Silvio Pettirossi International Airport Guide

Facade of the international airport building, Asuncion, Paraguay.
Gerold Grotelueschen / Getty Images
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Silvio Pettirossi International Airport

Address
Autopista Silvio Pettirossi, Luque, Paraguay
Phone +595 21 688 2000

Single-terminal Silvio Pettirossi International Airport may be Paraguay’s main international airport, but it feels like a small local airport, save for a few duty-free shops. About 1.2 million passengers pass through its gates per year, with many flying on its two most frequent routes: Buenos Aires and Sao Paulo. It acts as the country’s international hub for LATAM Paraguay and Paranair and also services domestic flights. Its departure hall is located on the top floor and the arrivals hall on the bottom. The airport is named after Paraguay’s first aviator, Silvio Pettirossi.

Silvio Pettirossi International Airport Code,Location, and Contact Information

  • Airport Code: ASU
  • Location: Silvio Pettirossi International Airport (ASU) is located in the city of Luque, within the greater Asuncion metropolitan area, 10.5 miles (17 kilometers) northeast of the city center.
  • Phone Number: +(595) 21-688-2000
  • Website: http://www.dinac.gov.py/v3/, though the unofficial one is more helpful: https://www.asuncion-airport.com/
  • Flight Tracker: https://flightaware.com/live/airport/SGAS

Know Before You Go

Made up of only a single terminal and split into two international concourses, the Silvio Pettirossi International Airport is easy to navigate and wheelchair-friendly. There are only six boarding gates; the north concourse contains gates 5 and 6, while the south concourse contains gates 1 through 4. Though not dazzling in architectural design or offering a wide variety of services, the airport is clean and runs efficiently most of the time. The exceptions to that include having to wait for customs declarations and visa processing. The airport also shares facilities with the Paraguayan Airforce’s Nu-Guazu base.

  • Visas are required for U.S. citizens and can be bought on arrival ($160 and good for 10 years). Bring clean new bills to present to the immigration officer to avoid any problems. You can also pull money out of the ATM located next to the immigration window which dispenses US dollars, though you will be charged 10 percent of what you withdraw. Alternatively, you can purchase your visa at a Paraguayan embassy prior to flying.
  • ATMs and money exchange services are available.
  • Hotels can be found nearby, but none are located in the airport itself.

Where to Eat and Drink

The only food and drink option is Havana, an Argentine cafe chain known for their alfajores (cookie sandwiches with a dulce de leche filling). Espresso-based beverages, Haagen-Dazs ice cream products, and several pastries comprise the menu. Expect airport prices and watery coffee though. The best option is to buy snacks or eat in Asuncion prior to coming to the airport.

Public Transportation and Taxis

There are no subways in the city, meaning taxis or buses will be the easiest options for getting from the airport to the city center.

  • Buses: Buses run from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m, every 10 to 20 minutes. To get to the bus, walk a block down the road from the airport to the small bus stop. Bus number 30-A will get you to the city center of Asuncion and takes about 30 minutes to an hour, depending on traffic. It costs 3,500 guarani (around $0.52). Check with the driver that the 30-A you hail is going to Asuncion, as not all of them do.
  • Taxis: Taxis run 24 hours and can be hailed outside the arrival hall. To reach the city center, expect to pay the equivalent of $18, and for the trip to take about 20 minutes. Should you want a cheaper fare, it’s worth walking to the avenue outside (the same one the bus is on), hailing a taxi there, and trying to negotiate a cheaper rate. Sometimes you pay 40 percent less by doing this.

Driving Directions

From the city center, reach the airport by driving along Av Mariscal Lopez, then taking a left on Calle Brasil. After about 900 feet (260 meters) turn right onto Avenida España. After about 5 miles (8 kilometers), the avenue becomes Autopista al Aeropuerto Silvio Pettirossi. Drive along this for 3.4 miles (5.5 kilometers) until you reach the airport. Traffic is manageable, and the whole trip should take 20 to 40 minutes depending on the flow of cars.

Silvio Pettirossi International Airport Parking

You can park at the airport in the covered or uncovered lots.

  • For covered parking, an hour costs 5,000 guarani, and one day is 50,000 guarani. One week costs 260,000 guarani, and one month is 350,000 guarani. 
  • For uncovered parking, an hour costs 5,000 guarani, and one day is 30,000 Guarani ($4.47). One week costs 200,000 guarani, and one month costs 300,000 guarani.
  •  AeroParking is also a good option that provides a shuttle service to and from the airport. Expect to pay the equivalent of about $4 per day to park there.

Wi-Fi and Charging Stations

There is free Wi-Fi in the airport close to gates 1, 2, and 3. Look for the Tigo network to connect. Power outlets are scattered throughout the terminal, including inside Havana.

Airport Lounges

 For such a laidback airport, the lounges can be surprisingly hard to enter. None of the lounges will allow you access unless you are flying with airlines they are connected to or if you have their card. You can’t pay an independent fee to enter.

The lounges available include:

  • VIP Gold Lunge: Found between gates 1 and 2, this 24-hour lounge has snacks,
    TV, alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages, and Wi-Fi.
  • Lounge VIP A and Lounge VIP B: Both are only open in two shifts: from 3 a.m. to 11 a.m.
    and 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Both have snacks, TVs, alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages, newspapers,
    and Wi-Fi. 

How to Spend Your Layover

Other than shopping at the few stores in the terminal and having a pastry from Havana, there's not much to do in the airport itself on a layover. If you already have a visa and have a few hours to explore, Asuncion is only a short bus or cab ride away.

If you're hungry El Bolsi diner offers a wide variety of Latin American food, including Paraguayan dishes, at affordable prices. You can also walk through Museo del Barro to see Pre-Colombian, Colonial, and Contemporary Paraguayan art.

If you want to stay close to the airport, the Museo Del Futbol Sudamericano is only a 5-minute drive from the airport, where you can learn about the history of soccer in South America and watch a movie inside a giant soccer ball.

Nu Guasu Park is only an eight-minute drive away. Wander its 62 acres via the walking trail, relax by the lake, and look out for the occasional horse.

Silvio Pettirossi International Airport Tips & Facts

  • The Deperdussin monoplane hanging in the departure hall is a replica of Pettirossi’s plane. To learn more about Pettirossi’s life and flight, read the information on the nearby monitors.
  • Airport shops will only accept guarani as currency.
  • The brightly colored fabrics of the Maka ethnic group make for good souvenirs. Buy them in the departure terminal.
  • The departure area has a few long chairs, the best place for sleeping in the airport.
  • If you want to exchange money, only exchange a few dollars for bus or taxi fare, then stop at Shopping del Sol (about 20 minutes down the Autopista al Aeropuerto Silvio Pettirossi by bus) where you can get a much better exchange rate.
  • The airport is part of the Nu Grande complex, which also contains the South American football confederation.
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Silvio Pettirossi International Airport Guide