Jamaican sprinter, Usain Bolt has spent the last three years getting ready for Rio. He is looking to accomplish something that has never been done before in the history of the Olympics: Three Gold medals in the 100-meter race in three consecutive Summer Olympics. The task of planning and flying into and out of Rio de Janeiro during the summer Olympics may seem to be just as insurmountable of a task. However, we are going to save you a lot of time, headaches, and push-ups by letting you know what to expect at Rio 2016.
Summer Olympics 2016
As with the Super Bowl in the U.S., you can expect major congestion at all Rio airports around August 5th, the day of the opening ceremony. It is, without a doubt, the most popular night of the Olympics. Along with other regular general aviation flights, you can expect an uptick in charter flights, VIP flights, and VVIP flights. Keep in mind: If flying into and out of an airport where Air Force One is operating can be a headache, you’ll have a full-blown migraine flying into Rio where every foreign dignitary with a plane has front row seats for the main event. Consider arriving a day early or repositioning your aircraft for the duration of your stay.
Just as parking space will be in short supply, so will hotel rooms. The popular hotels will have booked up fast and early. It is always recommended that you stay at a major chain hotel. If that is not an option, nothing lower than a 4-star hotel is your safest bet.
Brazilian Crew Visa Requirements
It is important to understand who the Brazilian authorities define as a “crew member.” The main difference between Brazilian interpretation and U.S. interpretation is a “crew member” is defined as anyone in the cockpit. That means, anyone outside the cockpit, FA or mechanic, would need a regular visa to get into Brazil. This topic will be covered in our upcoming blog “Brazilian Crew Visa Requirements: The Who, What, and When.”
Keeping up to date with the latest requirements will be just as important as getting your paperwork together as early as possible. It is strongly recommended to get in touch with a third-party provider who specializes in visa requirements to make the process seamless. Encountering any sort of issues while on the ground in Brazil will only create issues that will cause delays for the crew and, subsequently, for the passengers.
To help with the added aircraft in Brazilian airspace, you can anticipate ATC to be stricter when it comes to following rules and regulations concerning preferred routings. It is the PIC’s responsibility to be aware of all NOTAMs, weather, arrival procedures, departure procedures, any issues with their aircraft, airport layouts and, finally, flying their aircraft. Get in touch with UAS and allow us to help you map your way to and from Rio. With our vast network of ground handlers and relationships with controlling agencies, we will be able to get you in and out without a glitch.
An influx of flights means an influx of permit requests, which ultimately leads to longer waiting periods in order to be approved. It currently takes anywhere from 3-5 business days in order to process a landing permit request. That is assuming all crew documentation and aircraft paperwork is up to date and in order. Hundreds of more applications will be made in a short span of time. Be prepared for longer wait times, requests for additional paperwork, approvals and, unfortunately, denials. Your preferred destination may not be the preferred airport for Brazilian authorities. It is a good idea to remain flexible with your plans. Brazil is second in the world when it comes to available airports. There will be plenty of options to reposition your aircraft and still receive top-of-the-line service from your ground handler.