OPS UPDATE | 2016 Brazil Summer Games – Part 1: Airport Slots and Hub Airports

PT 4 M minute read
OPS UPDATE | 2016 Brazil Summer Games - Part 1: Airport Slots and Hub Airports

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 marciataue@universalaviation.aero or adonisbastos@universalaviation.aero.

This is part one of a two-article series on the latest updates for the 2016 Brazil Summer Games.

We’re a little more than a month out from the 2016 Brazil Summer Games, and authorities are now publishing additional information pertinent to operations to Brazil-and, especially, Galeao, Rio de Janeiro (SBGL). It’s important to be aware of all regulatory aspects for travel to Brazil during the Summer Games period. This includes hub airports, security clearances, airport slots and slot penalties and parking options.

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

1. Airport slot availability

As of July 13 airport slots are available for general aviation (GA) at for all slot-coordinated airports for this event. Be advised that you’ll need to have landing permit approval, and a schedule, prior to requesting airport slots. Operators must also sign and submit a “slot letter” to Centro de Gerenciamento da Navegacao Aerea (CGNA), in order to allow 3rd-party providers to obtain slots on their behalf, and operators must acknowledge penalties for missing confirmed slot times. This new requirement has been imposed by Brazilian authorities and will remain a permanent requirement even after the Summer Games. Note that each provider has their own slot letter template. If you choose to utilize a different provider any earlier letter to CGNA needs to be cancelled before a new one is submitted.

2. Slot cancellation policy

It’s recommended that operators become familiar with Brazil’s new slot cancellation policies and understand that it’s only permissible to submit slot changes up to a specific time frame prior to departure. Otherwise, depending on the infraction, you may incur penalties. For the cancellation policy, penalty information, and other pertinent information for this event, please see the 2016 Brazil Summer Games resource center.

3. Penalties for missing a slot

Penalties for missing confirmed slot times vary, depending on the amount of disruption caused. Agencia Nacional de Aviacao Civil (ANAC), the national civil aviation agency, will calculate applicable penalties and fine operators following the Games, after first sending out a letter and allowing operators a specific time period to respond with an explanation. It’s important to note that letters requesting an explanation will only be sent out after the Games. If you do not file a response, or your response is not accepted by ANAC, the penalty will be applied. Operators who do not pay imposed penalties may find themselves unable to obtain permits/slots or operate to Brazil.

4. Red exclusion zones

Brazil has published exclusion zone times for all slot-coordinated airports during the Summer Games period. Each airport has different exclusion times, depending on the events in the area, with SBGL having the most exclusion zone time brackets. Exclusion zones impacting GA are denoted as red and yellow. Red exclusion zones prohibit all GA operations. Within a red exclusion zone only military, diplomatic, air ambulance flights on duty or authorized Summer Games event flights are permitted.

5. Yellow exclusion zones

GA operations are permitted, with restrictions, within yellow exclusion zones. To operate within active yellow exclusion zone operators must have a permit and an approved airport slot, and they must arrive from a designated “hub airport.” However, for operations outside yellow exclusion zone times you’re only required to have your permit and slot approvals.

6. Hub airports

Hub airports will only be available in Brazil and the U.S. While authorities have announced the Brazilian ports, the U.S. fields have yet to be announced. The Brazilian hub airports are as follows:

  • Galeao Intl (SBGL)*
  • Santos Dumont (SBRJ)*
  • Cabo Frio (SBCB)
  • Brasilia (SBBR)*
  • Guarulhos (SBGR)*
  • Recife (SBRF)
  • Manaus (SBEG)
  • Porto Alegre (SBPA)

* Even though these are hub airports, they will be in a yellow exclusion zone during certain time frames. This means that in order to land at any of these airports during the exclusion zone time brackets (times vary by port), you still need to arrive from a hub airport as a direct flight isn’t possible.

For operations during an active yellow zone, even for domestic flights, you must stop at a hub airport prior to traveling to any yellow zone destination. Due to enhanced security measures the clearance process at a hub airport will take approximately three hours. The actual security inspection involves about one-and-a-half hours. Only after this has been done and approved will you be able to begin the flight planning for the next leg – a one-and-a-half hour procedure at slot-coordinated airports.

7. Security inspections at hub airports

Upon arrival at a hub airport all luggage will be x-rayed twice, once by a 3rd-party provider authorized by ANAC and again by customs, immigration, and quarantine (CIQ). It’s expected that manual inspections of approximately 10% of luggage will also take place. External and internal aircraft inspections will be conducted by 3rd-party ANAC- and CGNA-authorized agents. Ground handlers will oversee this process, and either the pilot in command (PIC) or second in command (SIC) must be present during inspections. Note that there’s an additional charge operators must pay for these inspections.

8. More information on hub airport procedures

For more information on how hub airport procedures may impact your operation see the 2016 Brazil Summer Games resource center.


Airport slots are now available, but operators need to have specific items confirmed prior to being able to obtain them. The cancellation policy was published and it’s important that operators become familiar with the information to avoid any potential penalties. Also, hub airports will be required when yellow exclusion zones are enacted, adding additional requirements for travel to your destination.

Stay tuned for Part 2, which covers flight planning, aircraft parking, customs and immigration for the 2016 Brazil Summer Games.


If you have any questions about this article or would like assistance planning your trip to the Summer Games, contact Marcia at marciataue@universalaviation.aero or Adonis at adonisbastos@universalaviation.aero.


Universal Weather and Aviation, Inc. is not a sponsor or in any way affiliated with the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.


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