The Full Wiki

Rio de Janeiro-Galeão International Airport: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Rio de Janeiro/Galeão - Antonio Carlos Jobim International Airport
Aeroporto Internacional do Rio de Janeiro/Galeão - Antonio Carlos Jobim
Airport type Public/Military
Operator Infraero
Serves Rio de Janeiro
Elevation AMSL 9 m / 28 ft
Coordinates 22°48′32″S 43°14′37″W / 22.80889°S 43.24361°W / -22.80889; -43.24361
Website Infraero GIG
Direction Length Surface
m ft
10/28 4,000 13,123 Concrete
15/33 3,180 10,433 Asphalt
Statistics (2009)
Passengers 11,796,413
Aircraft Operations 119,285
Metric tonnes of cargo 79,968
Statistics: Infraero [1]
Sources: Airport Website[2]

Rio de Janeiro/Galeão - Antonio Carlos Jobim International Airport (IATA: GIGICAO: SBGL) better known by its former name Galeão International Airport is Rio de Janeiro's major international airport and largest airport site in Brazil. The first name of the airport (Galeão, meaning galleon in Portuguese) refers to the beach located in front of the old terminal (presently the passenger terminal of the Brazilian Air Force) and close to the location where in 1663 the galleon Padre Eterno was built. The second name (Antonio Carlos Jobim) is in honor of the Brazilian musician Antonio Carlos Jobim and was awarded by Presidential decree [3] on January 5, 1999. It is located on Governador Island, approximately twenty kilometers north from Rio de Janeiro downtown. It is currently administrated by Infraero. Some of its facilities are shared with the Galeão Air Force Base of the Brazilian Air Force.



The history of the airport begins on 10 May 1923 when a School of Naval Aviation was established near the Galeão beach. On 22 May 1941 with the creation of the Brazilian Air Force Ministry, the school became the Galeão Air Force Base and a terminal and hangars were built at the location and the runway extended. Those buildings still exist and the Galeão Air Force Base is still active. When Brazil declared war against the Axis on 22 August 1942, the aerodrome began to be intensively used by the Allies for military operations related to the World War II.

With the end of the war, the increase of tonnage of aircraft flying on international routes and number of passengers, and being Santos Dumont Airport unable to handle all the traffic, international flights gradually moved to the site of the Air Force Base. The services were however precarious and a decision was made to build a brand new passenger terminal, opposite the Air Force Base, across the runway.

On 1 February 1952, the new passenger terminal was opened and remained in passenger use with enlargements until 1977. This terminal and its adjoining apron still exist. Presently it is the passenger terminal for flights operated by the Brazilian Air Force known as the Terminal do CAN (Correio Aéreo Nacional). The cargo terminal (TECA) is also located in the area and all-cargo aircraft usually park at its adjoining apron. The whole complex is now informally known as the "old Galeão."

By 1970 the airport was Brazil's major international and domestic air-hub. In that year, its administration was taken-over by Infraero, an agency then recently created by the Brazilian government. On 20 January 1977, at which time the airport was receiving all of Brazil's major international flights, a new terminal was opened and all scheduled passenger flights were transferred to the new building. This building today is known as Passenger Terminal 1 (TPS1).

During the year 1991, the Passenger Terminal 1 underwent its first major renovation in preparation for the United Nations Earth Summit held in 1992. Its annual capacity was increased to 7,5 million passengers/year. On 20 July 1999, the Passenger Terminal 2 (TPS2) was opened. Presently, the airport has those two passenger terminals, in an elliptical format, with twelve jetways each, each capable of handling 7.5 million passengers annually.

In 1985 the airport lost the title of the country's major international airport to São Paulo-Guarulhos International Airport. At that time, a new runway that allowed intercontinental flights with no weight restrictions was opened in São Paulo and Brazilian and foreign airlines increasingly used São Paulo as a national and international hub. As a consequence, the number of transiting passengers dropped. Constant efforts are made by the Government of the State of Rio de Janeiro to reverse the trend. In 2009, Galeão International Airport handled 11,796,413 passengers, 119,285 aircraft movements, and 79,968t of cargo, placing it as the 4th busiest airport in the country by transported passengers, aircraft movements and in terms of cargo handled.

On 31 August 2009, Infraero unveiled a BRL819 million (USD431 million; EUR302 million) investiment plan [4] to up-grade Galeão International Airport focusing on the preparations for the 2014 FIFA World Cup which will be held in Brazil, Rio de Janeiro being one of the venue cities, and the 2016 Summer Olympics, which Rio de Janeiro will host. The investiment will be distributed as follows:

  • Renovation of Passenger Terminal 1. Value 314.9 million. Completion: February 2011
  • Completion and renovation of Passenger Terminal 2. Value 284.0 million. Completion: May 2012
  • Construction of further parking. Value 220.0 million. Completion: May 2013

Terminals, airlines and destinations



Airlines Destinations Terminal
Aerolíneas Argentinas Buenos Aires-Aeroparque 1
Air France Paris-Charles de Gaulle 1
American Airlines Miami, New York-JFK 1
British Airways London-Heathrow 1
Continental Airlines Houston-Intercontinental 1
Copa Panama City 1
Delta Air Lines Atlanta 1
Gol Airlines Aracaju, Belém-Val de Cães, Belo Horizonte-Confins, Brasília, Buenos Aires-Ezeiza, Campina Grande, Campinas-Viracopos, Córdoba, Curitiba-Afonso Pena, Florianópolis, Fortaleza, Foz do Iguaçu, Goiânia, João Pessoa, Juazeiro do Norte, Londrina, Macapá, Maceió, Manaus, Maringá, Natal, Navegantes, Porto Alegre, Recife, Salvador da Bahia, Santiago de Chile, São Luís, São Paulo-Congonhas, São Paulo-Guarulhos, Teresina, Uberlândia, Vitória 1
Gol Airlines operated by Varig Caracas, Punta Cana, São Paulo-Guarulhos 1
Iberia Madrid 1
LAN Airlines Santiago de Chile 1
LAN Argentina Córdoba [ends 3 April, seasonal] 1
PLUNA Montevideo 2
TAAG Luanda 1
TACA Peru Lima 1
TAM Belém-Val de Cães, Belo Horizonte-Confins, Brasília, Buenos Aires-Ezeiza, Campinas-Viracopos, Caracas, Curitiba-Afonso Pena, Florianópolis, Fortaleza, Foz do Iguaçu, João Pessoa, Maceió, Manaus, Miami, Natal, New York-JFK, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Porto Alegre, Recife, Salvador da Bahia, Santiago de Chile, São Luís, São Paulo-Congonhas, São Paulo-Guarulhos, Vitória 2
TAM Paraguay Asunción, Buenos Aires-Ezeiza 2
TAP Portugal Lisbon, Porto 2
United Airlines Washington-Dulles 2
US Airways Charlotte 2
Webjet Belo Horizonte-Confins, Brasília, Curitiba-Afonso Pena, Fortaleza, Natal, Porto Alegre, Recife, Salvador da Bahia, São Paulo-Guarulhos 2

Cargo (scheduled)

AA Boeing 777 at the airport
Airlines Destinations
ABSA Belo Horizonte-Confins, Bogotá, Campinas-Viracopos, Caracas, Curitiba-Afonso Pena, Manaus, Miami
Arrow Air Buenos Aires-Ezeiza, Miami, Port of Spain
LAN Cargo Buenos Aires-Ezeiza, Miami, Santiago de Chile
Varig Log Brasília, Manaus, São Paulo-Guarulhos

Accidents and incidents

Accidents involving fatalities

  • 29 April 1952: Pan Am flight 202, a Boeing 377 Stratocruiser 10-26 registration N1039V en route from Galeão to New York via Port of Spain, crashed in the jungle in the south of the State of Pará. Probable causes are the separation of no. 2 engine and propeller from the aircraft due to highly unbalanced forces followed by uncontrollability and disintegration of the aircraft. All 50 passengers and crew died.
  • 27 July 1952: Pan Am flight 201, a Boeing 377 Stratocruiser 10-26 registration N1030V flying from Galeão to Buenos Aires - Ezeiza, had a fault in one of the cabin doors lockers and eventually it blew open, blowing out one passenger. Depressurisation and damage in the cabin followed. The aircraft returned to Rio and made a successful emergency landing. One passenger died.
  • 1 November 1961: Panair do Brasil, a Douglas DC-7C registration PP-PDO flying from Lisbon to Galeão via Sal and Recife, during its final approach at Recife, struck an 84m hill 2.7 km from the runway and broke-up. The aircraft was doing a night approach too low and outside the regular traffic pattern. All 45 passengers and crew died.
  • 20 August 1962: Panair do Brasil, a Douglas DC-8-33 registration PP-PDT, flying from Galeão to Lisbon, overran the runway into the ocean during an aborted take-off. From the 105 passengers and crew aboard, 15 died.
  • 27 November 1962: Varig flight 810, a Boeing 707-441 registration PP-VJB flying from Galeão to Lima, after initiating an overshoot procedure at the suggestion of the control tower because it was too high, proceeded to start another approach when it crashed into La Cruz peak, 8 miles away from Lima Airport. Possibly there was a misinterpretation of navigation instruments. All 97 passengers and crew on board died.
  • 11 July 1973: Varig flight 820, a Boeing 707-345C registration PP-VJZ flying from Galeão to Paris - Orly, made a successful emergency landing at an open field 5 km before landing, after reporting fire in a rear lavatory. However, 123 of the 134 passengers and crew on board died, overcome by smoke and carbon monoxide poisoning before the aircraft could be evacuated.
  • 30 January 1979: Varig, a cargo Boeing 707-323C registration PP-VLU en route from Tokyo - Narita to Galeão via Los Angeles went missing over the Pacific Ocean some 30 minutes (200 km ENE) from Tokyo. Causes are unknown since the wreck was never found. Among other cargo, it carried 153 paintings of the Japanese-Brazilian painter Manabu Mabe. The captain of the flight, Gilberto Araújo da Silva, was also the captain and survivor of the accident with Varig flight 820. The crew of 6 died.
  • 26 July 1979: Lufthansa flight 527, a cargo Boeing 707-330C registration D-ABUY flying from Galeão to Frankfurt via Dakar, collided with a mountain 5 minutes after take-off from Galeão. The crew of 3 died.
  • 8 June 1982: VASP flight 168, a Boeing 727-212 registration PP-SRK flying from Galeão to Fortaleza collided with a mountain while on approach to its destination. The captain descended below a minimum descent altitude. All 137 passengers and crew died.
  • 3 January 1987: Varig flight 797, a Boeing 707-379C registration PP-VJK flying from Abidjan to Galeão crashed due to a failure on engine 1 shortly after take-off. While attempting to return to the airport for an emergency landing, it crashed on a field 18 km away from Abidjan’s airport. Of the 51 passengers and crew aboard, a single passenger survived.
  • 1 June 2009: Air France flight 447, an Airbus 330-203 registration F-GZCP en route from Galeão to Paris - Charles de Gaulle, disappeared in the Atlantic Ocean. All 228 passengers and crew on board were killed. Only 51 bodies have been recovered along with hundreds of pieces of debris from the crash. The official cause of the accident, the worst in the airline's history, remains unknown.


  • 3 March 1965: VASP, the Vickers Viscount registration PP-SRQ was damaged beyond economic repair when the aircraft departed the runway during a simulated engine failure on take-off.[5]
  • 1 July 1970: Cruzeiro do Sul, the Sud Aviation SE-210 Caravelle VI R registration PP-PDX en route from Galeão to São Paulo with 31 occupants aboard was hijacked by 4 persons who demanded the release of political prisoners that were to be taken to Cuba. The aircraft was stormed and hijackers arrested. There were no victims and the hijack lasted less than a day.


  • The airport is known for the sultry PA system announcements made by Iris Lettieri, who had been doing them for over 30 years. She was featured on NPR in 2007.

See also


  1. ^ Infraero Statistics for the Airport
  2. ^ Airport Official Website
  3. ^ Presidential decree renaming Galeão - Antonio Carlos Jobim International Airport
  4. ^ Rittner, Daniel; Braga, Paulo Victor (31 August 2009), "Infraero vai gastar R$5 bi em reforma de aeroportos", Valor Econômico: A4, 
  5. ^ "Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 11 September 2009. 


Pereira, Aldo (1987). Breve história da aviação comercial brasileira. Rio de Janeiro: Europa Empresa Gráfica e Editora. 

External links


Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address