Campo de Marte Airport (IATA: RTE/ ICAO: SBMT) is the oldest airport in São Paulo, located in the Santana neighborhood, close to Marginal Tietê. For a long time it served as the main commercial airport until the construction of Congonhas Airport. It contains the largest movements of helicopters and general aviation in Brazil, in addition to being the base of the former São Paulo Air Base, today PAMA (Parque de Material Aeronáutico), which receives aircraft such as the H-125 (AS35), H-36 Caracal, C-95 (EMB-110), F-5EM (for maintenance).
In the civil part of the airport, several aviation schools are located, such as the Aeroclube de São Paulo and several air taxi companies and Azul Conecta (regional subsidiary of Azul Linhas Aéreas) in charter operations. São Paulo currently has the second largest helicopter fleet in the world, and Campo de Marte Airport concentrates a large part of the operations of these aircraft in the city.
In 2012, 140 thousand operations were handled in the year, or 400 operations per day, in 2018 this movement was close to 75 thousand landings and takeoff operations, an average of 200 operations per day! This airport has an interesting feature, you can enter it, not in the areas of aircraft operations, but there is a road that takes you to the main points of observation of planes here.
Photographing at the airport is very easy, just enter the official entrance and walk to the photo locations presented in this guide. The airport employees are already used to enthusiasts watching and photographing aircraft. It is also a safe place.
Guiuliano Tulerman and Ediney Ribeiro are the Spotters who made this guide, the texts and photos presented here are theirs.
|Airline Variety||no rating as GA only!|
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|12/30||1600 m (2369)ft Asphalt|
|Terminals||A small terminal that only operates for executive flights, since the airport does not have regular flights|
|Car/Public Transport||It has a bus stop near the main entrance of Avenida Olavo Fontoura, in addition to the airport having a parking service within the airport boundaries, facilitating movement between points costs 10 RS per hour. But it’s not needed|
|Restrooms||Near #3 and #4|
|Drinks/Food||Inside the Airport there is the restaurant “Heliponto”, which offers executive dishes (or traditional food, also called PF), and in the Aeroclube de São Paulo (# 4). There is a food truck offering some snacks such as cheese bread, soft drinks, coxinha, water, etc. But it is recommended to take some kind of snack to eat during the spotting journey, or to order something through IFOOD or Uber Eats.|
|Hotels||There are several hotels close to the airport, but Ibis Styles Anhembi, Omega Palace Hotel and Gold Hotel are recommended. All around 700m off the airport.|
|Season||No specials season.|
|Security||MARTE is a safe place and there are always spotters photographing here. Airport security also doesn’t mind the presence of the spotters, rest assured, however, in spot 6, caution is necessary, this place is outside the airport on a busy avenue, be careful and do not go alone!|
|12/30||For fixed wing aircraft and heavy helicopters.
Helipoint: for the best majority of the helicopter traffic.
|Spot #1 – Cancela – Almost all movements|
|WHERE||10 minutes walking from the main entrance, on Olavo Fontoura 1080 avenue, you can ask Uber to enter here and drop you off at the place. If you come by Onibus you will have to get off at the airport’s main entrance.|
|WHAT||Aircraft taxiing near you (around 30ft from you) to and from the RWY, aircraft departing from RWY 12 And Departing and Arriving RWY30. Helicopters departing the helipoint heading 120 and arriving 300, aircraft performing engine tests nearby, general aviation parking.|
|TIME||Especially after noon and afternoon. In the morning it is usually backlit.|
|MISC.||DO NOT PASS FROM THE GRID / CAR BARRIER. STAY BEHIND THE YELLOW LINE
From time to time there will be fuel cars, security cars, airport service cars passing by. Wave to them and be very friendly.
Take sunscreen, repellent for having a lot of mosquitoes, water and a snack to eat. There is a dump about 100m from the point, so don’t throw garbage at the spotting point. During the afternoon, there is a shadow caused by the hangar joão negrão (today disabled).
You can stay until dark, before the airport closes at 23:00 BRT.
Watch out for the noise of turboprops and executive jets, too, watch out for the wind of helicopters. Some helicopters like the EC-155, AW109, Bell 429, can throw you away and take off your cap, hat, etc.
|FOCAL LENGTH||30 to 55mm (aircraft taxiing), 100-200mm for helicopter departing and arriving at the helipoint and 150-250mm aircraft arriving and departing the RWY.|
|Spot #2 – Helipoint|
|WHERE||It is very close to location number 01 and also the official parking if you come by car is very close. If you come by bus, you will get off at the airport entrance and you will have to walk about 10 minutes.|
|WHAT||Helicopters landing and taking off and arriving from both directions, passing slightly over the side.|
|TIME||All day, with light.|
|MISC.||Beware of car traffic, there is a car traffic area, mainly for airport customers. So stay with the sidewalk.
There are no shadows in the place, so bring a cap, sunscreen, insect repellent and lots of water, especially on sunny days. Do not throw garbage, dispose of it in a trash can if you have it nearby. Watch out for some angry birds, like Vanellus chilensis
|FOCAL LENGTH||from 55mm (Bell 429 and longer) to 200 mm (R22).|
|Spot #3 – Hangar Tucson Grid – Apron and taxiway F|
|WHERE||Just a minute’s walk from the main entrance. It is the same way you will use to the other points 1 and 2. The fence is not very high so you can hold your camera above the mesh.|
|WHAT||Some aircraft near the “Tucson aviation” hangar, Helicopters departing and arriving from the Helipoint, exclusive view to the main taxiway (Foxtrot).|
|TIME||Afternoon and Evening..|
|MISC.||There is relatively little movement and there may be a heat distortion on warmer days. Hangar staff can get in the way a little bit, but be friendly to them and they will get out of the sight to take a pictures of the parked aircraft.
Some aircraft owners will be circulating and may either ask for photos of the aircraft or ask to leave.
|FOCAL LENGTH||18-55mm for Aircraft Parked and up to 300mm for aircraft taxiing at TWY F.|
|Spot #4 – São Paulo Airclub – Apron and taxiway F|
|WHERE||You can enter through the main entrance and and immediatly turn right and walk for about 7 minutes. Or enter through the east entrance on Avenida Olavo Fontoura, 650. It is in the São Paulo aeroclub on there observation deck. Don’t be afraid to ask if you can enter the courtyard to photograph the aircraft from the fence.|
|WHAT||Aircraft Parked at the São Paulo Airclub, and other taxiing at the TWY F.|
|TIME||Morning and early afternoon.|
|MISC.||Be friendly to students, flight instructors and partners. There is a restroom nearby for members to use, but you can also use it, and there is a food truck nearby.|
|FOCAL LENGTH||18mm to 40mm for Aircraft at the Apron, up to 150mm at the taxiway.|
|Spot #5 – Terminal Square|
|WHERE||This location is the area before the airport’s terminal. There is a large lawn with trees and places to park the car. There is a fence in all directions, a ladder would be necessary, but don’t take it, there are a lot of security guards here and they will ask you not to use them, you have to photograph through the mesh.|
|WHAT||It is possible to photograph the arrival and departures from the hangars and the access to the runway. Furthermore you can photograph many helicopters that pass over the place that take off from the nearby helipads.|
|TIME||From sunrise until 11 am|
|MISC.||The place is a big lawn with trees so there is plenty of shade, bathrooms in the terminal. There are no snack bars here. The airport is frequented visited by families, employees as well as security guards.|
|FOCAL LENGTH||For aircraft in hangars and taxi – 70 to 200mm
For overhead helicopters – 200mm
takeoffs and landings – 200 to 300mm
|Spot #6 – Santos Dumont Avenue – 30 arrivals, taxiway B and G|
|WHERE||Stay on the sidewalk at Santos Dumont Avenue, towards the center of São Paulo. There are no bus stops nearby so you should walk to the point from the station at the main entrance or ask your Uber or taxi to leave there. You cannot stop the car on the avenue.|
|WHAT||Aircraft and helicopters landing at RWY 30, aircraft lining up at taxiway B or G.|
|TIME||Morning hours only for the line up. For the arrivals you can switch around as needed.|
|MISC.||It’s a relatively dangerous area, so go in a group. There is no bathroom nearby and the nearest restaurant is 500m from the point, with a market to buy snacks or drinks. The police may have to approach you, but stay calm, they may ask you a few questions and leave. The public walking along the avenue can interact with you. Bring protection and repellent, and there’s no shade, so bring a cap or hat, do not throw garbage on the avenue.|
|FOCAL LENGTH||55 to 200 for aircraft approaching and 200-300mm for aircraft at the B/G TWY.|