Even if the Brazilian Air Force has decided to purchase 36 SAAB Gripen NGs, it will be a fleet of 10 F-5 Tiger (among the other assets) to ensure Rio de Janeiro’s World Cup final security.
Activated on Jun. 5, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, the master control room of the Centro de Gerenciamento da Navegação Aérea (CGNA) – the Air Navigation Management Center – a unit of the Brazilian Air Force Command responsible for managing all traffic within Brazil’s vast airspace (22 million sq km), has coordinated all the air defense activities and the huge increase in flights caused by the World Cup.
Overall, a force of 10 F-5M Tiger and 24 A-29 Tucano interceptors, 3 E-99 AEW&C (Airborne Early Warning & Control) aircraft, 11 H-2 Sabre and H-60 Black Hawk helicopters as well as 29 transport and support planes have been committed to ensuring the security of the international football contest.
In order to closely monitor any aircraft approaching the stadiums, No-Fly Zones (NFZs) with a ceiling of 15,500 feet and a radius of 7 kilometers have been enforced above each stadium; such NFZs have been embedded within a Restricted zone with the same ceiling and radius of 19 km.
CGNA will have to manage 600-900 movements (about double the average) expected at Rio de Janeiro International Airport today, for the World Cup final. Among them, many VIP flights with delegations and heads of state.
The peak will take place around 9:22 pm, when 30 air traffic controllers will work simultaneously.
It will be one of the most tense moments of the World Cup security operation, when real-time information inside the CGNA master control room will show several military and civil aircraft, that will have to be properly checked, tracked and deconflicted.
Image credit: FAB