12 Ways Your BizAv Trip Can Go Wrong – Part 2
This business aviation blog post continues from our article last week, entitled “12 Ways Your BizAv Trip Can Go Wrong – Part 1.”
Last week, we discussed six out of 12 critical areas where a bizav trip can go wrong. Many of these are avoidable with proper preplanning. Today, we’ll discuss six more areas to round out our list of 12. This list by no means covers everything, but it does provide common pitfalls for operators. So with that said, here are six more areas in which a trip to go wrong:
7. Flight plan and revision issues
Ensure that you have proper entry/exit points on your flight plan for countries that require this as part of the permit process. For example China requires specific routes and entry/exit points, and the same applies to Russia. If a local Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) requires you to change your route or entry/exit points, you’ll need to ensure that these new flight information regions and routes are applied to your trip and do not impact other, associated, permits.
8. CIQ may be restricted or unavailable
It’s important to know Customs, Immigration, and Quarantine (CIQ) clearance arrangements and operating hours. Airports that operate 24 hours do not always offer CIQ clearance 24 hours – or there may be blackout times when CIQ services are unavailable. CIQ overtime can be negotiated at some locations, but not at others. Certain airports only provide CIQ clearance upon request, and additional time is required to make these arrangements.
If you’re transporting pets, you’ll need to know local regulations and correct procedures for bringing animals into the country. Otherwise, “Fifi” or “Fido” may be heading off for a 90-day quarantine experience.
Onboard weapons are another potential complication. Regulations vary by location, but advance notification is always required with regard to onboard weapons.
9. Cabotage can get you into trouble
Many regions – including Canada, the European Union, and Mexico – have cabotage rules restricting carriage of local nationals within the country. These regulations have a greater impact on charter operations, but also affect private flights. It’s best to confirm, with your 3rd-party provider or local CAA, how cabotage may impact a planned operation.
10. Equipment breakdowns can derail a trip
There’s always potential to experience an Aircraft on Ground (AOG) event due to equipment or systems breakdowns. Know where local service centers and maintenance facilities are – along your route of flight – prior to day of operation. If you experience an AOG, there may be customs, tax, and regulatory issues to consider in terms of importing replacement parts or bringing in a mechanic. It may take days to clear a replacement part through local customs. For anything other than a minor breakdown, you may need to consider revising permits and/or visas for crew members and passengers.
11. Weather events can trip up a flight
Weather issues and natural disasters – typhoons, volcanic activity, etc. – can significantly impact a trip or force you to deviate to an alternate location. Always obtain weather briefs 24-48 hours in advance to determine if there may be any issues en route. It’s always best to have a backup plan in the event weather or natural disaster issues crop up on the day of operation.
12. Ground services you take for granted can cause havoc
For time to time – particularly at some Caribbean destinations during the winter holidays – fuel shortages or fuel uplift restrictions occur. You may need to consider either tankering fuel or fueling on arrival. Hotel and local transport availability can run out from time to time depending on events in the local area. Credit, for fuel and/or aircraft services, is not a given at many international locations. You may, in some cases, need to pay cash or take additional steps to ensure local credit. It’s important, also, to consider vaccination requirements at certain destinations, as well as security considerations at others. Again, if traveling to a new destination, make sure you research all the basics in advance.
As stated above, this list by no means covers everything, but it points out some common pitfalls. Best practice is to research in advance and to work with a qualified 3rd-party provider or local ground handler. Provide all information as soon as schedule is known. And ask questions, even about the basic stuff, as answers can vary greatly by destination.
If you have any questions about this article, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.