World Cup 2014 Business Aviation Update: Part 1 – Airports & Parking

PT 4 M minute read
World Cup 2014 Business Aviation Update: Part 1 – Airports & Parking

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

This business aviation blog post is part of a series on operational updates for the World Cup.

The 2014 World Cup takes places June 12-July 13, 2014. During this period General Aviation (GA) parking, as well as crew accommodations, will be extremely limited. It’s best to begin working with your 3rd-party provider as soon as the schedule is known to coordinate a workable logistical plan and the most successful outcome for attending the 2014 World Cup.

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

1. GA challenges

The Brazilian government is currently trying to calculate the number of GA flights anticipated during the World Cup period. Greatest demands on GA infrastructure will occur for the final tournaments that will take place in Rio de Janeiro. Currently, aircraft parking availability for host airports in Brazil is still unknown. Once airport authorities review all operator requests, authorities will determine which airports will host GA aircraft and any particular parking/operating restrictions that may be in effect at specific locations.

2. Brazil operating permits

Domestic permits are required for all operations to Brazil – both private non-revenue and charter (non-scheduled commercial) – that make more than one stop in country. Currently, it takes about 48 hours to process a Brazil domestic permit. As we get closer to the World Cup, this process will be extended and may take up to seven business days. Be mindful that, when applying for domestic permits, you’ll need to submit a full schedule with all required aircraft documentation. Also, be aware that airport slots may not be requested until your domestic permit, with correct documentation, is approved. Crew documentation changes do not impact the domestic permit process as crew documentation revisions may be submitted as well to Agencia Nacional de Aviacao Civil, the national civil aviation agency, at any time.

3. Aircraft parking

Due to anticipated parking issues and lack of hotel availability at major airports serving World Cup tournament venues, operators should consider using alternate airports for aircraft parking. Best option, in many cases, will be to drop passengers at the closest airport to an event and then reposition. It’s recommended that all aircraft services – fuel uplifts, in-flight catering, lav/water, etc. – be done at the reposition airport and not at the primary airport where you’ll pick up passengers. This is because time on the ground for a drop/go will be very limited and insufficient, in most cases, to accomplish aircraft servicing during passenger pick up/drop off.

4. Aircraft parking options

Parking situations for each airport will depend on volume of operator requests. If there are too many requests, certain airports may be closed to GA operations, while others may implement parking restrictions. Many airports in Brazil are expected to be very busy until at least one week after each event. Airports that are slot-coordinated will issue Notices to Airmen (NOTAMs) indicating availability of parking and maximum time on the ground. Be aware that once parking is requested it will take some time for airport authorities to process the requests. The concern is that certain alternate airports that are not currently slot-coordinated may become slot-coordinated at a later time. At present authorities are still determining which airports may be available to GA. Very limited parking is anticipated, for example, for SBGR. Our hope is that later this month we’ll have better guidance on GA parking for World Cup host airports throughout Brazil.

5. Flight plan considerations

Flight plans for Brazil must be filed a minimum of one hour and 30 minutes prior to the approved estimated arrival/departure slot. This allows airport authorities sufficient time to confirm that arrangements and airport slots have been confirmed for your flight prior to operation. Airport slot confirmations must always be noted in remarks section 18 of the flight plan. If you file a flight plan within the one-hour-30-minute minimum lead time period, it will be denied.

6. Airport closures

Primary airports for the 2014 World Cup will have closures during the tournaments. Expect airports to be closed one hour prior to a match and for three to four hours after the beginning of each game. It’s very important to check and ensure that you’re not trying to operate during these times as it will not be possible to do so. During the day of each game, expect additional operating restrictions to be in place. These restrictions, however, have yet to be determined. Note that no GA operator – including diplomatic movements, sponsors, or operators transporting team members – will receive preferential treatment in terms of published airport restrictions.

7. Helicopter restrictions

Brazilian authorities are working on guidelines and restrictions in terms of helicopter movements during the World Cup event period. While restrictions are unknown at this time, there’s a chance you will not be able to use certain airports for helicopter transfers.

8. Additional information

Additional clarification regarding aircraft parking and airport restrictions is expected over the next six weeks. We anticipate additional information to be released throughout April, with latest operating updates issued by late May. For current updates on World Cup operating considerations for business aircraft operators, see the Brazil 2014 Trip Planning Resources Center.


During the World Cup period, there will be assorted challenges in terms of aircraft parking, airport restrictions, and crew accommodations. Keep in mind that this is a major world sporting event of almost unprecedented proportions, and, when dealing with any event of this magnitude, airport and local hotel infrastructure will inevitably be challenged. To secure best operating options, it’s recommended to begin working with your 3rd-party provider and local ground handlers without delay.


If you have any questions about this article or operations to Brazil or would like assistance planning your trip to the World Cup, contact us at

Stay tuned for Part 2, which covers airport slots and permits for the World Cup.

World Cup, 2014 Brazil and Brazil 2014 are trademarks of the Federation Internationale de Football Association (“FIFA”). Universal Aviation is not in any way associated with FIFA.

Got a question for Marcia about this article?