Buenos Aires, Argentina: 2023 Business Aviation Destination Guide

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As Argentina’s bustling capital, Buenos Aires ranks among the region’s top destinations for business jet travel, rivaled only by Brazil’s São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. The city’s robust economy, vibrant business environment, and strategic location make it a popular hub for entrepreneurs, executives, and corporations.

Here’s everything you need to know about operating a business jet to Buenos Aires:


Buenos Aires Airport Options

Buenos Aires is served by four primary airports, the biggest two being SAEZ and SABE, the most congested airports in Argentina.


Ezeiza (SAEZ)

Ministro Pistarini International Airport, also known as Ezeiza International Airport (ICAO: SAEZ), is the largest international airport in Argentina, located in the city of Ezeiza, Buenos Aires. It is located 35 km southwest of the city with an approximate drive time to downtown of 40-45 minutes.

Hours

Buenos Aires – Ezeiza (SAEZ) – is an international airport open 24/7 with no restrictions.

PPR, Slots, and Parking

PPR and Slots are not required.

The airport sometimes has parking shortages. Hangar space may be available for rent; if you choose to rent one, you won’t have to pay parking fees to the airport authorities.

Facilities

All private aviation operators flying into Ezeiza must use the new General Aviation Terminal, which is open 24 hours daily. However, using this facility comes with additional fees. The terminal has VIP lounges, meeting rooms, crew areas, internet access, and showers.

Equipment

SAEZ is run by a government company called Intercargo SAC, which operates all ground equipment. Since all ground handlers must use their services, and airlines are prioritized over corporate flights, delays are likely. There are some tow bars available, but not all types, so operators should check if what they need is available ahead of time.

CIQ

Crew and passengers must clear customs at the General Aviation Terminal (GAT), with a typical process time of about 2 minutes per person. Customs and airport police inspect the emptied aircraft upon arrival and before departure. All luggage, goods, and personal belongings must be unloaded, and the aircraft will remain empty throughout its stay.


Aeroparque Jorge Newbery (SABE)

SABE is the central hub for domestic flights in Argentina and international flights for many South American destinations. The airport is in the Palermo Ward along the Rio de la Plata northeast of the city. It is nine km from the city center with a drive time of 20 minutes.

Hours

SABE is open 24/7 but is not an AOE without special permission and requires PPR.

PPR, Slots, and Parking

PPR is required. Slots are not required. General aviation aircraft that aren’t based at SABE need to get a special landing permit before they can operate at SABE, and their operations are limited to quick drop-offs before moving the aircraft to another airport. This permit must be requested 48 hours in advance on working days.

No general aviation aircraft can park overnight at this airport; only military or official government flights can get parking spaces. A private VIP aircraft can only stay overnight if hangar space is available. General aviation parking is limited to a maximum of two hours.

Facilities

The airport used to have a terminal for general aviation called “Terminal Sur,” but the military now controls it, and is only available for official or diplomatic flights. General aviation aircraft must park on the airport’s south side, and passengers will be driven to the main terminal’s customs area, 10 minutes away. However, there might be significant delays if a commercial flight arrives while this is happening.

Equipment

 Because using aircraft power to move is restricted at this airport, it’s strongly recommended that you bring your own towbar since the handler will not provide one. This airport can handle aircraft with a maximum takeoff weight of up to 80 tons.

CIQ

This airport can be an international point of entry for approved flights, but you must arrange customs at least two working days in advance. Upon arrival, the crew and passengers must clear customs at the main terminal, although handlers can assist. After passengers have exited, the aircraft will be inspected by customs and airport police. All luggage, goods, and personal belongings must be unloaded, and the aircraft will remain empty throughout its stay. Before departure, the aircraft will be inspected once again.


San Fernando (SADF)

SADF is located 21 km north of the city with an approximate drive time to downtown of 25 minutes.

Language

San Fernando International Airport has English-speaking controllers available 24/7.

Hours

SADF is an international airport open 24/7 but only for aircraft with less than 30 tons of MTOW.

PPR, Slots, and Parking

PPR and slots are not required.

Aircraft can only be 40 min on the platform for the operation upon arrival or departure. After 40 minutes, it must be moved from the operation platform to the hangars.

There’s no public area for overnight parking – it’s only possible in private hangars.

CIQ

Customs and immigration services are available 24/7 at the main apron, where crew and passengers must clear customs. Handlers can assist during this process. When you arrive, your aircraft will be inspected by customs and airport police after all passengers have left. Everything must be removed from the aircraft, which will stay empty while parked. The aircraft will be inspected again before departure.

Please note there is only one immigration desk for arrivals and another for departures.


General Information for Business Jets to Buenos Aires

Clearance

Crew and passengers must clear customs at their respective airport terminals. Customs clearance usually takes 2 minutes per person. The required details for clearance into Argentina include full names, passport numbers, nationality, and birth dates of the captain, crew, and passengers. Additional details such as the captain’s license, flight log book hours, and insurance information are also required.


Currency

Those carrying more than USD 10,000 should declare it on a customs money declaration form.


Catering

Due to health regulations, no outside catering is allowed in the country.


Luggage

Passengers can bring personal effects without additional charges, but non-personal items will be subject to additional customs taxes. Such items can be sent via courier or cargo services to avoid these charges.


Firearms

If weapons are onboard, a firearms form must be completed and submitted for clearance.


Peak Travel Season

Buenos Aires has two peak seasons, one in summer from December 1 to February 28 and another in winter from July 15 to August 15.


Conclusion

Buenos Aires has three airports serving business aviation flights: Buenos Aires – Ezeiza (SAEZ), Aeroparque Jorge Newbery (SABE), and San Fernando (SADF). Choosing the best option depends on several factors.

If you’re planning a mission to Buenos Aires, Universal Aviation Argentina can help.


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