Oct 9 2010
Total flying time: 38 minutes.
I went to Rio to participate in a congress which would take place during the holiday of Oct 12.
After getting info in a Brazilian forum regarding what airport would suit me best (considering the congress would be at one of the westernmost neighborhoods of Rio), comparing prices and schedules and weighing cost x benefit, I ended up buying CGH
with Gol and GIG
For those who aren’t familiar with São Paulo, CGH
is the second busiest airport of Brazil both in terms of passenger traffic and aircraft movements (GRU
is #1). It’s the airport which offers the highest yields for airline companies among all airports in Brazil, due to the fact that most of its pax are business-related.
Situated at 2633ft above sea level, it has two parallel runways, 17L/R and 35L/R, the larger one offering 1940m (6365ft). Because of the runway length, the location (in the middle of residential and commercial areas), the number of gates and the previous accidents that took place at/near the airport (TAM F100 and A320), CGH
suffers limitations and has restricted its operations to 30/hour.
Traffic at CGH
are composed mainly by TAM’s A319/320 and Gol’s B73G/738, besides executive and general aviation at specific times.
was crowded, after all it was the beginning of an extended holiday.
Fortunately, I had made my online checkin, so I didn’t need to get into the check-in line at the airport.
The main lobby of the airport still boasts the architecture of the 30s (when the airport was built). It was impossible not to feel some nostalgia of the times when the Electras still operated… May be it’s even more nostalgic to those who are over 40… I simply forgot to take a picture of the lobby! Here’s a picture of it that I found on the internet:
After passing without any problem through security, I spent my time watching the movement through the glass of the departure area. One cannot compare it with the old restaurant with an open-air terrace where one could spend the afternoons in the late 80s/early 90s watching airplanes takeoff and land.
My flight is the first one on the list.
Not long after I sat down to wait for my flight, a voice on the loudspeakers informs (as usual in CGH
): “Passengers for flight Gol 1516…. Due to the repositioning of aircraft, boarding will take place at gate…”. Then all pax headed to the new gate. It’s incredible how they change gates at CGH
, every now and then you can see flocks of pax walking from a gate to another one.
There it was, the almost brand new PR
-GGY, only 8 months old!
The airplane was full, but boarding was really calm.
Waiting for push-back. You can see a Gol 73G painted with VRG colors.
Holding point of runway 17R.
With CGO VOR out of service, we followed the RNAV Cosme C departure, with a left turn after departure.
Clear skies over the layer of clouds.
Space between seats is adequate for me (1,72m / 5’8 ft).
For such a short hop, Gol offers candies and non-alcoholic beverages for free. I wasn’t thirsty or hungry (I just wanted to enjoy the view), so I just asked for a glass of water.
Although it was a flight which took less than 40 minutes on the air (and with all 187 seats occupied), FAs managed to serve everybody and get all the garbage before final approach. Amazing!
View of the sea, near Ilha Grande.
More of the blue sea.
Flying over SCR VOR and turning left...
SCR VOR was the point where I would know if I would get the privileged view of the Sugar Loaf from the plane. If we continued straight ahead, that would mean we were executing STAR Afonsos 1. However, as we turned left, I knew the arrival was Nova 1 and that would mean I wouldn’t get any wonderful view of Rio… But that’s OK
, I would see GIG
This is the arrival we made (Nova 1):
This is the arrival Afonsos 1, which offers a beautiful view of the Sugar Loaf:
If the runway in use at SDU
is 02R, they make a left-hand visual circuit, offering even better views and even more impressive turns over Rio.
It was only over the large refineries of Rio outskirts that I finally could see the ground…definitely.
View of GIG
, but no traffic taking off or landing.
One more turn to the right and I could see a little more of Ilha do Governador, where GIG
is situated. You can see the bands of rain over Rio in the distance.
On final, passing over the Rio-Niteroi bridge.
The view of Guanabara bay and its picturesque attractions is magnificent.
Flaps down on maximum, short final runway 20L.
Perfect landing of Cpt. Pronin in this short runway (1323m / 4340 ft). The braking/deceleration is impressive.
Some people preparing to fly.
View of the Rio-Niteroi bridge far away.
View of the Sugar Loaf and another B738. Pic taken from the bus that took me to the terminal.
's lobby, I faced this beautiful painting on the wall, probably in honor of Santos Dumont.
Hope you enjoyed!
[Edited 2010-11-22 18:39:44]