Airport in Porto Alegre, Brazil, could remain closed until December following floods

By June 5, 2024

São Paulo, Brazil – Following severe flooding last month in Porto Alegre, the capital of Brazil’s southern Rio Grande do Sul state, the city’s Salgado Filho Airport is not expected to resume operations until at least the second half of December, according to officials.

The timetable was announced on Monday by Fraport Brasil, the company that administers the airport, during an inspection carried out alongside Brazilian government officials.

According to Fraport, various activities are already being undertaken on-site as the water begins to recede. Cleanup crews have been removing accumulated debris and trash from the runways and taxiways.

In conjunction with these efforts, Fraport has initiated soil testing and evaluations to determine the impact of the water accumulation over the past few weeks. These assessments are expected to be completed within 45 days, provided that weather conditions remain favorable in the region.

The main airport in Rio Grande do Sul, Salgado Filho has been closed since May 3 when flooding from nearby Guaíba Lake inundated the area in the northern part of the city.

Gradually, the water overtook the runway and the ground floor of the building. Inside the terminal, the water has subsided, but some external areas remain flooded.

While the capital’s airport remains closed, the Brazilian Air Force Base in Canoas, located 20 minutes from Porto Alegre, has been handling commercial flight operations on an emergency basis since May 27
Because it doesn’t have the same facilities as a traditional commercial airport, the military airfield is expected to receive a maximum of 70 landings and take-offs a week, operated by three companies.

Despite this, operations there have reconnected the state’s main region to the rest of the country, albeit slowly.