Rio de Janeiro–Galeão International Airport

"Rio de Janeiro Airport" redirects here. For the second commercial airport serving the city, see Santos Dumont Airport.
Rio de Janeiro–Antonio Carlos Jobim International Airport
Aeroporto Internacional do Rio de Janeiro–Antonio Carlos Jobim
Airport type Public/Military
Operator Aeroporto Rio de Janeiro S/A
Serves Rio de Janeiro
Hub for
Elevation AMSL 9 m / 28 ft
Coordinates 22°48′36″S 043°15′02″W / 22.81000°S 43.25056°W / -22.81000; -43.25056Coordinates: 22°48′36″S 043°15′02″W / 22.81000°S 43.25056°W / -22.81000; -43.25056

Location within greater Rio de Janeiro

Direction Length Surface
m ft
10/28 4,000 13,123 Concrete
15/33 3,180 10,433 Asphalt
Statistics (2015)
Passengers 16,942,229
Aircraft Operations 132,792
Statistics: RIOGaleão[1]
Sources: Airport Website,[2] ANAC[3]

Rio de Janeiro–Antonio Carlos Jobim International Airport (IATA: GIG, ICAO: SBGL), popularly known by its original name Galeão International Airport, is the main airport serving Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It is the country's second-busiest international airport.[4] It is named after Praia do Galeão (Galleon Beach), located in front of the original passenger terminal (the present passenger terminal of the Brazilian Air Force) and where in 1663 the galleon Padre Eterno was built;[5][6] and since January 5, 1999 also after the Brazilian musician Antonio Carlos Brasileiro de Almeida Jobim.[7] Galeão Airport is explicitly mentioned in his composition Samba do avião. It is the largest airport site in terms of area in Brazil.

Since August 12, 2014[8] it has been operated by the concessionary Rio Galeão,[9] a consortium formed by the Brazilian investor Odebrecht and Changi Airport Group, with a minority participation of the government owned company Infraero, the previous operator.[10] The new concessionary has been using the brand name RIOgaleão – Aeroporto Internacional Tom Jobim.[11]

Some of its facilities are shared with the Galeão Air Force Base of the Brazilian Air Force.


A tribute to Tom Jobim at Rio de Janeiro International Airport

The history of the airport begins on May 10, 1923 when a School of Naval Aviation was established near Galeão beach on Governador Island.[12] On May 22, 1941 with the creation of the Brazilian Air Force Ministry, the school became the Galeão Air Force Base; a terminal and hangars were built and the runway extended. Those buildings still exist and Galeão Air Force Base is still active. When Brazil declared war against the Axis on August 22, 1942, the aerodrome began to be used intensely by the Allies for military operations related to the World War II.[13]

At the end of the war, Santos Dumont Airport was unable to handle the increased tonnage of aircraft flying on international routes and number of passengers. For this reason, international flights were gradually moved to the site of the Air Force Base. The services were however precarious and a decision was made to build a brand new passenger terminal, opposite to the Air Force Base, across the runway.

On February 1, 1952 the new passenger terminal was opened and remained in use with enlargements until 1977. This terminal is used presently by passenger flights operated by the Brazilian Air Force. The cargo terminal is also located in the area and all-cargo aircraft usually park at its adjoining apron. The whole complex is now informally known as the "old Galeão."

By 1970 the airport was Brazil's major international and domestic air-hub. In that year, its administration was taken over by Infraero, an agency then recently created by the Brazilian government.

As proof of the airport's prestige, the Concorde made its scheduled maiden flight with Air France on January 21, 1976, flying from Paris–Charles de Gaulle to Galeão via Dakar. Those twice-weekly flights were discontinued in 1982. Furthermore, the 007 – James Bond production Moonraker (1979) shows the Concorde touching down at Galeão.

On June 6, 1967 in response to the growth of air traffic in Brazil, the Brazilian military government initiated studies concerning the renovation of the airport infrastructure in Brazil. As part of the conclusions of these studies, because of their location, strategic importance, and security issues, new passenger facilities would be constructed in the areas of Galeão Air Force Base in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo Air Force Base in São Paulo.[14]

On January 20, 1977, when the airport was receiving all of Brazil's major international flights, this new terminal was opened and all scheduled passenger flights were transferred to the new building. This building is known today as Passenger Terminal 1. One of the features dating from this time is the sultry PA system announcements made by Iris Lettieri, which were featured on National Public Radio.[15]

In 1985 the airport lost the title of the country's major international airport to São Paulo–Guarulhos International Airport. At that time, a new runway allowing intercontinental flights with no weight restrictions was opened in São Paulo and Brazilian and foreign airlines increasingly used São Paulo as a national and international hub. As a consequence, the number of transiting passengers dropped. Constant efforts were made by the Government of the State of Rio de Janeiro to reverse the trend. As a result, after stagnating for years embittered by the loss of domestic flights to Santos Dumont Airport and international flights to São Paulo–Guarulhos Airport, Galeão has – since late 2004 – gradually recovered its importance in the national and international spheres with addition of flights and airlines.

During the year 1991, Passenger Terminal 1 underwent its first major renovation in preparation for the United Nations Earth Summit held in 1992. Its annual capacity was increased to 7,5 million passengers/year. On July 20, 1999 Passenger Terminal 2 was opened. The airport has those two passenger terminals in elliptical format, each with twelve jetways and capable of handling 7,5 million passengers annually.

On April 26, 2011 it was confirmed that in order to speed-up much needed renovation and up-grade works, private companies would be granted a concession to explore some Infraero airports among them, on a second phase, Galeão.[16] The plan was confirmed on May 31, 2011 and it was added that Infraero would retain 49% of the shares of each privatized airport.[17] On November 22, 2013 the Brazilian Government had a bidding process to determine the airport's private operator from 2014 until 2039. The Group Aeroporto Rio de Janeiro formed by Grupo Odebrecht (60%) and Changi Airport Group (40%) paid R$19 billion and won the competition.[18][19] The contract was signed on April 2, 2014.[20][21]

One day after the closure of the Games of the XXXI Olympiad Galeão handled an all-time record of passengers on a single day. It is estimated that on August 22, 2016, 85,000 passengers transited at the airport facilities.[22][23]

One of the two TAP Maintenance & Engineering centers in Brazil is located at Galeão International Airport.


On August 31, 2009, the previous operator, Infraero, unveiled a R$819 million (US$431 million; 302 million) investment plan to upgrade Galeão International Airport focusing on the preparations for the 2014 FIFA World Cup which was held in Brazil, Rio de Janeiro being one of the venue cities, and the 2016 Summer Olympics, which Rio de Janeiro will host. The investment was supposed to be distributed as follows:[24]

The new concessionary Rio Galeão has revised, modified and upgraded those plans to include the construction of a new pier with 26 new bridges, a new apron for 97 aircraft, and 2,640 car-parking spaces have been added in 2016-17, which will sum up R$2 billion reais.[25][26]

Airlines and destinations

Check-in areas of Terminal 1 are momentarily not in use.


Aerolíneas Argentinas Buenos Aires–Ezeiza
Seasonal: Buenos Aires–Aeroparque
Aerolíneas Argentinas
operated by Austral Líneas Aéreas
Seasonal: Buenos Aires–Aeroparque 2
Air France Paris–Charles de Gaulle 2
Alitalia Rome–Fiumicino 2
American Airlines Miami, New York–JFK 2
Avianca Brazil Brasília, Florianópolis, Fortaleza, João Pessoa, Porto Alegre, Recife, Salvador da Bahia, São Paulo–Congonhas, São Paulo–Guarulhos 2
Avianca Colombia Bogotá 2
Avianca Perú Lima 2
Azul Brazilian Airlines Belo Horizonte–Confins, Campinas 2
British Airways London–Heathrow 2
Condor Seasonal: Frankfurt 2
Copa Airlines Panama City–Tocumen 2
Delta Air Lines Atlanta 2
Edelweiss Air Zürich 2
Emirates Buenos Aires–Ezeiza, Dubai–International 2
Gol Transportes Aéreos Aracaju, Belém, Belo Horizonte–Confins, Brasília, Buenos Aires–Ezeiza, Campina Grande, Campinas, Córdoba, Curitiba, Florianópolis, Fortaleza, Foz do Iguaçu, João Pessoa, Macapá, Maceió, Manaus, Maringá, Montevideo, Natal, Porto Alegre, Recife, Rosario, Salvador da Bahia, São Luís, São Paulo–Congonhas, São Paulo–Guarulhos, Vitória
Seasonal: Punta Cana, Orlando–MCO, Santiago de Chile
Iberia Madrid 2
KLM Amsterdam 2
LATAM Brasil Belém, Belo Horizonte–Confins, Boa Vista, Brasília, Curitiba, Florianópolis, Fortaleza, Foz do Iguaçu, João Pessoa, Maceió, Manaus, Miami, Montevideo, Natal, New York–JFK, Porto Alegre, Recife, Salvador da Bahia, Santarém, Santiago de Chile, São Paulo–Congonhas, São Paulo–Guarulhos, Vitória 2
LATAM Chile Santiago de Chile 2
LATAM Paraguay Asunción, Buenos Aires–Ezeiza 2
Lufthansa Frankfurt 2
Passaredo Linhas Aéreas Ribeirão Preto, São José do Rio Preto, Uberlândia 2
Royal Air Maroc Casablanca 2
TAAG Angola Airlines Luanda 2
TAP Portugal Lisbon, Porto 2
United Airlines Houston–Intercontinental 2


ABSA Cargo Airline Belo Horizonte–Confins, Cabo Frio, Campinas, Ciudad del Este, Curitiba, Manaus, Miami, Porto Alegre, São Paulo–Guarulhos
Cargolux Campinas, Luxembourg
Centurion Air Cargo Miami
LATAM Cargo Chile Amsterdam, Buenos Aires–Ezeiza, Frankfurt, Miami, Montevideo, Santiago de Chile
LATAM Cargo Colombia Bogotá, Lima, Miami, Quito
Rio Linhas Aéreas Recife, Salvador da Bahia, São Paulo–Guarulhos
Sky Lease Cargo Miami


Apron view of Terminal 2
Control Tower
Year Number of passengers[27]
2003 4,619,229
2004 6,024,930
2005 8,657,139
2006 8,856,527
2007 10,352,616
2008 10,754,689
2009 11,828,656
2010 12,229,513
2011 14,926,615
2012 17,491,744
2013 17,115,368
Tourists in Rio de Janeiro, arriving by plane according to the country of residence (2013)[28]
Rank Country Number of passengers
1  Argentina 249,305
2  United States 171,124
3  France 80,478
4  Chile 80,001
5  United Kingdom 66,447
6  Italy 57,061
7  Germany 55,865
8  Portugal 43,380
9  Spain 35,135
10  Colombia 23,563
Busiest international routes by seat capacity (2013)[29]
Ranking City Seats
1 Argentina Buenos Aires 968,943
2 France Paris 538,981
3 United States Miami 480,274
4 United States New York 305,789
Busiest intercontinental routes at Rio de Janeiro International Airport (2014) - ANAC[30]
Rank City Passengers
1 France Paris 363,254
2 Portugal Lisbon 267,417
3 Germany Frankfurt 193,082
4 United Kingdom London 188,737
5 Spain Madrid 172,263
6 Netherlands Amsterdam 145,070
7 Italy Rome 125,782
8 United Arab Emirates Dubai 119,193
9 Portugal Porto 48,292
10 Angola Luanda 45,308

Accidents and incidents


The airport is located 20 km (12 mi) north of downtown Rio de Janeiro.

There are executive (blue) and ordinary (yellow) taxis available and bookable on company booths at arrival halls of both terminals.

TransCarioca line of the BRT integrated public transportation system links Terminals 1 and 2 with Terminal Alvorada in Barra da Tijuca with an intermediate stop at Line 2 Subway Station Vicente de Carvalho, where one can access the entire subway system. At Alvorada one can transfer between the TransCarioca and TransOeste lines. The system operates between 24 hours a day and tickets are sold in the BRT booths on the arrivals level.[42]

Premium Auto Ônibus operates executive bus 2018, that runs half-hourly between 05:30 and 23:30 hours, from the airport to the Central Bus Station, Rio de Janeiro downtown, Santos Dumont Airport, and the southern parts of the city along the shore, with final stop at Alvorada Bus Terminal in Barra da Tijuca. Bus 2918 follows a similar schedule to Alvorada Bus Terminal following a different and more direct route using via Amarela. Bus 2101 is an express link between Galeão and Santos Dumont airports and bus 2145 is a normal service to the Central Bus Station, downtown, and Santos Dumont Airport. It runs every 20 minutes between 05:30 and 22:30 hours.[43] Ticket counters for these bus services are located at the arrivals area of both terminals.

Viação 1001 operates the urban bus line 761-D from the airport to Niterói.[44] Furthermore, the same company operates an executive service to Armação dos Búzios four times a day. Departure is from arrivals level of Terminal 1.[45]

Ordinary city busses 924 and 925 operate to the neighborhood of Ilha do Governador and 915 to Bonsucesso. From both neighborhoods there are connections to the North and South Zones of the city.

See also


  1. "Números do aeroporto" (in Portuguese). RIOGaleão. Retrieved 11 May 2016.
  2. "Airport Official Website" (in Portuguese). RIOGaleão.
  3. "Lista de aeródromos públicos" (in Portuguese). ANAC.
  4. "RIOgaleão – key facts". Retrieved 23 January 2015.
  5. Enders, Armelle (2008). A História do Rio de Janeiro (in Portuguese) (2nd ed.). Rio de Janeiro: Gryphus. p. 54. ISBN 978-85-60610-09-9.
  6. Doria, Pedro (2012). 1565: Enquanto o Brasil nascia: A aventura de portugueses, franceses, índios e negros na fundação do país (in Portuguese) (1st ed.). Rio de Janeiro: Nova Fronteira. pp. 240–241. ISBN 978-85-2093114-1.
  7. "Lei n˚9.778, de 5 de janeiro de 1999" (in Portuguese). Lei Direto. January 5, 1999. Retrieved September 4, 2010.
  8. "Projeto Rio Galeão" (in Portuguese). Rio Galeão. Retrieved August 19, 2014.
  9. "Rio Galeão - Institucional" (in Portuguese). Rio Galeão. Retrieved August 19, 2014.
  10. "How the Transition Will Take Place". Concessionária Aeroporto do Rio de Janeiro S/A. Retrieved 23 July 2014.
  11. "O Aeroporto" (in Portuguese). RIOgaleão – Aeroporto Internacional Tom Jobim. Retrieved October 8, 2014.
  12. Instituto Histórico-Cultural da Aeronáutica (1990). História Geral da Aeronáutica Brasileira: de 1921 às vésperas da criação do Ministério da Aeronáutica (in Portuguese). 2. Belo Horizonte and Rio de Janeiro: Itatiaia and Instituto Histórico-Cultural da Aeronáutica. pp. 58, 66, 558.
  13. Pereira, Aldo (1987). Breve história da aviação comercial brasileira (in Portuguese). Rio de Janeiro: Europa Empresa Gráfica e Editora. pp. 403–405.
  14. "Decreto nº 69.784 de 14 de dezembro de 1971" (in Portuguese). Senado federal. 14 December 1971. Retrieved August 29, 2011.
  15. McCarthy, Julie (March 17, 2007). "The Most Captivating Voice in the World". NPR. Retrieved September 24, 2010.
  16. Bitencourt, Rafael (April 26, 2011). "Governo define concessão de obras em 3 aeroportos, diz Palocci" (in Portuguese). Valor Online. Retrieved May 16, 2011.
  17. Salomon, Marta; Monteiro, Tânia (June 1, 2011). "Governo pretende privatizar três aeroportos e abrir o capital da Infraero" (in Portuguese). O Estado de S. Paulo: Economia. Retrieved June 2, 2011.
  18. "Singapore Changi, Odebrecht to buy Rio airport for $8.3 billion". Bloomberg. November 23, 2013. Retrieved December 27, 2013.
  19. Sakate, Marcelo (November 27, 2013). "A privatização decola" [Privatization takes-off]. Veja (in Portuguese). São Paulo. 46 (48): 98.
  20. Abdala, Vitor (April 2, 2014). "Contrato garante gestão privada do Galeão por 25 anos" (in Portuguese). Agência Brasil. Retrieved April 3, 2014.
  21. "Concessionaire to Invest US$880,000 in Galeão Airport". Brazil-Arab News Agency. 2 April 2014. Retrieved 5 August 2014.
  22. "Com recorde de passgeiros, Galeão registra longas filas após Olimpíadas" (in Portuguese). G1. 22 August 2016. Retrieved 24 August 2016.
  23. "Galeão dobra o movimento com a despedida da Rio 2016" (in Portuguese). Panrotas. 23 August 2016. Retrieved 24 August 2016.
  24. Rittner, Daniel; Braga, Paulo Victor (August 31, 2009). "Infraero vai gastar R$5 bi em reforma de aeroportos". Valor Econômico (in Portuguese). pp. A4.
  25. "Projeto Rio Galeão" (in Portuguese). Rio Galeão. Retrieved August 19, 2014.
  26. Barbosa, Carolina (August 20, 2014). "Luz no fim da pista" (in Portuguese). Veja Rio. Retrieved August 22, 2014.
  27. "Estatísticas" (in Portuguese). Infraero. Retrieved March 22, 2014.
  28. "Anuário Estatístico de Turismo 2014" (PDF) (in Portuguese). Ministério do Turismo. Retrieved Jun 3, 2015.
  30. "ANAC". ANAC. Retrieved 27 November 2015.
  31. "Accident description N1030V". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved September 24, 2011.
  32. "Accident description D-ALAK". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved September 15, 2011.
  33. "Accident description PP-SRG and FAB0742". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved November 2, 2011.
  34. Pereira, Aldo (1987). Breve História da Aviação Comercial Brasileira (in Portuguese). Rio de Janeiro: Europa. pp. 205–206.
  35. Germano da Silva, Carlos Ari César (2008). "Reportagem derradeira". O rastro da bruxa: história da aviação comercial brasileira no século XX através dos seus acidentes 1928-1996 (in Portuguese) (2 ed.). Porto Alegre: EDIPUCRS. pp. 177–181. ISBN 978-85-7430-760-2.
  36. "Accident description PP-PDT". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved September 16, 2011.
  37. Germano da Silva, Carlos Ari César (2008). "Rejeição tardia na decolagem". O rastro da bruxa: história da aviação comercial brasileira no século XX através dos seus acidentes 1928-1996 (in Portuguese) (2 ed.). Porto Alegre: EDIPUCRS. pp. 208–213. ISBN 978-85-7430-760-2.
  38. "Incident description 1 January 1970". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved July 18, 2011.
  39. "Incident description PP-PDX". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved September 24, 2011.
  40. "Accident description PP-VJL". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved July 1, 2011.
  41. "Accident description D-ABUY". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved September 22, 2011.
  42. "Trecho da Transcarioca que liga Barra ao Galeão é inaugurado nesta quarta" (in Portuguese). G1 Rio. 4 June 2014. Retrieved 25 June 2014.
  43. "Itinerários" (in Portuguese). Real Auto Ônibus. Retrieved February 15, 2013.
  44. "Linhas Metropolitanas Charitas x Galeão" (in Portuguese). Autoviação 1001. Retrieved May 9, 2013.
  45. "Linha aeroporto do Galeão x Búzios" (in Portuguese). Autovialçao 1001. 11 July 2016. Retrieved 27 July 2016.

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