São Paulo–Congonhas Airport

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São Paulo/Congonhas Airport
Aeroporto de São Paulo/Congonhas
Aeroporto de Congonhas - Aeronaves.jpg
IATA: CGHICAO: SBSP
Summary
Airport type Public
Operator Infraero
Serves São Paulo
Hub for
Focus city for Azul Brazilian Airlines
Elevation AMSL 802 m / 2,631 ft
Coordinates 23°37′34″S 046°39′23″W / 23.62611°S 46.65639°W / -23.62611; -46.65639Coordinates: 23°37′34″S 046°39′23″W / 23.62611°S 46.65639°W / -23.62611; -46.65639
Website Infraero CGH
Map
CGH is located in São Paulo
CGH
CGH
Location in São Paulo
Runways
Direction Length Surface
m ft
17R/35L 1,940 6,365 Asphalt
17L/35R 1,435 4,708 Asphalt
Statistics (2015)
Passengers 19,279,644
Aircraft Operations 213,833
Metric tonnes of cargo 54,507
Statistics: Infraero[1]
Sources: Airport Website,[2] ANAC[3]

São Paulo/Congonhas Airport (IATA: CGHICAO: SBSP) Portuguese pronunciation: [kõˈɡõɲɐs] is one of the three commercial airports serving São Paulo, Brazil (Campo de Marte Airport and São Paulo–Guarulhos International Airport being the other two). The airport is named after the neighborhood where it is located, formerly called Vila Congonhas, property of the descendants of Lucas Antônio Monteiro de Barros (1767–1851), Viscount of Congonhas do Campo, first president of the Province of São Paulo after the independence of Brazil in 1822, during the Empire. In turn, the Viscount's domain was named after the plural of a shrub known in Brazil as congonha-do-campo (Luxemburgia polyandra, of the Ochnaceae family).[4]

It is owned by the City of São Paulo, but operated by Infraero.

Congonhas has slot restrictions operating with a maximum of 30 operations/hour, being one of the five airports with such restrictions in Brazil.[5]

The central hall of the passenger terminal is considered one of the most outstanding examples of modern architecture in São Paulo. However, modernizing and enlargement works conducted at the terminal from 2003 onwards, while trying to preserve the look of the older, historic section. Today the main terminal has 51,535 m2 (554,718 sq.ft.).[4]

History[edit]

The classic but highly modified modern architecture central passenger terminal hall at Congonhas airport
Workers adding grooves to the main runway at Congonhas Airport in 2007

The airport was initially planned in 1919, but it did not open until 12 April 1936.[6] The site was outside the built-up urban area at the time, and it was chosen because it had favourable winds and lay on a high hill with little vegetation.[6] The airport was opened with a 300-metre (984-ft.) long dirt runway.[6] In the beginning it was the private airport of VASP, built as an alternative to Campo de Marte which, already at that time, had operational difficulties. VASP started services to Rio de Janeiro on 5 August 1936, advertising two daily round trips of 90 minutes' flight time in each direction,[6] starting a route that would eventually become one of the world's busiest. By 1957, the airport was the third busiest in the world for air cargo.[4]

During the 1950s, Congonhas served all international flights to/from São Paulo, as its runways could accommodate the Lockheed Constellations, Douglas DC-6s, and Douglas DC-7s in use at that time. As early jets such as the Convair 880, Convair 990 Coronado, Boeing 707, and Douglas DC-8 were bought by airlines, all long-haul travel shifted to Viracopos Airport, and the European airlines left Congonhas forever.

The July 1958 Official Airline Guide shows the following international carriers operating to and from Congonhas:

Aerolineas Argentinas - four flights per week, with Douglas DC-6s. Air France - three flights per week, with Lockheed Super Constellations. Alitalia - four flights per week, with Douglas DC-6s. Braniff - six flights per week with Douglas DC-6s and DC-7s. Cruzeiro do Sul - ten flights per week with Convair 340 and Douglas DC-3 aircraft. K.L.M. - three flights per week with Douglas DC-7s. Lufthansa - four flights per week with Lockheed Super Constellations. Pan American - thirteen flights per week with Douglas DC-7s. Panair do Brasil - twelve flights per week with Douglas DC-7s and Lockheed Super Constellations. REAL Aerovias - thirteen flights per week, operated with Lockheed Super Constellations and Douglas DC-3s. Scandinavian Airlines System - two flights per week, operated with Douglas DC-7 aircraft. Swissair - three flights per week, operated with Douglas DC-7 aircraft. VARIG - eight flights per week, operated with Lockheed Super Constellations.

In addition to the 85 international flights above, 764 domestic departures were flown between Cruzeiro do Sul, LOIDE, Sadia, VASP, VARIG, Panair do Brasil, and Nacional. (Source: OAG July 1958, American Aviation, Chicago).

On 21 May 1959, a formal agreement between Varig, Cruzeiro do Sul and VASP created the shuttle service to Rio de Janeiro that made the airport famous, being the first of its kind in the world. The service was called Air Bridge (Portuguese: Ponte Aérea), inspired on the Berlin Airlift; its first flight was operated on 6 July 1959. It operated between Rio de Janeiro–Santos Dumont and Congonhas Airports and comprised regular departures, usually every half-hour, a common check-in counter and simplified tickets and formalities.[7] The service was an instant success. Sadia, later known as Transbrasil, joined the partnership in 1968. In 1999 the service was discontinued, as more competitive economic times made airlines decide to operate their services independently on that route.[8]

Until 1985 Congonhas was the main airport of São Paulo operating domestic flights, as well as international service to neighbouring countries such as Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and Bolivia.[citation needed] Due to Congonhas' short runways, unable to accommodate most long-haul jets, intercontinental flights required changing planes at Rio de Janeiro–Galeão or were operated at Viracopos airport. However, Viracopos' distant location, in Campinas, 100 km (62 mi) from downtown São Paulo, made that choice inconvenient both for passengers and for airlines, so a connection in Rio was usually preferred.[original research?]

Since the opening of Guarulhos Airport in 1985, international flights no longer operate from Congonhas, and domestic operations have undergone restrictions.[citation needed] Still, Congonhas remains important to the city for regional and short-distance domestic flights. Given the concentration of Brazil's economy in the Central-Southern region, where São Paulo is located, such flights make up the greatest share of the country's domestic air traffic.[citation needed] Therefore, even after Guarulhos International Airport was opened, Congonhas continued to face congestion problems, regarding both the number of passengers and the number of flight operations. Yet the convenience of its short distance from downtown and from the major business areas of Paulista, Faria Lima and Luís Carlos Berrini avenues still makes Congonhas a favorite of passengers, especially business travelers.[original research?]

The airport administrator, Infraero, started in 2003 a comprehensive renovation plan of the airport complex. A remodeling of departure and arrival halls with installation of 12 jetways was completed on 15 August 2004. In December 2005, a new parking garage was opened. The runways received new surface between February and September 2007. They however cannot be extended because of the sheer urban growth of São Paulo, which has completely surrounded and engulfed the airport.[citation needed]

The airport has been troubled by slippery runways and has had several accidents where water accumulation has been a significant factor, the most notable being the one involving TAM Airlines Flight 3054 on 17 July 2007: although the main runway had been repaved in June 2007, its new rainwater drainage grooves were only finished in September 2007. As a consequence to this accident and the subsequent public outcry for more safety and reduction of noise, the airport has had its operations significantly altered, through the reduction of landing slots, restrictions on flight distance, and of operating times, presently from 6:00 to 22:30 hours. Furthermore, the maximum allowable gross weight of aircraft was reduced.[citation needed]

The largest aircraft now operating at Congonhas are the Airbus A320 and the Boeing 737-800. However, in the past the airport used to have operations with Boeing 767-200[9] and Airbus A300 wide-body aircraft, by the now-defunct airlines Transbrasil, VASP and Cruzeiro do Sul.

In 2008 Congonhas lost its international category.[4]

Future developments[edit]

On 31 August 2009, Infraero unveiled a R$164.7 million (USD86.8 million; EUR60.8 million) investment plan to up-grade Congonhas Airport focusing on the preparations for the 2014 FIFA World Cup which will be held in Brazil, São Paulo being one of the venue cities. The investment will be distributed as follows:[10]

  • New control tower. Value 11.9. Completed: May 2013[11]
  • Renovation of the apron. Value 20.6. Completion: January 2012
  • Conclusion of the renovation on the south portion of the passenger terminal. Value 67.1. Completion: October 2012
  • Renovation of the north portion of the passenger terminal. Value 65.1. Completion: October 2014

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Airlines Destinations
Avianca Brazil Aracaju, Brasília, Florianópolis, Fortaleza, Rio de Janeiro–Galeão, Rio de Janeiro–Santos Dumont, Salvador da Bahia
Azul Brazilian Airlines Belo Horizonte-Confins, Curitiba, Ilhéus, Maceió, Natal, Porto Alegre, Porto Seguro, Recife
Gol Transportes Aéreos Aracaju, Belém, Belo Horizonte-Confins, Brasília, Caldas Novas, Campo Grande, Caxias do Sul, Cuiabá, Curitiba, Florianópolis, Fortaleza, Goiânia, Ilhéus, João Pessoa, Joinville, Juiz de Fora, Londrina, Maceió, Maringá, Natal, Navegantes, Palmas, Porto Alegre, Porto Seguro, Presidente Prudente, Recife, Rio de Janeiro–Galeão, Rio de Janeiro–Santos Dumont, Salvador da Bahia, Uberlândia, Vitória
LATAM Brasil Belo Horizonte-Confins, Brasília, Campo Grande, Cuiabá, Curitiba, Florianópolis, Fortaleza, Foz do Iguaçu, Goiânia, Ilhéus, Jaguaruna, Joinville, Londrina, Natal, Navegantes, Palmas, Porto Alegre, Porto Seguro, Porto Velho, Ribeirão Preto, Rio de Janeiro–Galeão, Rio de Janeiro–Santos Dumont, Salvador da Bahia, São José do Rio Preto, Uberlândia, Vitória

Accidents and incidents[edit]

Aerial view
TAM Airbus A320 taking off from Congonhas
Airplanes waiting in line for take off at the congested Congonhas Airport.
  • 18 August 1941: a Panair do Brasil Lockheed Model 18 Lodestar registration PP-PBD en route from Curitiba-Bacacheri to São Paulo–Congonhas crashed on the Cantareira mountain range near São Paulo. 8 out of 13 passengers and crew aboard died.[12][13]
  • 28 September 1942: a Panair do Brasil Lockheed Model 18 Lodestar registration PP-PBG en route from Rio de Janeiro–Santos Dumont to São Paulo–Congonhas crashed on the location of Pedra Branca, near Santo André. All 15 passengers and crew died.[12][14]
  • 31 August 1944: a Panair do Brasil Lockheed Model 18 Lodestar registration PP-PBI crashed while on night approach to São Paulo–Congonhas under heavy fog. All 16 occupants died.[15][16]
  • 13 March 1948: a Cruzeiro do Sul Douglas C-53D-DO registration PP-CBX flying to São Paulo–Congonhas crashed on Cantareira Range, near São Paulo. All 6 passengers and crew aboard died.[17]
  • 8 September 1951: a VASP Douglas C-47B-20-DK registration PP-SPQ struck a house after take-off from São Paulo–Congonhas and crashed. Thirteen passengers and crew and three persons on the ground died.[18]
  • 13 May 1952: a VASP Douglas C-47B-45-DK registration PP-SPM operating a flight from São Paulo–Congonhas to Bauru lost control when carrying out an emergency landing following an engine failure. Two crew members and 3 passengers died.[19]
  • 17 June 1953: a Panair do Brasil Lockheed L-049 Constellation registration PP-PDA operating flight 263 crashed on final approach to São Paulo–Congonhas. Apparently causes are related to night operations with little visibility. All 17 passengers and crew died.[20][21]
  • 4 June 1954: a Varig Curtiss C-46A-45-CU Commando registration PP-VBZ operating a cargo flight between São Paulo–Congonhas and Porto Alegre crashed during take-off from São Paulo. All crew of 3 died.[22][23]
  • 23 September 1959: a VASP Saab Scandia 90A-1 registration PP-SQV en route from São Paulo–Congonhas to Rio de Janeiro–Santos Dumont during climb after take-off did not gain enough height and crashed 1 1/2 minutes out of São Paulo killing all 20 passengers and crew.[24][25]
  • 15 January 1963: a Cruzeiro do Sul Convair 240-D registration PP-CEV on approach to Paulo-Congonhas crashed into houses in the neighborhood of Jabaquara after an engine failed. Of the 45 passengers and crew aboard, 6 died. Six persons on the ground were also killed.[26][27]
  • 3 May 1963: a Cruzeiro do Sul Convair 340-59 registration PP-CDW flying from São Paulo–Congonhas to Rio de Janeiro–Santos Dumont had to return to São Paulo after no. 2 engine caught fire. When on finals to touch down, the aircraft nosed up 45°, stalled and struck a house. Of the 50 passengers and crew aboard, 37 died.[28][29]
  • 30 May 1972: a Varig Lockheed L-188 Electra registration PP-VJL operating a flight between São Paulo–Congonhas and Porto Alegre was hijacked. The hijacker demanded money. The aircraft was stormed and the hijacker was shot.[30]
  • 27 February 1975: a VASP Embraer EMB 110 Bandeirante registration PP-SBE operating flight 640 from São Paulo–Congonhas to Bauru crashed after take-off from Congonhas. The 2 crew members and 13 passengers died.[31][32]
  • 31 October 1996: a TAM Airlines Fokker 100 registration PT-MRK and operating flight 402 from São Paulo–Congonhas to Rio de Janeiro–Santos Dumont crashed on urban area during take-off procedures and after engine no.2 suffering an uncommanded reverse thrust and thus losing power, stalled, yawed to the right and struck a building. All 95 passengers and crew on board and 4 people on the ground died.[33][34]
  • 9 July 1997: a TAM Airlines Fokker 100 registration PT-WHK operating flight 283 en route from São José dos Campos to São Paulo–Congonhas was climbing after take-off from São José dos Campos when a bomb exploded in the rear part of the passenger cabin. The uncontrolled decompression blew one passenger out of the aircraft. The aircraft made a successful emergency landing in São Paulo, despite the hole in the fuselage.[35]
  • 17 July 2007: a TAM Airlines Airbus A320 registration PR-MBK operating flight 3054 from Porto Alegre to São Paulo–Congonhas overran the runway while landing at Congonhas, crossed a major thoroughfare and impacted against a TAM Express warehouse. All 187 passengers and crew and 12 on the ground perished. 199 bodies were recovered from the crash site, including passengers, crew and people that were working at the warehouse. It remains the deadliest aviation accident in Brazilian territory.[36]

Access[edit]

The airport is located 8 km (5 mi) from downtown São Paulo, at Washington Luís Avenue, in the district of Campo Belo.

Azul Brazilian Airlines offers for its passengers free bus transfers between Congonhas and Campinas-Viracopos International Airport at regular times.[37]

Gol Airlines and TAM Airlines offer for their passengers free bus transfers between Congonhas and Guarulhos/Gov. André Franco Montoro Airport airports at regular times.[38][39]

Further bus transportation is also available through the Airport Bus Service, an executive bus line, administered by EMTU and operated by Consórcio Internorte – Área 3. This service provides transportation between Guarulhos and Congonhas airports, via Tietê Bus Terminal, Palmeiras-Barra Funda Intermodal Terminal, Itaim Bibi, Praça da República, Tatuapé Metro Station and the circuit of hotels along Avenida Paulista and Rua Augusta. The ride takes about one hour, depending on traffic.[40]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Estatísticas" (in Portuguese). Infraero. 2 February 2016. Retrieved 5 July 2016. 
  2. ^ "Aeroporto de São Paulo/Congonhas" (in Portuguese). Infraero. 
  3. ^ "Lista de aeródromos públicos" (in Portuguese). ANAC. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Aeroporto de Congonhas: Histórico" (in Portuguese). Infraero. Retrieved 4 August 2011. 
  5. ^ "Procedimento de alocação de slots disponíveis" (PDF) (in Portuguese). ANAC. Retrieved 3 August 2011. 
  6. ^ a b c d Saconi, Rose (2 April 2013). "Como era São Paulo sem o aeroporto de Congonhas" (in Portuguese). O Estado de S. Paulo (acervo). Retrieved 18 July 2013. 
  7. ^ Beting, Gianfranco; Beting, Joelmir (2009). Varig: Eterna Pioneira (in Portuguese). Porto Alegre and São Paulo: EDIPUCRS and Beting Books. pp. 83–84. ISBN 978-85-7430-901-9. 
  8. ^ "Ponte Aérea completa meio século". Revista da Associação dos tripulantes da TAM (in Portuguese). 2009. pp. 2–3. 
  9. ^ Transbrasil Boeing 767. Boeing 767, o primeiro do Brasil (video). São Paulo, Brazil: YouTube. Retrieved 23 July 2007. 
  10. ^ Rittner, Daniel; Braga, Paulo Victor (31 August 2009). "Infraero vai gastar R$5 bi em reforma de aeroportos". Valor Econômico (in Portuguese). pp. A4. 
  11. ^ "Congonhas: nova torre começa a funcionar" (in Portuguese). O Estado de S. Paulo. 8 May 2013. Retrieved 8 May 2013. 
  12. ^ a b Pereira, Aldo (1987). Breve História da Aviação Comercial Brasileira (in Portuguese). Rio de Janeiro: Europa. p. 338. 
  13. ^ Germano da Silva, Carlos Ari César (2008). "Serra da Cantareira". O rastro da bruxa: história da aviação comercial brasileira no século XX através dos seus acidentes 1928–1996 (in Portuguese) (2 ed.). Porto Alegre: EDIPUCRS. pp. 37–41. ISBN 978-85-7430-760-2. 
  14. ^ Germano da Silva, Carlos Ari César (2008). "Uma desgraça nunca vem só". O rastro da bruxa: história da aviação comercial brasileira no século XX através dos seus acidentes 1928–1996 (in Portuguese) (2 ed.). Porto Alegre: EDIPUCRS. pp. 49–53. ISBN 978-85-7430-760-2. 
  15. ^ "Accident description PP-PBI". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 17 August 2011. 
  16. ^ Germano da Silva, Carlos Ari César (2008). "Alternativa derradeira". O rastro da bruxa: história da aviação comercial brasileira no século XX através dos seus acidentes 1928–1996 (in Portuguese) (2 ed.). Porto Alegre: EDIPUCRS. pp. 66–68. ISBN 978-85-7430-760-2. 
  17. ^ "Accident description PP-CBX". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 17 August 2011. 
  18. ^ "Accident description PP-SPQ". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 18 August 2011. 
  19. ^ "Accident description PP-SPM". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 20 May 2011. 
  20. ^ "Accident description PP-PDA". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 17 August 2011. 
  21. ^ Germano da Silva, Carlos Ari César (2008). "Panair 263". O rastro da bruxa: história da aviação comercial brasileira no século XX através dos seus acidentes 1928–1996 (in Portuguese) (2 ed.). Porto Alegre: EDIPUCRS. pp. 126–131. ISBN 978-85-7430-760-2. 
  22. ^ "Accident description PP-VBZ". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 16 August 2011. 
  23. ^ Germano da Silva, Carlos Ari César (2008). "Bloqueio do profundor". O rastro da bruxa: história da aviação comercial brasileira no século XX através dos seus acidentes 1928–1996 (in Portuguese) (2 ed.). Porto Alegre: EDIPUCRS. pp. 140–144. ISBN 978-85-7430-760-2. 
  24. ^ "Accident description PP-SQV". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 18 August 2011. 
  25. ^ Germano da Silva, Carlos Ari César (2008). "Falha de motor na decolagem". O rastro da bruxa: história da aviação comercial brasileira no século XX através dos seus acidentes 1928–1996 (in Portuguese) (2 ed.). Porto Alegre: EDIPUCRS. pp. 177–181. ISBN 978-85-7430-760-2. 
  26. ^ "Accident description PP-CEV". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 17 August 2011. 
  27. ^ Germano da Silva, Carlos Ari César (2008). "Betelgeuse". O rastro da bruxa: história da aviação comercial brasileira no século XX através dos seus acidentes 1928–1996 (in Portuguese) (2 ed.). Porto Alegre: EDIPUCRS. pp. 229–232. ISBN 978-85-7430-760-2. 
  28. ^ "Accident description PP-CDW". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 17 August 2011. 
  29. ^ Germano da Silva, Carlos Ari César (2008). "Esquecimento fatal". O rastro da bruxa: história da aviação comercial brasileira no século XX através dos seus acidentes 1928–1996 (in Portuguese) (2 ed.). Porto Alegre: EDIPUCRS. pp. 233–238. ISBN 978-85-7430-760-2. 
  30. ^ "Incident description PP-VJL". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 16 August 2011. 
  31. ^ "Accident description PP-SBE". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 20 May 2011. 
  32. ^ Germano da Silva, Carlos Ari César (2008). "O primeiro Bandeirante". O rastro da bruxa: história da aviação comercial brasileira no século XX através dos seus acidentes 1928–1996 (in Portuguese) (2 ed.). Porto Alegre: EDIPUCRS. pp. 294–301. ISBN 978-85-7430-760-2. 
  33. ^ "Accident description PT-MRK". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 17 August 2011. 
  34. ^ Germano da Silva, Carlos Ari César (2008). "Vinte e quatro segundos". O rastro da bruxa: história da aviação comercial brasileira no século XX através dos seus acidentes 1928–1996 (in Portuguese) (2 ed.). Porto Alegre: EDIPUCRS. pp. 376–381. ISBN 978-85-7430-760-2. 
  35. ^ "Accident description PT-WHK". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 13 August 2011. 
  36. ^ "Accident description PR-MBK". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 16 July 2011. 
  37. ^ "Ônibus grátis". Azul. Retrieved 9 May 2013. 
  38. ^ "Transporte para aeroportos" (in Portuguese). Gol Airlines. Retrieved 30 August 2011. 
  39. ^ "Traslados Nacionais". TAM Airlines. Retrieved 27 March 2011. 
  40. ^ "Sistema Aeroporto" (in Portuguese). EMTU. Retrieved 4 August 2011. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Congonhas-São Paulo International Airport at Wikimedia Commons