Alternate Aircraft Parking Locations for Italy During the Summer Months

> | May 14, 2012 | 1 Comment
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Italian luxury tax legislation has now been revised to allow non-Italian private non-revenue operators to remain in the country for up to 45 consecutive days without being taxed. Charter (non-scheduled commercial) flights are exempt from this regulation. However, in Italy, an operator still needs to take into account traffic increases during the summer months. Many locations will have limited parking at that time. Due to the seasonal lack of available aircraft parking at some airports, operators may need to consider aircraft parking alternatives outside of Italy. An experienced 3rd-party provider can help determine the best aircraft parking alternatives based on passenger needs and airport availability.

1. What are recommended parking alternatives when repositioning from Italy?

Athens, Greece (LGAV), with ample aircraft parking, is a good location during winter and summer months. The island of Corsica has three airport options: Ajaccio, France (LFKJ), Figari, France (LFKF); and Calvi, France (LFKC). Both Geneva, Switzerland (LSGG) and Zurich, Switzerland (LSZH) are good relocation options when operating to northern Italy. Another popular location – for both summer and winter alternate parking – is Dubrovnik, Croatia (LDDU). All of these options are Airports of Entry (AOE), which reduces the number of additional stops needed to clear customs.

2. What are the advantages of each of these locations?

LGAV is a 24-hour airport for Stage-3 operations, with full ground handling, credit and auxiliary services. Aviation fuel cards are accepted at LGAV, and for each uplift you must present your registration certificate, air operator certificate for charter flights and a leading agreement for leased aircraft.

LFKJ is available 0900-1800 local Mondays through Fridays and 0800-2000 local Saturdays and Sundays. LFKF operates 0600-2200 Mondays-Thursdays (with overtime on request with 24-hour advance notice), 0600-2320 local Fridays, 0600-2335 Saturdays and 0630-2200 Sundays (with overtime on request with 48-hour advance notice). LFKC is open 0800-2000 local in the summer and 0900-1800 local in the winter, with full services and credit available.

Aviation fuel cards are accepted at the airports in Corsica, with the exception of LFKJ, where fuel release is needed. In Switzerland, LSGG and LSZH have good aircraft parking availability during the summer period. Both airports are open 0600-2200 local, with airport slots required for arrival and departure. Stage-2 aircraft are banned from both of these airports, and no overtime is available. LDDU is an excellent option, operating 0500-2200 local during the summer and 0700-2300 local during the winter. Aircraft parking availability is adequate at LDDU, jet fuel prices are reasonable, aviation fuel cards are accepted, and auxiliary services can be arranged on credit.

3. Can you suggest any other good aircraft parking alternatives?

Corfu, Greece (LGKR) is an option worth considering when repositioning from southern Italy. However, aircraft parking may be limited during summer months. For operations to southern Italy, Malta (LMML) may also be an effective choice. Due to security and geopolitical issues, avoid repositioning to North Africa. Wherever you choose to reposition, it’s best to make aircraft parking reservations early and to try to maintain as firm a schedule as possible.

4. What are other considerations regarding aircraft parking alternates?

As crew duty time may become a consideration, it’s often recommended that crew overnight in Italy on arrival and reposition the next morning. Likewise, when returning to Italy to pick up passengers for an early morning departure, it’s often advisable to land in Italy the night before in order to depart on time the next morning.

5. Is customs required when operating from Italy to these recommended alternatives?

Customs clearance is needed for Croatia, as it’s not part of the European Union (EU). It’s always recommended that you reposition to an AOE, as it will allow you to operate into and out of Europe as needed, which is why the above airports are recommended. Agricultural clearance may be required when operating to airports within the EU, but an experienced 3rd-party provider can help confirm requirements.

6. Are landing permits required at any of these locations?

With the exception of LMML, no landing permit is required for private (non-revenue) operations. Malta has a four-day lead time, and copies of worldwide insurance, Airworthiness and Noise certificates are required with the permit request. If you’re flying charter (non-scheduled commercial), with passengers, a landing permit is required for all locations. The exceptions to this rule are LGAV and LGKR, where a landing permit for a charter flight isn’t needed at all for Greece, and not required for Croatia, if the aircraft is smaller than a Gulfstream V or Global Express. You may not need a charter landing permit with no passengers onboard, but an experienced t3rd-party provider can help confirm this. Charter landing permit lead times are eight working days for France, seven working days for Italy if you’ve landed there as a charter within the past two years, four working days for Malta and three working days for Switzerland. All non-Italian, non-EU charter flights require a landing permit to operate to Italy, and at least 45 days is required for a permit if it’s your first trip to Italy of if you’ve not operated there in the past two years. Charter aircraft are only allowed on the ground in Italy for 36 hours unless the Italian Civil Aviation Authority approves otherwise.

7. What are ground handling and jet fuel uplift considerations?

For the most part, full ground handling and services are available, although in-flight catering options will be more limited at some locations. Aviation fuel cards are accepted for payment at most locations except LFKJ. Always request a jet fuel price estimate in advance of uplift and confirm that the correct taxes are indicated on the estimate. Out of all options mentioned here, Croatia has the most competitive aircraft parking and jet fuel prices.

8. Any other tips?

Always check the operating hours of all airports involved and keep duty time in mind when planning drop-offs and pickups. Always request aircraft parking as far in advance as possible and confirm any applicable charter landing permit requirements. Book hotel reservations early, as accommodations are in high demand during summer months. Try to keep track of air traffic control and airport strikes – particularly during summer months in Italy and France. Strikes may occur on short notice, although they’re usually announced in advance and may impact duty time.

Conclusion

Italy is a very popular summer destination, and you’ll experience traffic increases over this period. You may have to consider reposition parking options outside Italy during these busy periods. Best practice is to reserve alternate parking as early as possible. An experienced 3rd-party provider can help develop “Plan B” contingency options in the event that parking at your requested destination is not available.

Questions?

If you have any questions about this article, contact me at drewbarnes@univ-wea.com.

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About

Drew Barnes has more than a decade of combined experience working as a corporate dispatcher and in Trip Support Services with Universal. He currently serves as a master trip owner on the Delta Team and has facilitated more than 16,000 trip legs. A former Dispatch Supervisor for Altria Corporate Services, Inc. (the parent company of Philip Morris and Kraft Foods) and Manager of Scheduling and Dispatching for Kraft Foods, Drew is known for mirroring his clients’ sense of urgency and using his experience to ensure every detail – from crew scheduling and duty issues to visa requirements and passenger logistics – is handled correctly.

Drew can be reached at drewbarnes@univ-wea.com.

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