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|
|Focus city for|
|Elevation AMSL||750 m / 2,459 ft|
São Paulo/Guarulhos–Governador André Franco Montoro International Airport (IATA: GRU, ICAO: SBGR), popularly known locally as Cumbica Airport after the district where it is located and the Brazilian Air Force base that still exists at the airport complex, is the main international airport serving São Paulo, Brazil. It is located in the municipality of Guarulhos in Greater São Paulo. Since November 28, 2001 the airport has been named after André Franco Montoro (1916–1999), former Governor of São Paulo state. The airport was rebranded as GRU Airport in 2012.
In Brazil the airport was ranked first in terms of transported passengers, aircraft operations, and cargo handled in 2012, placing it as the busiest airport in Latin America by passenger traffic (39,573,000 in 2014). 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, the airport has been 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 to 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 three runways and four 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 covered 13.86 square kilometres (3,425 acres), of which 5 square kilometres (1,200 acres) is urbanized area.
Construction of Terminal 3, capable of handling 12 million passengers per year, had been planned since 2001 but due to a myriad of political and economic problems, the actual construction didn't begin until 2011.
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 passenger terminals with remote boarding. 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,was opened in June 2013. Contrary to what was announced before, T4 will be permanent. 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 3,000 metres (9,843 ft) long and 45 metres (148 ft) wide, while Runway 9L/27R is 3,700 metres (12,140 ft) long and 45 metres (148 ft) wide. The field elevation at the airport is 750 metres (2,459 ft) above mean sea level. There are high-speed exit taxiways on both runways that allow for traffic to depart the runway at higher 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 9.1 kilometres; 5.6 miles (4.9 nmi) to the east of GRU. The terminal is split into two: TPS1 and TPS2. 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.
Infraero unveiled a R$ 1,489.5 million (US$784.7 USD million; €549.8 EUR million) investment plan to upgrade Guarulhos International Airport, focusing on preparations for the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the Summer Olympics in 2016. The investment was supposed to be used as follows:
- Construction of additional taxiways. Cost: R$ 19M. Completion: April 2016.
- Enlargement of apron and taxiways. Cost: R$370,5M. Completion: May 2016.
- Construction of passenger Terminal 3. Cost: R$1,1M. Completed: March 2014. Opened for Star Alliance airlines in May.
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 decided to be "technically impracticable" and were cancelled in January 2008.
However, the former concessionary, Infraero, experienced many legal and bureaucratic difficulties, which prevented most (if any) of these improvements from being completed on schedule. As of April 2013, the new concessionary unveiled a new expansion project, which included the 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.
The terminal is now officially open and all Star alliance airlines are in terminal 3 as well as many other overseas carriers. International flights by TAM also use the facitity.
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
- On 28 January 1986, a VASP Boeing 737-2A1 registered PP-SME flying from Guarulhos to Belo Horizonte unknowingly tried to take-off from Guarulhos,during 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.
- On 21 March 1989, a Transbrasil cargo Boeing 707-349C registered 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 (resulting in a stall). As a consequence the aircraft crashed approximately 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) from the airport. There were 25 fatalities, of which three were crew members and 22 were civilians on the ground. As well as the 22 fatalities, there were also over 100 injured on the ground.
- On 2 March 1996, a Madrid Táxi Aéreo Gates Learjet 25D registered PT-LSD transporting the Brazilian comedy rock band Mamonas Assassinas crashed into Cantareira mountain range, located north of the airport, at 23:16 local time killing all 9 passengers on board. The aircraft was on final approach to land on the runway 09R, but went around. As it flew toward the runway for a second attempt to land, the ATC instructed the pilots to make a right turn heading south, but they turned north (left) and crashed into the mountain range at 3,300 feet (1,000 m), 10.0 kilometres (6.2 mi) from the airport.
- On 14 September 2002, a Total Linhas Aéreas ATR42-312 registered 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. Taxi stands are located outside each of the two terminals on the Arrivals level; inside there are car rental agency representatives.
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 the airport, tickets can be purchased at the counter located outside the lounge of the Terminal 1, Wing B's arrivals level.
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. At Tatuapé, both buses can be picked up on the street level. 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. Lirabus 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.
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- "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.
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- Caprioli Turismo (Portuguese)
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to São Paulo-Guarulhos International Airport.|
- Official website
- 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
- São Paulo Airport Transfers for taxis from Guarulhos airport to São Paulo city