Cuiabá Marechal Rondon Airport (IATA: CGB, ICAO: SBCY) is located in the neighboring of the city of Cuiabá and Varzea Grande. These two cities, which are separated by a river, have approximately 1.2 million inhabitants. The airport is named in honor of a pioneer in the Amazon region, Candido Rondon. It is the main airport of the State of Mato Grosso, an important grain producing center in Brazil. Some of the largest soy production farms in the world are there, and for this reason, the airport is frequently used by General and Executive flights.
In 2018, more than 3 million passengers passed through the airport and 48,000 take-offs and landings were carried out. It has a 2300 m runway where approximately 140 aircraft, both executive and commercial, land a day. The main operators are the Large Brazilian airlines: Azul, LATAM and GOL, regional airlines Azul Conecta and Asta airlines also operate. At the airport there are pilot schools and numerous hangars for air taxi companies and private individuals. The airport is privatized, its operation is in charge of COA, Centro Oeste Airport.
The practice of spotting in CGB is relatively quiet. Even if the airport has some good photography spots, a problem is the heat. The city is one of the hottest in Brazil, with the climate constantly passing 38 degrees and with a feeling of over 45 degrees on some days!
Written by Ediney Ribeiro (text and photos). Las Update February 2022.
How was your trip? Rate this airport!
| (No Ratings Yet)
|17/35||2.300 m (7.546 ft)|
|Terminals||One terminal for all commercial passenger traffic.|
|Ladder||Recommended at spots 2 and 4.|
|Car/Public Transport||Renting a vehicle would be the best option for spotting around the airport, as there are places to park close to the photo spots. You can still stay inside when there is no shade. But if you don’t want to rent a vehicle, you can ride app cars (UBER, 99 etc). We don’t recommend public transport, it would be very time consuming and tiring.|
|Drinks/Food/Restrooms||At spot 1 and 2 are bars and restaurants. At the southern spots it is necessary to take with you what you consider necessary.|
|Hotels||There are numerous hotels near the airport, with daily rates between 50 and 100 dollars.|
|Season||Cuiabá has two very specific seasons. From Dec to May it has a lot of rain and from June to Nov is the hottest and driest season, causing fires in the entire region due to excessive heat. A gray sky is not uncommon during this time. So the best month for the practice are the months of May to July end of the rainfalls and beginning of the dry season.|
|Security||We didn’t suffer any problems when we were in the places. Locals were always told us that there were no problems with violence in the places described.|
|17/35||Looking at the history of the airport, the most used runway for landings is the 35. But there is no doubt that for the best photograph it would be the operation of the runway 17|
|Spot #1 – Car parking north of the airport – 17 and 35 movements|
|WHERE||There is a small parking lot, at the banks of Avenida João Ponce de Arruda. To get here after leaving the passenger terminal, turn right to the aforementioned avenue. After about two thousand meters you will see a parking lot to your right.|
|WHAT||It is an excellent place to photograph both 35 takeoffs and 17 landings, but best for latter.|
|TIME||Only in the morning until the maximum at 11:30 am.|
|MISC.||It is on the banks of a very busy avenue. When crossing this street there are numerous options of bars and restaurants. In the place there is no shade, and nothing to protect yourself. Parking is free of charge.|
|FOCAL LENGTH||General Aviation / Executive Aviation 200-300mm.
Comercial Aviation : 300-150mm.
|Spot #2 – João Ponce de Arruda Avenue – 17 and 35 movements|
|WHERE||It is very close to the previous location, on a sidewalk along the Avenida João Ponce de Arruda. It is practically the same view, but this time on the afternoon side. Use the same direction as to spot #1, park there and walk back on the sidewalk to the other side of the runway. Parking is also available in the nearby neigboorhood and there is a pedestrian crossing to pass the road and railroad tracks. It is even possible to walk from the terminal, as it is a short distance.|
|WHAT||It is an excellent place to photograph both 35 takeoffs and 17 landings, but best for latter. You can also get the linup for 17 departures from this point, but a ladder is needed to clear the small fence.|
|TIME||From afternoon until sunset.|
|MISC.||There are no shades, and restrooms here. If you cross the avenue, you can find some bars and cafeterias.|
|FOCAL LENGTH||Planes arriving around 80 to 200mm.
To photograph the takeoffs, you will need about 500mm for general planes and about 300mm for commercial planes.
|Spot #3 – Passenger terminal food court – Aircraft take-offs and landings and taxi|
|WHERE||When you arrive at the terminal, go inside and walk to the right and soon you will see an escalator. Go up and to the left and you will see a food court, with a large glass area that gives an excellent view of the the apron. The spot is landside but behind windows which can be full of dirt and dust!|
|WHAT||It is possible to photograph landings and take-offs in addition to taxis around the apron, including general aviation.|
|TIME||From afternoon until sunset.|
|MISC.||You are inside the terminal, air conditioning, cafeterias, restrooms, everything is at your disposal.|
|FOCAL LENGTH||A wide range of focal lengths can be used at this location, from 300mm for commercial aircraft landings, to 100mm for taxis.
General Aviation from 200mm to 400mm.
|Spot #4 – End of avenue Santos Dumont – 17 and 35 movements|
|WHERE||When you leave the terminal turn left into Santos Dumont Ave which entrance is right at the control tower. Drive southwards on the road till the end at a small forrest. Park there at and continue by foot as marked on the map on a dirt road, and soon you will see the airport fence, next to some hangars of Abelha air taxi. There is a small concrete block to climb up to clear the fence. Otherwise a small ladder is helpful.|
|WHAT||Landings on runway 35 and takeoffs on runway 17 are possible to photograph from here. Furthermore 35 departures.|
|TIME||From afternoon until sunset.|
|MISC.||Nothing nearby except some trees spending shadow. Security people always pass by, but there will be no problems.|
|FOCAL LENGTH||Commercial Airplane on 250-300mm approach
Commercial Airplane on landing 180-200mm
General and Executive Aviation at 300mm landing
General and Executive in taxi 150-200mm
|Spot #5 – São Gonçalo Street – 35 landings|
|WHERE||This spot is the furthest place from the airport and it is in Bairro Jardim Ipanema, at São Gonçalo street. There are two points where you can stay, one for the morning and another for the afternoon. At São Gonçalo Street corner with 10th street (5A) and São Gonçalo street corner with Planalto Beira Rio street (5B).
You can reach this place by car only.
|WHAT||Good for landings on runway 35. 17 takeoffs are too high already.|
|TIME||From sunriste until noon use spot 5A and in the afternoon spot 5B. Simply change the location according to the position of the sun.|
|MISC.||There are some shades and in the highlighted places you can buy water and food. Be aware of trees, poles and wires that disturb the sight partially.|
|FOCAL LENGTH||Boeing 737 – between 180mm-250mm
Executive and General Aviation – Between 250mm- 300mm