Silvio Pettirossi International Airport, named after a Paraguayan aviator, is Paraguay’s main national and international gateway. It is sited at Luque and it serves the capital city, Asunción. The airport was previously named after Paraguay’s former head of state General Alfredo Stroessner. The terminal building splits into two international concourses, the north concourse with two gates and the south with four gates. The airport is being expanded to accommodate more gates.
Silvio Pettirossi generally serves domestic and regional South American routes, with the exception of Copa’s route to Panama City in Central America and, since December 2015, Air Europa’s service to Madrid, Spain. Passenger numbers topped 1 million a year for the first time in 2016, rising to over 1.2 million in 2018.
The airport is the main international hub for Latam Paraguay and Paranair. Other operators include Aerolineas Argentinas, Air Europa, Amaszonas Uruguay, Avianca, Copa, Flybondi and Gol.
Written by Clive Grant Last update October 2019.
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|Terminals||The airport has a single passenger terminal serving all traffic.|
|Ladder||A 3-step ladder is useful for Spot #3; otherwise not required.|
|Car/Public Transport||A car is needed for Spot #3 but not essential otherwise as both the morning spots are within thirty minutes walk of the terminal.|
|Restrooms||Only in the airport terminal.|
|Drinks/Food||Only in the airport terminal.|
|Hotels||The Bourbon Assunção Convention Hotel is about a mile and a half south of the airport terminal. Many more hotels can be found in Asunción.|
|Season||The best time to visit Asunción is considered to be from September to early December for cooler temperatures and lower fares. December to February are the hottest months, with daytime temperatures in the low to mid thirties centigrade. July and August are the coldest months but days are still pleasantly warm, though winter days are considerably shorter.|
|02/20||02/20 is the only runway. As the airport is generally quiet, in light wind conditions arrivals and departures may use either end of the runway depending on which is most convenient.|
|Spot #1 – Country Club Montesol Entrance – All traffic on the runway and parallel taxiway|
|WHERE||By car, at the roundabout outside the airport, take the third exit onto Autopista Silvio Pettirossi northbound. After just over 1km, turn right at the faded sign for Country Montesol and park near the entrance facing the airport, ensuring that you’re not blocking arriving or departing vehicles.|
|WHAT||All traffic on the runway and nearer parallel taxiway, though smaller traffic on the runway may suffer from heat haze on hotter days.|
|TIME||From sunrise until about noon all year.|
|MISC.||From this spot, except for wide body traffic, the fence is just about low enough for photos of most things to be taken without getting the fence in your shots. Otherwise, you can take photos with care through the mesh of the fence and crop them later. There is some shade under the trees here but there are no other facilities so bring what you need.|
|FOCAL LENGTH||210mm for an E190 on the taxiway, 270mm for a CRJ200 on the taxiway. 150mm for an A330-200 on the runway, 270mm for an A320 on the runway.|
|Spot #2 – Petropar Petrol Station – Traffic landing on Runway 20|
|WHERE||Spot #2 is a ten minute walk or two minute drive north of Spot #1 on Autopista Silvio Pettirossi. You can park on the asphalt area to the north of the petrol station to ensure that you don’t obstruct traffic.|
|WHAT||Landing traffic on Runway 20. Departing traffic on Runway 20 doesn’t always use the full length, so Spot #1 is better for departures. For Runway 02, arrivals seldom taxi this far and departures are too high, so stick to Spot #1.|
|TIME||From sunrise until about noon all year.|
|MISC.||There is some shade under the trees here and there may be other facilities in the petrol station, but this was not checked out so it’s best to bring what you need.|
|FOCAL LENGTH||250mm for a 737-800 on the runway.|
|Spot #3 – Yegros – Traffic landing on Runway 20|
|WHERE||By car from Spot #2, continue north following the perimeter of the airport, turning left onto General Bernadino Caballero. Continue for about 1.5km, turning left at the Marian Paolo car wash. Follow this road to where it turns to the right and then take the next left into Yegros. Find somewhere to park near the fence at the end, making sure that local residents can still gain access. You may be able to stand on the concrete at the bottom of the fence to take your photos over the top, but a two or three step ladder would be useful here.|
|WHAT||Landing traffic on the Runway 20 and also departing traffic if it uses the full length. For Runway 02, arrivals seldom taxi this far and departures are too high.|
|TIME||From about 1pm until sunset all year|
|MISC.||This is a residential area so please be considerate of the locals. There is a little shade here but there are no other facilities so bring what you need.|
|FOCAL LENGTH||90mm for a 737-800 on the runway|