Santos Dumont Airport
Santos Dumont Airport is the second major airport serving Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It is named after the Brazilian aviation pioneer Alberto Santos Dumont. It is operated by Infraero.
On 26 May 2007, in time for the 2007 Pan American Games, a brand-new, modern extension of the original terminal was opened. This extension handles all departure operations, whilst the original terminal now handles all arrival operations. The new departures terminal increased the total capacity of the airport to 8.0 million passengers/year.
On 31 August 2009, Infraero unveiled a BRL152.2 million (US$80.2 million; EUR64.5 million) investment plan to upgrade Santos Dumont Airport, particularly the passenger arrivals terminal. The plan focused on the preparations for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, which was held in Brazil and Rio de Janeiro being one of the venue cities, and the 2016 Summer Olympics. The renovation was completed in 2013.
Whilst this airport is quite conveniently located very close to the city centre, the location is problematic because aircraft have Sugarloaf Mountain on the direct approach path, meaning that whilst installing an ILS system would be feasible because of the relatively clear approach path onto runways 20L/20R, it is not feasible as if an ILS was installed on runways 02L/02R, the glide path would head through Sugar Loaf. This means that aircraft have to negotiate the mountainous terrain beyond the two runways by either:
a. flying over the bay entrance, then quickly swerving behind Sugar Loaf on to the runway glide path, or
b. fly over central Rio and negotiate the mountainous terrain not just around Sugar Loaf, but also around the central west of Rio.