April 25, 2024

São Paulo Congonhas: Brazil's second largest airport is being renovated

Congonhas is São Paulo's municipal airport – and the second largest in the country. Operator Aena is now investing heavily to eliminate cramped conditions. The station area is doubled.

If you don't know Brazil well, this is not on your radar. After Sao Paulo Guarulhos International Airport, Rio de Janeiro International Airport is the second largest airport in the country. It is the city airport of the Brazilian economic city: São Paulo Congonhas reached 22 million passengers last year (see table).

It was opened in 1936 as a new airport for the city, which at the time had a population of one million. The city and its metropolitan area have grown significantly as a result of the economic boom – its population today reaches 22 million. This also means increased air traffic. The big boom in passenger traffic occurred in 1959, when the airlines Varige, FASB and Cruzeiro do Sul jointly established an air bridge between São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.

The station area is doubled

Today Azul, Gol and LATAM fly back and forth between the cities of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro with high frequency. This road is one of the busiest in the world. The growth has not gone unnoticed at São Paulo Congonhas Airport. The station is characterized by its Art Deco architectural design and is full of details despite the various expansions.

That is why airport operator Aena is now investing 2 billion riyals (about 370 million euros) in renovation and expansion. Work is scheduled to begin this year and finish in June 2028. This will double the size of the station to 105,000 square meters in the future.

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New terminal for departures

The central innovation will be a new terminal for São Paulo Congonhas, which will be built to the east of the existing terminal and will be dedicated to departures. It will feature a new check-in hall with 72 counters, expandable to 108, as well as a new gate measuring 36 meters wide and 330 meters long. It will contain 19 new bridges for passengers to board, replacing the current 12 bridges. The security checkpoint will also be expanded to 17 lanes.

In the future, the old station will be used only for arrivals. There will be more space there too. A new baggage handling system will also be installed that will operate faster. Instead of five volumes, there will be seven in the future.

And also renew and expand the apron

But a lot of other things are also changing in São Paulo Congonhas. The construction of a new 215,000 square meter commercial aviation apron will increase the number of aircraft operating positions from 30 to 37, 19 of which have bridges for passenger boarding. In addition, the runways and aprons will be structurally strengthened. There are new taxiways and a fast taxiway on runway 35L.

In the photo gallery above you can see photos of the project at São Paulo Congonhas Airport. Clicking on the image opens the gallery in large format.