LABACE 2016 – Part 1: Airports, Parking, CIQ & Local Area
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 email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is part one of a two-article series on business aircraft operations to LABACE.
The Latin American Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition (LABACE) takes place two weeks later than usual this year, due to the 2016 Brazil Summer Olympics, and will run August 30 – September 1 at Sao Paulo Congonhas (SBSP). As all airports in the Sao Paulo area are expected to be busy during this period it’s important to confirm aircraft parking and crew accommodations as soon as schedule is known.
The following is an overview of what you need to know:
1. Primary airport
LABACE 2016 takes place at SBSP, a domestic-only airport. As exhibits and static displays will be in an open area at the south side of the airfield, an area that’s not normally used, it will not impact available general aviation (GA) parking. Although no operating restrictions have been implemented for SBSP due to LABACE , there are associated restrictions to consider with regard to the 2016 Brazil Summer Games (August 5-21) and Rio 2016 Paragames (September 7-18). For example, if it’s a slot coordinated airport flight plans must be filed at least one-and-a-half hours prior to departure, airport slots must be obtained, and slot deviations followed closely. Note that GA parking at SBSP is within private hangars, not on the apron, and parking will need to be confirmed in advance. We do not anticipate parking availability at SBSP to be an issue during the LABACE period.
2. Parking options
The primary international airport for Sao Paulo is Guarulhos (SBGR). However, time on the ground at this location may be restricted to as little as two hours for GA, and overnight parking won’t be possible. Campinas (SBKP) is also an airport of entry (AOE) to consider. The best option for LABACE will be to land at an AOE, either SBGR or elsewhere, and reposition to SBSP on a domestic leg. If arriving into Brazil from the north, Manaus (SBEG) is a good place to clear customs, immigration, and quarantine (CIQ), while Recife (SBRF) is often a preferred first stop in Brazil for operations coming in from Europe. Other airports used as first stops in Brazil, prior to proceeding to SBSP, include Porto Alegre (SBPA), Foz do Iguacu (SBFI), Florianopolis (SBFL) and Curitiba (SBCT).
3. CIQ clearance
For CIQ clearance at SBGR, SBKP or any other AOE for Brazil you’ll need passports valid for your intended length of stay. Passengers, depending upon nationality, may require visas for Brazil, and these cannot be obtained upon arrival. Note that Australian, Canadian, Japanese and U.S. citizens may enter Brazil visa-free for tourism purposes only between June 1 and September 18 on a 90 day non-extendable visa waiver due to the 2016 Brazil Summer Games. There’s no requirement to have tickets for the Games to take advantage of this. Crew do not need visas for Brazil if staying no more than 10 days, so long as they have proper credentials. Active pilots will need their licenses, and flight attendants and flight mechanics must carry government issued licenses to avoid crew visa requirements. A gen dec is required for all international arrivals, and your ground handler will assist in preparing this. For private non-revenue operators we recommend carrying a customs letter, identifying the connection between all passengers and the aircraft owner. For charter (non-scheduled commercial) operations it’s best to carry a copy of the charter agreement to show that travel to Brazil is not for cabotage purposes.
4. Fuel uplift considerations
Despite increased traffic movements and ramp activity during this period we recommend uplifting fuel day of departure. We don’t expect fuel uplift delays to be an issue at SBSP during the LABACE period.
5. Hotels and local transport
While we don’t anticipate hotel availability in the Sao Paulo area to be a significant issue over the LABACE period, preferred accommodations may sell out, and hotel pricing will be higher than normal. Expect to pay in the range of 250-450 USD per night for 4-star crew accommodations. Pre-paid transport (car and driver) options should also not be an issue during this period but it’s recommended to set and confirm these arrangements as early as possible.
We don’t expect parking issues for LABACE, but it’s recommended that arrangements are made in advance, as parking at SBSP is done using private hangars only. Consider that as SBSP is a domestic only airport, you will need to first clear CIQ at another airport. This will add additional time for arrival at your final destination. Also, due to the 2016 Brazil Summer Games, certain airports including SBGR will be slot-coordinated so additional requirements need to be considered.
Stay tuned for Part 2, which covers landing permit, airport slot, and prior permission required (PPR) requirements for travel to Sao Paulo for LABACE 2016.