OPS UPDATE | 2016 Brazil Summer Games – Part 2: : Flight Planning, Parking & CIQ

PT 3 M minute read

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 business aviation blog post continues from our article last week, entitled: “OPS UPDATE | 2016 Brazil Summer Games – Part 1: Airport Slots and Hub Airports.

Flight planning to Brazil will be somewhat more complex and involved during the Summer Games period (August 5-September 18). Parking at primary airports and especially Galeao, Rio de Janeiro (SBGL) will be in high demand. Also, hotels at SBGL are in high demand with few to no options available at this time.

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

1. Flight planning requirements

For slot-coordinated airports flight plans must be filed at least one-and-a-half hours prior to flight. In the case of non slot-coordinated locations, flight plans need to be on file at least 45 minutes prior to departure. It’s important that slot confirmations always be placed in the remarks section of your ICAO flight plan, along with the pilot in command’s (PIC’s) name, landing fee receipt number, and – in the case of hub airport operations – security confirmation numbers. If any of this is missing your flight plan will not be filed. Additionally, if arrival or departure times on your flight plan does not match the approved slot times, your flight plan will not be filed. Once you’ve been granted clearance to arrive/depart be aware that slot time deviation is +/- 30 minutes.

2. Aircraft parking

Parking at SBGL is now available for GA operators to request and confirm. If you’re planning to travel to SBGL during the Summer Games period it’s important to request parking as early as possible. Short-notice or last-minute parking requests for SBGL may not be available, thus requiring repositioning. Limited GA parking will also be available at Santos Dumont (SBRJ), and applications may now be forwarded to local airport authorities for consideration. We don’t expect aircraft parking to be an issue at other locations, but this can change at a moment’s notice.

3. Drop and go’s

Be aware that it may be difficult to accomplish drop and go’s at airports within active yellow exclusion zones. This is because you’ll still need to go through the hub airport security process before leaving to the next destination. And, if it’s a slot-coordinated airport you’ll also need to file your flight plan at least one-and-a-half hours prior to departure. So, you may need to obtain three hours of ground time from local airport authorities, in addition to favorable slot times, in order to accomplish a drop and go.

4. CIQ clearance

All customs, immigration, and quarantine (CIQ) inspections/clearances take place within main terminals of respective airports. GA passengers will clear CIQ in the same lines as scheduled commercial travelers.

5. NOTAMs and parking restrictions

It’s anticipated that slot-coordinated airports for this event will issue NOTAMs one to two weeks prior to the Summer Games. This may restrict the time you’re permitted to remain on the ground if you do not already have parking approved in advance. In some cases you may be limited to a max of two hours on the ground, and this may complicate your ability to complete the three hour security process applicable at designated hub airports.

6. Hotels considerations

We expect crew accommodation availability to be one of the larger concerns for GA operations to Brazil during the Summer Games. Most 3-star and above hotel rooms are booked—blocked by the Olympics Committee and by travel agents who’ve purchased them and are now reselling them. If you’re able to source crew rooms be prepared for 800-1300 USD/night rates for 4-star accommodations. If you’re not able to find hotel rooms locally you may be able to drive one-and-a-half to two hours to another city to find adequate crew accommodations. Alternatively, it may be best for crew to reposition to another city where accommodations are available.

7. Local transport options

Prepaid (car with driver) and secure local transport options should be available during the Summer Games period, even for shorter notice operations, but costs will be higher than normal. Some transport providers are only permitting minimum 12-hour vehicle bookings. As these policies depend on the particular vendor we recommend checking with your 3rd-party provider or local ground handler to determine what the best available local transport options may be.


If you’re planning on traveling to the Summer Games it’s recommended that requests be submitted as early as possible for permits, airport slots, aircraft parking, handling and crew accommodations. Last minute requests will likely face challenges and delays due to limited availability of services. Be aware of the aircraft parking challenges and potential NOTAMs issued by airport for this event limiting the time on the ground.


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.

Got a question for Marcia about this article?