can be contacted at  marciataue@universalaviation.aero.

This business aviation blog post continues from our article last week, entitled “Formula One Brazilian Grand Prix 2017 – Part 1: New SBGR Parking Procedures.

While Guarulhos (SBGR) will be the preferred airport for many general aviation (GA) operators heading to the 2017 Brazilian Formula One Grand Prix, as it’s the closest airport of entry (AOE) to the race event, there are other parking options to consider.

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

1. Congonhas

Congonhas (SBSP) is the closest airport to both the city center and the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace Interlagos race circuit in the Interlagos neighborhood. Drive time from SBSP to the Interlagos track is 30-40 minutes as opposed to about one hour and one hour 40 minutes from SBGR and Campinas (SBKP) respectively. However, there are restrictions to consider when operating to SBSP.

2. SBSP restrictions

SBSP operates daily from 0600-2300 local with no airport overtime possible. Airport slots are required for GA between 0700 and 1000 local Monday through Friday. As this is not an airport of entry (AOE) you’ll first need to land at an AOE in Brazil before proceeding to SBSP. For overnight GA parking you’ll need to use private hangars as ramp parking is not available for non-commercial flights. Prices vary for private hangar parking but generally range between 1000 and 1500 USD/night. The good news is that towing charges, to/from the hangar area, are included in overnight parking rates.

3. Airport slot considerations

Airport slots at SBSP have +/- 30 min deviation and may be requested anytime between 120 hours and two hours before flight. Be mindful that you’ll need to have your AVANAC domestic flight permit approval prior to applying for an airport slot. It usually takes at least 48 hours to obtain a domestic flight permit so you’ll want to have this as early as possible to give yourself time to secure an airport slot. At this point no NOTAM restrictions have been issued for the weekend of the Formula One Grand Prix but this may still become a factor to consider closer to the event.


SBKP is a 24-hour AOE about a one hour 40 minute drive from central Sao Paulo. There’s no fixed-base operator (FBO) or general aviation terminal (GAT) at this location but full GA support services, fuel uplifts and credit are available. The GA parking ramp at SBKP is fairly remote and overnight parking charges run 800 to 1000 USD/night. You may park at SBKP as long as you wish but note that towing is mandatory, even if you’re parked in an area with no other aircraft nearby. Expect to pay about 300 USD each way for tows to/from your parking spot. These towing charges are in addition to overnight parking fees. At this location we recommend that operators bring their own tow bar.

5. CIQ

At all AOEs in Brazil, customs, immigration and quarantine (CIQ) is cleared within the commercial terminal. This process usually takes 20-30 minutes, depending upon arriving/departing international traffic at the moment.

6. Visa requirements

For many nationalities of crew, including U.S. and Canadian citizens, no visas are needed to enter Brazil for up to 10 days. However, you must be active crew listed on the gen dec and carry valid travel documents. Note that you’ll need a traditional visa to enter Brazil on a commercial flight and leave as crew. However, you may enter Brazil as active crew and the reposition on a commercial flight by showing your gendec in place of a traditional visa.

7. Additional Reading: Operations to SBGR

Note: Links will be updated as articles are published.


If you’re planning a short notice trip to this year’s Brazilian Grand Prix it’s best to avoid SBSP and to choose a designated AOE – either SBGR or SBKP. This is because you’ll avoid the requirement of obtaining an AVANAC domestic overflight permit as you’re making no more than one stop in Brazil.

This website is unofficial and is not associated in any way with the Formula 1companies. 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 3, which covers local area information when operating to Guarulhos.


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