Santos Dumont Airport in the city center of Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro Santos Dumont Airport

IATA code: SDU


Passengers: ~ 9.000.000

Santos Dumont Airport in Rio de Janeiro is the second-biggest airport serving the city of Rio de Janeiro. The airport is located just 2 km from the city’s business area. The airport has two terminals which handle around 9 million passengers per year. It offers connections to the cities in Brazil and a few cities abroad. Also, it serves as a hub for Azul Brazilian Airlines, Gol Transportes Aéreos and LATAM.

If flying to Santos Dumont Airport, the following guide will present you with all the necessary information to prepare for your arrival.

Getting from Santos Dumont Airport to Rio de Janeiro

The distance between Santos Dumont Airport and Rio de Janeiro city centre is about 2 kilometres which is approximately a 5-10 minute ride. If heading to the centre after you land, you can choose between several means of transportation. 


There are no direct bus lines from the airport to the Rio de Janeiro city centre. However, if you walk to the station Condomínio do Edifício you can take bus line 342 that can take you to Sete de Setembre which is situated close to the centre. For the bus, you use the Carioca card that you can buy at the airport.


Rio de Janeiro uses a light rail system that can take you to the centre. The airport terminal station is just outside the Arrivals Hall if you turn left. You can take line 1 (yellow) or line 3 (blue) to reach Sete de Setembro, and walk a bit to reach the centre. The VLT line 2 (green) can take you from the airport to the Novo Rio bus station. To board, you need a Carioca ticket that you can buy at the airport, and you could also use it for the subway. The VLT system works from 6:00 am til midnight, every day. A VLT ticket costs R $3,80 and a Metro ticket costs R $4,10.


There are regular black and white taxis and special taxis available at the airport. Both are situated outside the arrival hall. The prices are listed on the airport door and the trip to the city center will cost you approx. R $40-50.


Booking a private transfer from the airport to the cities is a good option. Pre-booking a transfer ensures that a professional driver will welcome you upon arrival and take you directly to your accommodation.  

Car hire

Car rental is available at the airport. Several major companies – such as Alamo, Hertz and Localiza – offer their services. However, renting a car online is a good idea for avoiding long queues.

Santos Dumont Airport airlines

Arrivals and departures from Santos Dumont Airport are domestic and a few international flights. Some of the most popular flights are those to São Paulo-Guarulhos, São Paulo-Congonhas and Brasília, as well as Madrid, Lisbon and Frankfurt. Most frequent airlines are Azul Brazilian Airlines, Gol Transportes Aéreos and LATAM.

The Santos Dumont Airport is the hub for airlines:

  • Azul Brazilian Airlines
  • Gol Transportes Aéreos
  • LATAM Brazil
  • Voepass

Santos Dumont Airport facilities 

Various services are available at the terminal for passengers who are in a layover or simply waiting for a flight. Here are some of them listed:

  • Banks
  • Baby care facilities
  • Free WiFi
  • Duty-free shop
  • Luggage Wrapping
  • ATMs and currency exchange
  • Restaurants and cafes 
  • Lounge
  • Pharmacy

Santos Dumont Airport accommodation 

Santos Dumont Airport FAQs

I arrive late at Santos Dumont Airport. Will it be a problem for me to get to the city?

The train service to the city centre operates from 6:00 am til midnight, however, taxis and transfers are at your disposal 24/7 in case you don’t catch a bus.

Is there a free WiFi service available at Santos Dumont Airport?

Yes, the airport provides free WiFi service throughout the terminal.

Can I exchange money at Santos Dumont Airport?

Yes, currency exchange is available at the airport.

How many terminals does Santos Dumont Airport have?

Santos Dumont Airport has 1 terminal for domestic flights.

How can I get from Santos Dumont Airport to Galeão Airport?

Bus lines 2101 and 2018 operate from Santos Dumont Airport to Galeão Airport (GIG) from 5:30 am to 6:00 pm, stopping before at the bus station. Line 2145 goes directly to Galeão Airport from 5:30 am to 9:30 pm.

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