Take Extra Fuel
So be prepared to drop and reposition. “I recommend that operators carry a lot of fuel and file for Montevideo, Uruguay (SUMU), or Cordoba, Argentina (SACO),” Penalva said. Serving the second largest city in Argentina, SACO is a well-equipped airport with English-speaking controllers — but it's an hour away. “Another alternate, if Newbury has no parking, is Rosario, Argentina (SAAR), about 40 min. away,” Penalva continued. “It is the only airport in the country with a dedicated general aviation FBO, a small general aviation terminal in this case, based on the west side of airport. You have to let them know when you're coming so they can have the CIQ people there in advance.”
Coming in from any location other than Uruguay, operators will need the aforementioned permit for a general aviation aircraft to operate internationally. For planning purposes, Penalva advised, “Be aware that if the weather is crappy in Buenos Aires, it's generally the same in Uruguay. So where will you go? The point is to carry extra fuel so, if the situation changes, you have enough fuel to make it to Uruguay or one of the other alternates. And be sure to have the handler standing by wherever you're going.”
Garcia at ARSOT added some information about Jorge Newbery's slot process, specifically, that if airport volume is high, slots will be assigned when flight plans are filed with the field's dispatching office. “It is highly recommended to file the ICAO IFR flight plan at least 24 hr. prior to intended departure time to have a chance of getting a slot corresponding to the ETD,” he said.
On the street in Buenos Aires, visitors should exercise the usual cautions necessary to remain safe in a large city with a lot of poverty. During Argentina's monetary collapse a decade ago, street crime was rife; however, recent visitors said that as the economy has improved, crime has been significantly reduced.
The second largest metropolitan area in South America after São Paulo, Buenos Aires is classified as an “autonomous city,” a designation conferred in 1994 via a constitutional amendment that ended centuries of political infighting. Portenos (“people of the port,” the name accorded Buenos Aires citizens) are now able to elect their mayors, who previously were appointed by the republic's president.
The city, noted for its stunning European architecture, boasts the highest concentration of theaters in the world and many museums. Its Teatro Colon Theater, completed in 1908, continues to host world-class opera. This is a city literally imbued with art and culture.
On the other hand, from the start, Buenos Aires' history has been characterized by assaults and incursions by outside forces, military coups, dictatorships, revolutions and civil strife. The 20th century alone witnessed the Peronist era — so named for the reigns of Juan Peron, who served as president from 1946 to 1955, and then again from 1973 until his death the following year when he was succeeded by his third wife, Isabel, who was then deposed by a coup in 1976. Person's first presidency ended with a breakaway military faction bombing of the city's principal plaza, killing 364 people and ultimately forcing Peron into exile. After his death and the military coup that unseated his widow, there came the atrocities of the so-called “Dirty War” in which the military slaughtered thousands of Argentine citizens who then “disappeared.”
Few could forget the wrenching silent demonstrations of mothers and wives of the "desaparecidos," the disappeared, that went on in Buenos Aires for years after democracy was restored to Argentina. Thirty years later, attempts at reconciliation continue.
Returned to the status of constitutional republic, the travails of Argentina and Buenos Aires still weren't over, with the country weathering the severe devaluation of its currency during the last decade. But after a slow recovery, the economy has restored itself, the business climate has improved, and the Paris of the Pampas prevails. BCA