São Paulo/Guarulhos International Airport

Aerial image of Guarulhos International Airport
Source: Andomenda
Airport typePublic/Military
OperatorGRU Airport Invepar-ACSA
ServesSão Paulo
LocationGuarulhos, Brazil
Hub forGol linhas aéreas Avianca Brasil VASP
Focus city forAzul Brazilian Airlines
Elevation AMSL750 m / 2,459 ft
Coordinates23°26′8″S 46°28′23″WCoordinates: 23°26′8″S 46°28′23″W

São Paulo/Guarulhos – Governador André Franco Montoro International Airport (ICAO: SBGR), often referred to by it’s IATA designation GRU, is the primary international airport serving São Paulo. It is popularly known locally as either Cumbica Airport, after the district where it is located and the Brazilian Air Force base that still exists at the airport complex, or Guarulhos Airport, after the municipality of Guarulhos, in the São Paulo metropolitan area, where it is located. Since November 28, 2001 the airport has been named after André Franco Montoro (1916–1999), former Governor of São Paulo state. The airport was rebranded as GRU Airport in 2012.

The airport was the busiest in Brazil in terms of transported passengers, aircraft operations, and cargo handled in 2012, placing it as the second busiest airport in Latin America by passenger traffic (36,596,326 in 2016) after Mexico City International Airport. Guarulhos has slot restrictions, operating with a maximum of 45 operations/hour and being one of the five airports with such restrictions in Brazil (the others are São Paulo-Congonhas, Brasília, Belo Horizonte-Pampulha and Rio de Janeiro-Santos Dumont).

Since 2012, the airport has been operated by a consortium composed of Invepar S/A, Airports Company South Africa, and Infraero. Some of its facilities are shared with the São Paulo Air Force Base of the Brazilian Air Force.


Runways and taxiways

GRU has two parallel runways. Runway 09R/27L is 3,000 metres (9,843 ft) long and 45 metres (148 ft) wide, while runway 09L/27R is 3,700 metres (12,140 ft) long and 60 metres (200 ft) wide, after being widened in 2015 to better receive the Airbus A380. The field elevation at the airport is 750 metres (2,459 ft) above mean sea level. Runway 09R/27L is used preferentially for landings and runway 09L/27R preferentially for takeoffs, but the Airbus A380 uses the longer and wider latter runway for both landing and taking off. There are high-speed exit taxiways on both runways that allow for traffic to depart the runway at higher speed to allow better efficiency for landing and takeoff traffic. As of 2014, there was an average of 650 takeoff and landing operations per day at the airport.

Control tower
Source: Bruno Dantas


The airport has three passenger terminals, numbered 1, 2, and 3, according to their order along the airport access road when arriving from the city.

Terminals 2 and 3 are directly linked by a walkway.

The airport also has a large air cargo terminal with a built area of 97,000 square metres (1,040,000 sq ft) and capable of handling any type of cargo, including refrigerated and hazardous shipments.

Airport diagram
Source: CellarDoor85

Navigational aids

There are two navigational aids that GRU traffic uses. The Bonsucesso very high frequency omnidirectional range with distance measuring equipment (VOR-DME) is located 9.1 kilometres; 5.6 miles (4.9 nmi) to the east of GRU.


Infraero unveiled a R$ 1,489.5 million (US$784.7 USD million; €549.8 EUR million) investment plan to upgrade Guarulhos International Airport, focusing on preparations for the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the Summer Olympics in 2016. The investment was supposed to be used as follows:

Central to this investment plan was Terminal 3, which is projected to add 12 million passenger capacity to the 17 million of the existing two terminals. Plans for a third runway were decided to be “technically impracticable” and were cancelled in January 2008.

However, the former concessionary, Infraero, experienced many legal and bureaucratic difficulties, which prevented most (if any) of these improvements from being completed on schedule. As of April 2013, the new concessionary unveiled a new expansion project, which included the new Terminal 3 (with a different design than the one proposed by Infraero), the widening of the main runway in order to enable operations by the large Airbus A380 and Boeing 747-8, operated by Emirates and Lufthansa respectively, and several other improvements in the existing terminals and parking area.

The terminal 3 is open and all Star Alliance airlines are in, as well as many other overseas carriers. International flights by LATAM also use the facitity.

A train service development and construction has also been planned, however never concluded and cancelled. This included an Airport Express Line linking the airport to downtown São Paulo and a Rio–São Paulo high-speed rail connecting Guarulhos to Rio de Janeiro-Galeão and Campinas-Viracopos airports.

Since March 2017 American Airlines invested US$ 100 million on a 17,000 m2 (180,000 sq ft) maintenance hangar at Guarulhos Airport, building together with the LATAM Hangar of R$ 130 million. The American Airlines one is capable of performing line maintenance on two wide-body aircraft at the same time, of the types commonly used by the U.S. company on routes between São Paulo and the United States and the LATAM one is capable of performing line maintenance of one wide-body aircraft. It could also be used by other companies as storage for parts. The same conditions applies to the LATAM maintenance center.

Airlines and destinations


Aerolíneas ArgentinasBuenos Aires–Ezeiza
Seasonal: San Carlos de Bariloche (begins July 1, 2020)
AeroméxicoMexico City (resumes July 1, 2020)
Air CanadaToronto–Pearson
Seasonal: Montréal–Trudeau
Air ChinaBeijing–Capital, Madrid
Air EuropaMadrid (resumes July 15, 2020)
Air FranceParis–Charles de Gaulle
AmaszonasSanta Cruz de la Sierra–Viru Viru (begins 11 June 2020)
American AirlinesDallas/Fort Worth (resumes July 8, 2020), Los Angeles (resumes October 25, 2020), Miami (resumes July 7, 2020),, New York–JFK (resumes July 7, 2020)
Azul Brazilian AirlinesBauru/Arealva, Belém, Belo Horizonte–Confins, Brasília, Cuiabá, Curitiba, Florianópolis, Fortaleza, Foz do Iguaçu, Juazeiro do Norte, Maceió, Manaus, Porto Alegre, Ribeirão Preto, Recife, Rio de Janeiro–Santos Dumont, Salvador da Bahia, Vitória
Seasonal: Jericoacoara
Boliviana de AviaciónCochabamba, Santa Cruz de la Sierra–Viru Viru
British AirwaysLondon–Heathrow
Copa AirlinesPanama City
Delta Air LinesAtlanta, New York–JFK
Ethiopian AirlinesAddis Ababa, Buenos Aires–Ezeiza
FlybondiBuenos Aires–El Palomar
Gol Transportes AéreosAracaju, Araçatuba, Asunción, Belém, Belo Horizonte–Confins, Brasília, Buenos Aires–Ezeiza, Caldas Novas, Campo Grande, Cascavel, Chapecó, Cordoba, Cuiabá, Curitiba, Dourados, Florianópolis,  Fortaleza, Foz do Iguaçu, Goiânia, Ilhéus, Jericoacoara, João Pessoa, Joinville, Juazeiro do Norte, Lima, Londrina, Maceió, Manaus, Maringá, Mendoza, Montes Claros, Montevideo, Natal, Navegantes, Passo Fundo, Petrolina, Presidente Prudente, Porto Alegre, Porto Seguro, Punta Cana, Recife, Rio de Janeiro–Galeão, Rio de Janeiro–Santos Dumont, Salvador da Bahia, Santa Cruz de la Sierra–Viru Viru, Santiago de Chile, São Luís, Sinop, Teresina, Uberlândia, Vitória, Vitória da Conquista
Seasonal: Cabo Frio
Seasonal Charter: Parintins
Gol Transportes Aéreos
operated by VoePass
Rio Verde
JetSmartSantiago de Chile
LATAM ArgentinaBuenos Aires–Ezeiza
LATAM BrasilAracaju, Asunción , Barcelona (resumes 1 August 2020), Bauru/Arealva, Belém, Belo Horizonte–Confins, Bogotá, Boston (resumes 1 August 2020), Brasília, Buenos Aires–Ezeiza, Campo Grande, Córdoba, Cuiabá, Curitiba, Florianópolis, Fortaleza, Foz do Iguaçu, Frankfurt, Goiânia, Ilhéus, João Pessoa, Johannesburg–O. R. Tambo (resumes 1 August 2020), Lima, Lisbon (resumes 17 July 2020), London–Heathrow (resumes 16 June 2020), Londrina, Maceió, Madrid (resumes 16 June 2020), Manaus, Maringá, Mendoza, Mexico City (resumes 15 July 2020), Miami, Milan–Malpensa (resumes 1 August 2020), Montevideo, Natal, Navegantes, New York–JFK (resumes 2 July 2020), Orlando, Paris–Charles de Gaulle (resumes 1 August 2020), Porto Alegre, Porto Seguro, Porto Velho, Punta del Este, Recife, Rio de Janeiro–Galeão, Rio de Janeiro–Santos Dumont, Salvador da Bahia, Santa Cruz de la Sierra–Viru Viru, Santiago de Chile, São José, São Luís, Teresina, Uberlândia, Vitória
Seasonal: San Carlos de Bariloche, Stanley–Mount Pleasant
LATAM ChileSantiago de Chile, Tel Aviv (resumes 1 August 2020)
LATAM ParaguayAsunción
LATAM PerúLima
LufthansaFrankfurt, Munich
Qatar AirwaysBuenos Aires–Ezeiza, Doha
Royal Air MarocCasablanca
Sky AirlineSantiago de Chile
Swiss International Air LinesZürich 
TAAG Angola AirlinesLuanda
TAP Air PortugalLisbon, Porto
Turkish AirlinesBuenos Aires–Ezeiza, Istanbul
United AirlinesChicago–O’Hare, Houston–Intercontinental (resumes August 3, 2020), Newark (resumes July 6, 2020), Washington–Dulles
VoePassRibeirão Preto, Uberlândia
Inside Terminal 2
Source: Gleb Osokin –
Russian AviaPhoto Team

Waiting area


LATAM Cargo BrasilBelém–Val de Cans, Belo Horizonte-Confins, Brasília, Cabo Frio, Campinas, Curitiba, Fortaleza, Manaus, Miami, Porto Alegre, Recife, Santiago do Chile, Vitória
Qatar Airways CargoBuenos Aires-Ezeiza, Doha, Luxembourg
Sideral Air CargoBrasília, Cuiabá, Fortaleza, Manaus, Recife, Rio de Janeiro–Galeão, Salvador
Total Linhas AéreasCuritiba–Afonso Pena, Florianópolis, Fortaleza, Porto Alegre, Vitória

Accidents and incidents

Terminal 3 do Aeroporto Internacional de São Paulo-Guarulhos, Brasil.
Portal da Copa


The airport is located 25 km (16 mi) from downtown São Paulo.


The airport has its own highway system: Rodovia Hélio Smidt Highway which connects the airport to Presidente Dutra Highway or Ayrton Senna Highway. Residents of Guarulhos can access the road via Monteiro Lobato Avenue. Taxi stands are located outside each of the two terminals on the Arrivals level; inside there are car rental agency representatives.


Bus transportation is available through the Airport Bus Service, an executive bus line, administered by EMTU and operated by Consórcio Internorte – Área 3. This service provides transportation connecting Guarulhos to Congonhas airport; to Tietê Bus Terminal; to Palmeiras-Barra Funda Intermodal Terminal, to Faria Lima Ave; To Republica Square (Praça da República); To Berrini Ave., Itaim Bibi district; and to the circuit of hotels along Paulista Avenue and Rua Augusta. The ride takes about one hour, depending on traffic. At the airport, tickets can be purchased at the counter located outside the lounge of the Terminal 1, Wing B’s arrivals level.

Pássaro Marron/EMTU, a syndicate of the Internorte Consortium, offers two regular bus lines, 257 and 299, connecting Tatuapé subway station (Line 3-Red) with Guarulhos Airport every 30 minutes. At Tatuapé, both buses can be picked up on a platform of that multimodal station’s North side bus terminal. At the airport, the stop for both buses is at the Arrivals level road connecting the wings of Terminal 2.

Gol Airlines and LATAM offer for their passengers free bus transfers between Guarulhos and Congonhas airports at regular times.

Viação Cometa offers daily departures to and from the airport and the cities of Santos, Sorocaba, São Vicente, and Praia Grande. Lirabus operates daily buses between the airport and Campinas. Pássaro Marron offers bus services to São José dos Campos with departures every two hours. Viação Transdutra connects the airport with the city of Arujá.


Line 13 of the São Paulo commuter rail system, operated by CPTM, connects with the airport through Aeroporto-Guarulhos Station. This line started its operations experimentally on March 31, 2018. The line was opened initially on a trial phase and operates only on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., with trains every 30 minutes to the suburban station of Engenheiro Goulart in eastern São Paulo city, from where a further connection with CPTM’s line 12 and at least another one by subway will be necessary to reach downtown and the main business areas. Service will be expanded in May 2018 to seven days a week, but still only from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Full service from 4 a.m. to midnight is expected in late June 2018.

Additionally, from late June 2018 there will be a “Connect” direct service to Brás railway station, linked to line 3-Red of the São Paulo Metro, and an “Airport Express” direct service to Luz station, linked to lines 1-Blue and 4-Yellow. However, the “Connect” service will only operate at peak hours (5 a.m.-9 a.m. and 4 p.m.-8 p.m.), and the “Airport Express” service will only have four departures a day.

Aeroporto-Guarulhos station is opposite Terminal 1, which is Guarulhos Airport’s smallest and least busy, and not linked to the other terminals except by a shuttle bus. The GRU Airport company reportedly vetoed a station closer to much busier Terminals 2 and 3 because it intended to build a shopping mall at the proposed location. The excessive number of complicated train changes through crowded commuter rail and subway lines, and the added inconvenience of the shuttle bus from Terminal 1 for most passengers, especially carrying luggage, has attracted criticism to the São Paulo state government, responsible for São Paulo’s subway and commuter rail systems, which has been accused of flawed planning and overindulgence with the airport’s private concessionaire.

Source: wikipedia