Guarulhos International Airport

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Guarulhos International Airport

1.1 Assignment Objectives

* Development of the Guarulhos International Airport

* Analyze the Airport existing infrastructure in terms of capacity, terminal design , check-in, security, retail, baggage claim and gates.

* Study the utilization of the existing runways and to evaluate physical design of the runways layout, and stands.

* Evaluation of Impact of the airport on the Enviromental factor

* Investment and fundings

1.2 Background of Guarulhos International Airport

Until the year 1985 the main airport of Sao Paulo's was Congonhas. The new airport now named Sao Paulo-Guarulhos International Airport was constructed due to the shortcomings at the Congonhas airport like shorter runways that could not handle long haul flights and difficulty in expanding the infrastructural capacity and safety concerns.

Busiest by passenger traffic and aircraft movements , the Brazil's major airport is located 25 kilometers from downtown Saopauo. The airport serves as a hub in South America and has handled 20,400304 passengers and 194184 aircraft movements in the year 2008. The airport is operational 24 hours a day and up to 39 different airlines national and international fly from this airport to 28 different countries. The airport has a capacity to serve 15 million passengers a year with its two terminals. Construction of a third terminal is starting shortly to raise the capacity to 29 million passengers a year. (Ref:Infraero)

The Guarulhos airport is also more commonly known as Cumbica after the Brazilian Air Force that exists at that site where the airport was built.


2 Analysis of the Airport Terminal Infrastructure

2.1 Existing Terminal Design

The two terminals of the Guarulhos airport are TPS1 and TPS2. The following is the layout of the two terminals.

Both the terminals TPS1 and TPS2 are being used by the airlines and the joined together. The layout is finger pier type.

TPS1 has (wing A) and (wing B )

Operations at wings of the terminals are as following

TPS1 Wing A

Aerolineas Argentinas, Aero Mexico, Air France, Alitalia, Avianca, British Airways, Delta Airlines, Iberia, Japan Airlines, KLM, Mexicana, Passaredo,United Airlines, Webjet Linhas Aereas.

TPS1 Wing B

Ocean Air, TAM Airlines, TAM Paraguayan

TPS2 Wing C

America Air, Go 1, Varig, Pluna

TPS2 Wing D

Aerosur, Air Canda, American Airlines, Copa Airlines, Continental Airlines, Emirates, Korean Air, Lufthansa, LAN Airlines, South African Airways, Swiss Intl. Airlines, TAP Portugal, TACA, Turkish Airlines.

All short haul flights and the domestic traffic have been assigned TPS1 wing B and TPS2 wing C during the day time. Night time is allocated to international flights which uses all the four wings of terminal 1 and 2 . This practice helps to manage the optimal use of the limited space available at the airport.

The airport is 25 kilometers away from the city and takes a long time to reach using the public transport system. Passengers reaching the airport have to wait in long queue for longer period of times. The flow of passengers during the peek timings at the airport is more than the capacity of the terminals resulting in slow downs at the check-in counters, security gates and immigration counters. There is a great difficulty to the transit passengers changing from TPS1 to TPS2 as the terminals are connected only at departures. (Ref: Forbes 2007)

2.2 Passenger throughput at the airport

As there has been an increase of passengers up to 63 percent between the year 2003 and 2007 a growth of about 25 million passengers is expected by the year 2013. The existing terminals are working at full capacity and would not be able to handle more passengers. Air transport supports 2.6% of Brazil's economy. Billions of Dollars and thousands of Jobs depend upon it.







Passenger throughput







The airport has not helped airlines to offer self check-in and baggage drop of facility due to lack of space at the existing infrastructure at the terminals. The Self check-in facilities are being planned for the new 3rd terminal which is still on the drawing board.

Leisure and shopping at terminals

Leisure, shopping, gastronomy and culture could be found in the Sao Paulo/Guarulhos International Airport. Shops of Aeroshopping are offering famous brands to everyday products also other services include post office, exchange houses, pharmacies, banks.

3. Enviromental issues

The airport authorities environmental target is to ensure that all rules and standards are complied with during the operation maintenance of the airports. Also the expansion plan for the Guarulhos International airport is more carefully looked after for the effect on Enviroment. The airport authorities are doing a great efforts in prevention and minimization of the environmental arising from any activity relating to Airport operations or expansions. A constant and priority concern, the company¿s environmental policy is coherent with the collective effort to protect nature and improve the quality of life of the population. By planning, building and operating airport facilities in accordance with national and international environmental laws the airport authority shows its respect for the ecosystems and harmony with the International environmental demands.

The airport authoritiy environmental policy, with its management objectives and targets, is implemented through programs defined by the Environmental Management Committee, and their acition being executed by the Environment and Energy Superintendence and by the environment areas of the regional superintendences.( infraero 2009)

4. Guarulhos Airport Funding and investments

Guarulhos International airport is a Brazilian Airport and all airports In Brazil are controlled and financed by the Government company ‘ Brazilian Airports'. Brazilian Airports has a 37 years experience in Airport Operations and Commercial Management. The company operates in total 67 airports, 81 Air Navigation Stations and 32 International Freight Terminals, which account for 97% of the regular air traffic in Brazil.

The company holds airports located all over the country and has a nationwide work force of some 23,000 employees. The Government is now considering privatization of some of the Airport operations to increase efficiency.

5. Analysis of Guarulhos Airport Airside Infrastructure

5.1 Analysis of existing runways

Airport Data: International, Position 23°25´56"S, 046°28´10"W, Elevation 750m (2 460ft), 24 hours, 2 Passenger Terminals, 5 Cargo Terminals

Airfield Data: 2 Runways
NavigationalAids: VOR-DME, NDB
Runway 1: Heading 09R/27L, 3 000m (9 842ft), 85/F/B/W/T, Aircraft size max: MAS B747-400, ILS
Runway 2: Heading 09L/27R, 3 700m (12 139ft), 85/F/B/W/T, ILS


The main runway 09L/27R has a length of 3700 meters and both directions of runway has availability of landing distance of 3640. The main runway is used by the larger aircrafts and long haul flights. The secondary runway 09R/27L has a length of 3000 meters used mostly for short haul flights and smaller aircrafts. Mostly runways 09 L and R are used for take offs and landings. Both the runways are equipped with the instrument landing systems (ILS).

Runway 27L and 27R are equipped with CAT I approach lights and runway 09L and 09R are equipped with CAT II approach lights. Payment Classification number for both runways are 85 F/B/W/T and are fit for operations with large and heavier aircrafts. The two runways cannot be utilized simultaneously for landings and take offs due to the lack of enough space between the runways.

The types of aircrafts that currently use the runways are small and lighter aircrafts, narrow body (737, A320), turboprops, wide bodied aircrafts (777, A340).

5.2 Challenges with existing Runways

* An aircraft after landing has to cross the runway 09L/27R causing all the aircrafts lining up on runway 09L for takeoff to wait until this aircraft crosses and vacates. This operation reduces the runway capacity.

* The runway layout is such that taxi time is increased on the runway causing additional fuel being burned.

5.3 Parking Stands.

The following table shows the existing parking stands

Code C

Code D

Code E

Contact Stands-TPS1 and TPS2




Lateral and Central Remote




Cargo (Including F12- F14)




Sub Total




Juliet (Remote Parking)

8 (small)







(Ref: IATA Presentation, Aircraft Stands & Parking Requirements,2008)

Guarulhos Airports currently faces shortage of stands due to heavy traffic that has grown in last four to five years. Currently there are no Multi aircraft ramping systems available at the airport. It is a very challenging task to operate the stands with two runways and parking stands at one end. More parking stands needs to be constructed to ease the congestion.

5.4 Proposed third runway

Due to the increase in the air traffic it has become a challenge to accommodate all aircrafts in a given peek time with the existing two terminals and two runways. A possible solution was found to construct a third runway on the north side of existing TPS1 and TPS2.

(Ref: INFRAERO Master Plan 2000)

The above diagram talks about the decision taken in the master plan 2000 to construct a third runway but the work has not been progressed due to various factors. Recent hurdle was a stay from the court requested by the Government citing failures in the environmental studies used to approve the expansion. (Reuters 2009)

(Reuters 2009)