archival print/dibond/white frame
59-83.5 inches, (edition 5 + 2 a.p.)
A runway with a dead end. São Paulo has been expanding so rapidly that it has blocked the growth of one of the city’s four airports. The Congonhas–Deputado Freitas Nobre Airport was originally constructed in 1936 outside of São Paulo’s urban area. Today, the surrounding buildings almost absorb the hub. Unavoidable accidents and noise pollution from one of Brazil’s busiest airports has forced it to limit itself to domestic flights with a restricted number of landing slots and operating times. Wilschut’s work focuses on the clash that occurs when these two distinct sites merge, reflecting on the evolution of megacities at large.
On July 17, 2007, TAM Linhas Aéreas Flight 3054 crashed on landing. The plane overshot the runway in the pouring rain and caught fire against a gas station near the airport. It was the worst air disaster in Brazilian history at the time, with 199 fatalities, including 12 on the ground. Earlier in the year, voices had been raised that the airport was too close to buildings and that the runways were too short. Among pilots, the runway is compared to the landing strip of an aircraft carrier. On the day before the accident, two other aircraft skidded off the runway due to poor water drainage and resulting poor aquaplaning braking performance.