Curitiba is the largest city in the south of Brazil and today it has 3 million inhabitants in its metropolitan area. There is the international airport Afonso Pena (CWB-SBCT) and a small airport Bacacheri (BFH-SBBI) for regional aviation. The Airport Afonso Pena is what we are going to treat here: Its name is a tribute to an important Brazilian politician, the airport moves today something around 200 landings and departures per day. The main airlines that operate here are GOL, LATAM and AZUL, with some international operators such as Aerolineas Argentinas, Paranair (Paraguay) and Cargolux. In the year 2017 the airport handled 7.5 million passengers and 35 thousand landings and takeoffs beyond 50 thousand tons of cargo.
The places to photograph are good and most time of the year the sun appears also. Most movements are domestic flights, emphasizing the Airbus A320, Boeing 737 , ATRs and the Embraer of AZUL airlines. Widebodies are rare here, with Boeing 747 from Cargolux that appear every week in addition to charter flights when using Boeing 767 freighters. Lufthansa also attends here with the MD-11F and the airport is the home of Sideral Airlines, that currently has 15 boeing 737-300 and 400 freighters.
The two main points of spotting are: one from inside the airport, which the spotters dubbed “Aquario” and Rui Barbosa Avenue.
This guide was only possible with the help of friends and spotters Paulo Joao Pianaro and Matheus Netto de Lima. Many thanks to these noble friends.
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|Airport Information||Runways||15/33||11 /29|
|2.218 m (7 277 ft)||1.798 m (5 899 ft)|
|Terminals||One for all operations|
|Spotting Information||Ladder||Only at spot 2 for the 15 lineups.|
|Car||You will need a car (uber or taxi) to go to points 2 and 3 from the terminal|
|Restrooms||At spot 1 you are inside the terminal so there are many restrooms. Nothing at spots 2 and 3.|
|Drinks/Food||At spot 1 you are inside the terminal so there are many places to eat and drink. At spots 2 and 3 there is nothing, so you have to bring food and drink, but you can find supermarkets and gas stations within a short walk.|
|Hotels||There is a hotel inside the airport (Aerosleep) but it does not have a view of the runway and the planes. There are more hotels around the airport, but no possibility to take photos|
|Season||Excluding the winter months, where the weather is quite cloudy, the rest of the year the airport is good for spotting. Curitiba is a city where the weather is cloudy with ease during a good part of the year.|
|Security Note||There are no reports of problems with lack of safety at any point, but it is best to always go accompanied.|
|Runway Usage||15/33||Major runway used 90 percent of the time in both directions.|
|Spot #1 – “AQUARIUM”|
|WHERE||This is the most popular place to see and photograph airplanes at the airport. It is a large glazed area, so it was named “aquarium”. In this place you will photograph through glass but they are clean and it is perfectly possible to make good photos here. You do not need a boarding card and its a place of free access, just go up the escalators and you will see it.|
|WHAT||Here its great for landing pictures on lane 33. It is also possible to take pictures of runways 15, but small aircraft pass a bit high. Better even take off of cargo aircraft, is also great for taxi pictures and night shots|
|TIME||Unfortunately it is only possible to photograph here from after noon till sunset for the runway. Ramp depends on aircraft position and angle.|
|MISC.||It is usually full of people here, especially on weekends, but there will always be a window left for the spotters.|
|FOCAL LENGTH||The distance to the track is approximately 400 meters so you will use between 150 and 200mm for a Boeing 737 or Airbus A320 as it is playing the track. About 250mm as it is taking off on track 15.|
|Spot #2 – Av. Rui Barbosa|
|WHERE||This place is on the side of the Rui Barbosa avenue which is a busy road and you should stay on the sidewalk. To get here from the airport only by car or taxi (uber) there is no collective transport from the airport to here.|
Car: leave the airport by Rocha Pombo Street , go to Avenida das Torres and exit at the first exit and you will be on Rui Barbosa Avenue, turn another 1500 meters and you will be in the photo location.
|WHAT||Great for landing pictures and also takeoffs, you can shoot all day here, in the morning on one side and in the afternoon on the other side of the lane. Takeoffs may be a little more difficult for small and medium-sized airplanes like the ATR, but the larger ones have no problems. if you want to take photos of the taxi of the aircraft entering the lane then you will need a small ladder or take pictures through the mesh.|
|TIME||All day, just change position as the sun changes.|
|MISC.||You will be on a sidewalk next to a busy boulevard, there are no trees or bathrooms or snack bars, all this you will find a walk of about 500 meters from this place in gasoline stations and supermarkets. There are no reports of lack of security at this location by local spotters.|
|FOCAL LENGTH||From 100 to 400mm for Boeing 737 and A320. Depends on where you stand and what you photograph.|
|Spot #3 – Av Moro Sobrinho|
|WHERE||This place is in the “Swiss garden”, a residences district on the right side of the airport. To get here you will need a car or taxi (uber). Exit the airport by Av. Rocha Pombo, then go to Adrianópolis street then continue until Moro Sobrinho street, when you are arriving almost at the end of the street you can stay at this place.|
|WHAT||Here it is only good for photos in the afternoon and only for landings, the planes on takeoffs pass too high here.|
|TIME||From afternoon until sunset.|
|MISC.||It is a residential neighborhood, here you will find small bars and supermarkets, but we recommend you to bring water and food. There is no shade here. The best thing to do here is to be accompanied. There are reports of violence there but nothing to frighten you, just be forewarned.|
|FOCAL LENGTH||150 mm for an Airbus 320, 250 mm for an ATR|