varig_dc10 wrote:A couple of weeks ago I visited Brasil, arriving in Rio De Janeiro Galeao and travelling onto Campinas.
I was really disappointed to see that Terminal 1 had effectively closed down and become a domestic pier.
The first time I visited Rio De Janeiro Galeao was in 1978. Terminal 1 was one year old and I flew in on a Varig DC-10.
I was only a kid and it was my first ever wide body flight.
Over the next couple of years I made quite a few visits to Rio De Janeiro Galeao, on both domestic and international flights.
The main Brasilian airlines at that time were Varig, Vasp, Cruzeiro and TransBrasil.
They all operated the 727 and the majority of them operated the 737-200 (I don't think TransBrasil did).
I specifically remember taking a TransBrasil flight at some point.
It might not even have been to or from Galeao.
But we boarded using the rear steps, so it must have been a 727-100.
Just wish I'd taken down the registration number.
In fact I wish I'd recorded the registration of quite a few aircraft numbers back then.
I have an old photograph which my parents took of me inside the airport hotel.
The hotel didn't have any windows in the hotel rooms.
When you opened the curtains, there was a photo on the wall showing a beach or woodland scene.
There used to be a viewing deck on the roof at terminal 1. I'm not sure when that closed, but in 1979/1980, I remember being mesmerised watching an Air France Concorde land and pull up at the terminal building.
In 1980 I took my first Airbus flight on a brand new Cruzeiro Airbus A300.
As you can imagine this airport really made a big impression on me and is one of the main reasons behind my interest in aircraft.
Prior to my recent visit, the last time I visited Galeao was in 2012. Terminal 1 was still handling airlines like BA, AF and KL. Terminal 2 tended to be a TAM only terminal.
Nowadays you can still access parts of Terminal 1. On the landside, the hotel is still in operation along with some banks on level 2. But the main restaurant Demoiselle, which opened when the terminal was new, is long gone. On level 1, where the check in desks are located, you can walk from the Terminal 2 end as far as the main escalators. Like I mentioned earlier, airside Terminal 1 is being used as a domestic pier accessed from Terminal 2.
It's not only the DC-10's, 727's and classic 737's that have gone since the late 1970's.
The voice of Iris Lettieri no longer announces the flights.
I suppose this is understandable. Airports around the world have gradually stopped making flight announcements as travellers become more savvy.
But for nostalgic people like me, the voice of Iris Lettieri is missed.
One of the big problems Galeao faces, is that in the mid 1980's, Sao Paulo Guarulhous became the main Brasilian international airport.
This obviously impacted on international traffic for Galeao.
On the domestic front, it also competes with Santos Dumont, which is much closer to central Rio.
Unless you have an onward international connection, you wouldn't really choose to fly to Galeao.
I wonder how sound the decision was to build terminal 2 in the 1990's was.
Maybe they could have just introduced a southern pier at terminal 1 (like they recently have at terminal 2).
What do you think the future is for Galeao Terminal 1? Can anybody see it's fortunes turn around?
I'd be interested to hear about other peoples memories of Galeao Terminal 1.
Also, does anybody know when the viewing deck at Terminal 1 closed?
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