The airport Salgado Filho (IATA: POA, ICAO: SBPA) serves the capital of the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, and was named after an important local politician who was minister of Brazilian aeronautics. It was at this small airfield in the 1920s whe the first Brazilian airline, Varig, now extinct, made its base and became the largest airline that Brazil ever had. Until this day there are hangars made by this company for the maintenance of aircraft.
The airport has a single track of 2280 meters that today is intensely used. In 2016 the airport was privatized and the winner of the auction was FRAPORT, Germany, foreseeing to invest more than one billion dollars in the expansion of the runway and construction of more terminals . Currently the airport has two terminals, and last year it handled approximately 8.5 million passengers and 80,000 aircraft movements between landings and takeoffs. International flights depart from POA to destinations such as Buenos Aires, Montevideu, Lima, Rosario, Cordoba, Panama City and Lisbon. The three great airlines of Brazil divide the movement of POA almost equally, being that Azul Airlines takes a small advantage. From what we could tell the airport movements are constant over the day, not having a schedule of more or less flights. The airport also receives non-scheduled cargo planes so if you are lucky you may came across, for example, a DC-10 from Bolivian TAB company.
And if talking about spotting the airport offers good views, however two of them today are through glass, which are at terminal 01 and 02 and one point, probably the most popular among locals is the place that is at head 11. Other places, which are also possible to photograph, were not recommended by any local spotter due to the possibility of you suffering some type of violence. On the map you will find that there are possible places but not indicated to go to photograph.
This guide can only be done with the help of local spotter and friend Sandro Bandeira Colaço. All photos are by him.
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|Airport Information||Runways||11/29||2.280m (7.481 ft)|
|Terminals||Terminal 1||Terminal 2|
|Aerolineas Argentinas, Copa, LATAM, TACA, Avianca, GOL, TAP||Azul, Trip|
|Spotting Information||Ladder||There is no need for.|
|Car||Not needed. To go from terminal 1 to 2 it is possible to go on foot and from 2 it is also possible to walk to spot #3.|
|Restrooms||Available at all spotting locations.|
|Drinks/Food||At spots #1 and #2 you will be inside the terminals and at #3 there is a snack shop within walking distance with food and drinks.|
|Hotels||There are several hotels near the airport.|
|Season||The best months are in the summer that runs from December to February as you have more sunlight. In the winter months, from July to August, in addition to shorter days, the probability of having cloudy days is very high in Porto Alegre.|
|Security Note||Here I would like to say that there are more points where you can shoot around the airport, just see on the map, but in conversation with some local spotters, all were unanimous, in advising me to go at head 29 due to the great possibility of being robbed in that region , so we did not put any photo area in that region.|
|Runway Usage||11/29||Is the only airport lane and 11 is the most used for arrivals. But it depends on the winds that can vary during the day.|
|Spot #1 – Terminal 01|
|WHERE||Large area where several snack bars are located and can be accessed without a boarding pass. It is accessible to anyone, has a large glass area that is usually clean. To get here, if you disembark at the airport you need to get on the first floor, then just go out in the lobby and take the escalators up to the second floor. Walk ahead a few meters and you will see the windows. The distance between the terminals is approximately 700 meters so you can go walking along the road that connects both.|
|WHAT||Very popular location among spotters as it provides a very broad view of aircraft operations, as well as landings and takeoffs. The view here is very good, even aircraft freighters can be photographed from site, landings and takeoffs and taxi from the aircraft.|
|TIME||You can photograph in this place at all times of the year, in the winter months during some hours of the morning is contra-light, but the rest of the year the light is favorable.|
|MISC.||You are inside the terminal so everything is at your disposal, bathrooms, bars, etc.’|
The only negative point is that you will photograph through glasses, but from the times I was here the windows were clean.
|FOCAL LENGTH||From 50 to 400mm, because you can photograph from stationary planes to landings and takeoffs.|
|Spot #2 – Terminal 02|
+++ UPDATE SEP2019: Terminal 2 has been closed so this location is unavailable +++
|Spot #3 – Avenida dos Estados|
|WHERE||This place is outside the terminal in the states street. From any of the terminals it is possible to access this location by walking or by using application or taxi vehicles. If you choose to walk from Terminal 1 the distance is approximately 1.5 kms and from Terminal 2 less than one thousand meters. There is a small sidewalk where you can stay. One can walk on the sidewalk and thus change position as the sunlight changes. In addition to being able to take photos well in front of and behind the aircraft.|
|WHAT||Due to a new installed double fence only arrivals on runway 11 are possible.|
|TIME||You can shoot all day, just changing position as needed|
|MISC.||After short walk, something around 500 meters, there is McDonald’s and some more restaurants. We do not have news of problems with violence in this place, but we always recommend caution and if possible go accompanied to this place.|
|FOCAL LENGTH||You can use from 50 to 400mm depending on the track in use and the size of the aircraft|