São Paulo–Guarulhos International Airport
|São Paulo/Guarulhos–Governador André Franco Montoro International Airport
Aeroporto Internacional de São Paulo/Guarulhos–Governador André Franco Montoro
|IATA: GRU – ICAO: SBGR|
|Hub for||TAM Airlines
|Elevation AMSL||750 m / 2,459 ft|
|Metric tonnes of cargo||448,274|
|Economic & social impact||$3.4 billion & 154.1 thousand|
Sources: Airport Website, ANAC
São Paulo/Guarulhos–Governador André Franco Montoro International Airport (IATA: GRU, ICAO: SBGR), formerly called Cumbica Airport after the district where it is located and the Air Force Base that still exists at the airport complex, is the main airport serving São Paulo, Brazil. It is located in the adjoining municipality of Guarulhos in Greater São Paulo. Since November 28, 2001 the airport is named after André Franco Montoro (1916–1999), former Governor of São Paulo.
In 2012 the airport was ranked 1st in terms of transported passengers, aircraft operations, and cargo handled in Brazil, placing it as the busiest airport in the country. Guarulhos has slot restrictions, operating with a maximum of 45 operations/hour and being one of the five airports with such restrictions in Brazil (the others are São Paulo-Congonhas, Brasília, Belo Horizonte-Pampulha and Rio de Janeiro-Santos Dumont).
Since 2012 it is operated by a consortium composed of Invepar S/A, Airports Company South Africa, and Infraero.  Some of its facilities are shared with the São Paulo Air Force Base of the Brazilian Air Force.
On June 6, 1967, in response the growth of the air traffic in Brazil, the Brazilian military government initiated studies concerning the renovation of the airport infrastructure in Brazil. As part of the conclusions of these studies, because of their location, strategic importance, and security issues, new passenger facilities would be constructed in the areas of Galeão Air Force Base in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo Air Force Base in São Paulo.
In relation to São Paulo, the initial planning of the airport involved 3 runways and 4 passenger terminals. However, the first phase of the construction comprising two runways and two terminals started only on August 11, 1980. The airport was officially inaugurated on January 20, 1985. Quickly Guarulhos became the city's primary airport, supplanting São Paulo-Congonhas Airport.
In 1989 the runways were extended and the terminals renovated, enlarged, and had their capacity increased from 7.5 million to 8.25 million passengers/year. The whole complex has 3,425 acres (14 km²), of which 5 km² is urbanized area.
Since 2001 the construction of terminal 3, capable of handling 12 million passengers/year has been planned but due to a myriad of political and economic problems, only in 2011 the actual construction began.
In 2010, the airport served more than 26.8 million passengers, an increase of 24% over 2009 and passenger volumes were 31% in excess of its capacity rated at 20.5 million per year at its present configuration.
In order to relieve the acute overcrowding at Terminals 1 and 2, Infraero announced on May 17, 2011 that the former cargo terminals of defunct airlines VASP and Transbrasil, later used by Federal Agencies, would undergo renovations and adaptations for use as domestic-only passenger terminals with remote-only positions. This new terminal is now called Terminal 4 (T4). The first phase of the renovations, comprising the former VASP terminal, opened on February 8, 2012, and the second phase, comprising the former Transbrasil terminal, will open by December 2012. Contrary to the announced before, T4 will be of permanent use. Webjet was the first airline to use the new facility. The new terminal, in its first phase, increased the capacity of the airport in 5.5 million passengers/year and, in the second phase it will increase to 8 million passengers/year. In total, Guarulhos will then be able to handle 28.5 million passengers/year.
Following a decision made on April 26, 2011 by the Federal Government for private companies being granted concessions to explore some Infraero airports, on February 6, 2012, the administration of the airport was conceded, for 20 years, to the Consortium Invepar-ACSA composed by the Brazilian Invepar, an Investments and Funds Society (90%) and the South African ACSA – Airports Company South Africa (10%). Infraero, the state-run organization, will remain with 49% of the shares of the company incorporated for the administration.
GRU has two parallel runways. Runway 9R/27L is 9,843 feet long and 148 feet wide, while Runway 9L/27R is 12,140 feet long and 148 feet wide. The field elevation at the Airport is 2,459 feet above mean sea level. There are high speed exit taxiways on both runways that allow for traffic to depart the Runway at a higher rate of speed to allow better efficiency for landing and takeoff traffic. Right now, there is an average of 650 takeoff and landing operations at the Airport.
There are two navigational aids that GRU traffic uses. The Bonsucesso very high frequency omnidirectional range with distance measuring equipment (VOR-DME) is located 4.9 nautical miles to the east of GRU. The Terminal is split into two: TPS1 and TPS2. As you can see in Exhibit 1, there are two main terminals with piers coming out of each one. Because the two are connected, transferring between the two is easy. There are about “260 check-in counters” and “370 companies established there generating about 53,000 jobs.
On 31 August 2009, Infraero unveiled a BRL1,489.5 million (USD784.7 million; EUR549.8 million) investment plan to upgrade Guarulhos International Airport, focusing on preparations for the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the Summer Olympics in 2016 which will be held in Brazil, São Paulo being one of the venue cities. The investment will be distributed as follows:
- Construction of further taxiways. Value 19M. Completion: April 2011 (work not yet completed in August 2011).
- Enlargement of apron and taxiways. Value 370.5M. Completion: July 2011 (work not yet completed in August 2011).
- Construction of passenger Terminal 3. Value 1,100M. Completion: March 2014.
Central to this investment plan is Terminal 3, which is projected to add 12 million passenger capacity to the 17 million of the existing two terminals. Plans for a third runway were pronounced to be "technically impracticable" and were cancelled in January 2008.
However, Infraero experienced many legal and bureaucratic difficulties, which prevented most (if any) of these improvements to be completed on schedule. As of April 2013, the airport is no longer managed by Infraero. The new (private) managers have unveiled a new expansion project, which includes a new Terminal 3 (with a different design than the one proposed by Infraero), the widening of the main runway in order to enable operations by the new Airbus A380 and Boeing 747-8 and several other improvements in the existing terminals and parking area.
A train service development and construction has also been given high priority. This include an Airport Express Line linking the airport to downtown São Paulo and a Rio–São Paulo high-speed rail connecting Guarulhos to Rio de Janeiro-Galeão and Campinas-Viracopos airports.
Airlines and destinations
Accidents and incidents
- 28 January 1986: a VASP Boeing 737-2A1 registration PP-SME flying from Guarulhos to Belo Horizonte unknowingly tried to take-off from Guarulhos under foggy conditions from a taxiway. The take-off was aborted, but the aircraft overran, collided with a dyke and broke in two. One passenger died.
- 21 March 1989: a Transbrasil cargo Boeing 707-349C registration PT-TCS operating flight 801, flying from Manaus to São Paulo-Guarulhos, crashed at the district of Vila Barros in Guarulhos, shortly before touch-down at runway 09R. That day, at 12:00 the runway was going to be closed for maintenance and the crew decided to speed up procedures to touch-down before closure (it was already 11:54). In a hurry, one of the crew members, by mistake, activated the air-dynamic brakes and the aircraft lost too much speed to have enough aerodynamic support (Stall). As a consequence the aircraft crashed at approximately 2 km from the airport. There were 25 fatalities which of these three were crew members and 22 were civilians on the accident site. As well as the 22 fatalities, there were also over 100 injured on the ground.
- 14 September 2002: a Total Linhas Aéreas ATR42-312 registration PT-MTS on a cargo flight between São Paulo-Guarulhos and Londrina crashed while en route near Paranapanema. The crew of 2 died.
The airport is located 25 km (16 mi) from downtown São Paulo.
The airport has its own highway system: Rodovia Hélio Smidt Highway which connects the airport to Presidente Dutra Highway or Ayrton Senna Highway. Residents of Guarulhos can access the road via Monteiro Lobato Avenue.
Bus transportation is available through the Airport Bus Service, an executive bus line, administered by EMTU and operated by Consórcio Internorte - Área 3. This service provides transportation connecting: Guarulhos to Congonhas airport; to Tietê Bus Terminal; to Palmeiras-Barra Funda Intermodal Terminal, to Faria Lima Ave.; To Republica Square (Praça da República), To Berrini Ave. Itaim Bibi district; and to the circuit of hotels along Paulista Avenue and Rua Augusta. The ride takes about one hour, depending on traffic. At Guarulhos Airport, tickets can be purchased at the counter located outside the lounge of the Terminal 1, Wing B's arrivals level. If picking up the bus from a location not serviced by a counter, passage can be paid to the driver upon boarding. One-way fare as of March 2013 is around R$35.
Pássaro Marron/EMTU, a syndicate of the Internorte Consortium, offers two regular bus lines, 257 and 299, connecting Tatuapé subway station (Linha Vermelha) with Guarulhos Airport every 30 minutes. It is usually worth your while to wait for the faster 257. At Tatuapé, both buses can be picked up on the street level: turn left (toward Terminal Norte) after passing through the Metrô turnstile, continue along the overpass, and then head down the first stairway on the left. At the airport, the stop for both buses is on the median of the Arrivals-level road connecting Terminals 1 and 2. As of December 1, 2011, one-way fare on either bus costs R$4.05 and can be paid to the driver in cash upon boarding. Ticket counters for this service can be found at the Arrivals areas of both Terminals 1 and 2.
Viação Cometa offers daily departures to and from the airport and the cities of Santos, São Vicente, and Praia Grande. Caprioli Turismo operates daily buses between the airport and Campinas. Pássaro Marron offers bus services to São José dos Campos with departures every two hours. Viação Transdutra connects the airport with the city of Arujá.
Taxi stands are located outside each of the two terminals on the Arrivals level. It is recommended that travelers use one of the airport taxi companies operated by Guarucoop, a cooperative of taxi drivers serving the airport. Credit cards are accepted at the Guarucoop stand, but be aware that not all international credit cards work everywhere in Brazil. Getting a taxi from Guarulhos airport to São Paulo city can also be arranged with São Paulo Airport Transfers, who provide better quality vehicles.
There are car rental facilities at the airport.
- "São Paulo–Guarulhos International International airport - Economic and social impact". Ecquants. Retrieved September 7, 2013.
- "Movimento operacional da rede Infraero de janeiro a dezembro de 2012" (in Portuguese). Infraero. January 14, 2013. Retrieved January 16, 2013.
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- Rittner, Daniel; Braga, Paulo Victor (31 August 2009). "Infraero vai gastar R$5 bi em reforma de aeroportos". Valor Econômico (in Portuguese). pp. A4.
- "Trem de alta velocidade" (in Portuguese). Ministério dos Transportes. Retrieved August 7, 2011.
- Ricci, Joël (25 May 2013). "Air Europa s’envole vers Sao Paulo en décembre" [Air Europa will fly to Sao Paulo in December] (in French). Air Journal. Archived from the original on 27 May 2013.
- "American Airlines Launches Codeshare Agreement with TAM Airlines". August 15, 2013. Retrieved August 16, 2013.
- "Accident description PP-SME". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved August 6, 2011.
- "Accident description PT-TCS". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved July 14, 2011.
- "Accident description PT-MTS". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved July 23, 2011.
- "Airport Bus Service" (in Portuguese). EMTU. Retrieved 1 December 2011.
- "Transporte para aeroportos" (in Portuguese). Gol Airlines. Retrieved 30 August 2011.
- "Traslados Nacionais". TAM Airlines. Retrieved March 27, 2011.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to São Paulo-Guarulhos International Airport.|
- Airport information for SBGR at World Aero Data. Data current as of October 2006.Source: DAFIF.
- Airport information for SBGR at Great Circle Mapper. Source: DAFIF (effective Oct. 2006).
- Current weather for SBGR at NOAA/NWS
- Accident history for GRU at Aviation Safety Network
- São Paulo-Guarulhos Airport Photo Archive at airliners.net
- Sao Paulo Airport Transfers for taxis from Guarulhos airport to Sao Paulo city