This year’s 69th Annual Venice International Film Festival runs from 29 August through 8 September 2012. Every year, Venice sees an influx of aircraft traffic during this mid-summer festival. Throughout this time period, you should expect possible airport and city congestion. As always, business aircraft operators should take steps to plan ahead. Here are some key points to consider when operating to Venice during this period:
1. The GAT at Venice (LIPZ) airport is not 24 hours
The main airport for Venice is LIPZ. This is a 24-hour airport, but the general aviation terminal (GAT) is only available between 0600 and 2200 local. It may be possible to extend the GAT until 2359 local, but it’s recommended that the estimated time of arrival be no later than 2330 local. For such an extension, airport authorities require at least 24 hours’ notice. Overtime for this terminal is not available between the hours of 0001 and 0600 local. If an exemption is provided to operate within the time period, all services will be provided at the main terminal and no VIP services will be available.
2. Prior permission is required (PPR) for LIPZ, and the request process is unique
A PPR is required for all operations into LIPZ. The airport authorities require at least eight hours’ notice for requests. However, it’s recommended that this request is sent with as much advance notice as possible, especially during the film festival period, but please note that an early request doesn’t guarantee confirmation. What makes this location unique is that in order to arrange the ground handling and PPR, you must include the following information with the requests:
- Operator address
- Aircraft type
- Registration and call sign
- Arrival and departure times (no TBA times will be permitted)
- Origin and destination of flight
Please note that if any of the above information is omitted from the application, the airport authorities will not consider the request. This information is required due to an online form that must be completed, and the data fields for the above are mandatory. It’s also important to note that, even though you may receive a PPR confirmation for aircraft parking, the airport authorities still reserve the right to withdraw the confirmation with little notice. For this reason, a plan “B” is recommended in case aircraft parking at this location isn’t available. (We’ll discuss plan “B” options at the end of this article.)
3. All standard services are available at the airport, but ground transportation should be arranged ASAP
Ground handling is available at this location. All services are available and may be arranged via credit. Also, jet fuel is available and credit may be arranged. Please do note, though, that services such as pre-paid transportation will be in high demand during the film festival, so it’s best to request such services with as much advance notice as possible.
4. There are many hotel options to choose from
There is a good selection of hotels for this location with major chain hotels also available. During this time period, you may see extended cancellation policies, non-refundable deposits or even non-cancellable rooms. Also, all the downtown hotels aren’t far from the airport, but you must travel by water to get to them. A private water taxi will take approximately 20 minutes and cost around 100 USD/€80, while public boats will take between 40 and 90 minutes and cost around 25 USD/€20 depending on final destination.
5. Charter (non-scheduled commercial) flights require a landing permit
While private non-revenue operators don’t require a landing permit for Italy, charter flights do. The lead time for charter flights that have operated to Italy within the last two years is seven working days. However, if this is your first trip to Italy or it’s been two or more years since the last time you operated there, the lead time for the permit is 45 days. All landing permit requests must be accompanied by documentation. For example, Ente Nazionale per l’Aviazione Civile (Italian Civil Aviation Authority) requires a completed Foreign Operator’s Questionnaire which must be submitted directly to them by the operator. They also need documents such as the Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC), Airworthiness Certificate, and insurance, which must follow a special structure of what information it needs to contain.
Additionally, by regulation, the maximum time on the ground permitted to charter flights is 36 hours. Any exception to this rule is at the discretion of ENAC. Also, ENAC may permit operations to more than one location in Italy, provided that the flights are executed for the transportation of the same passengers and no additional passengers embark or disembark the aircraft within Italy. The only exception to this rule may be to permit a charter flight to reposition due to lack of aircraft parking availability at the requested destination. In either case, we recommend that you work with an experienced 3rd-party provider that will be able to assist you with these types of charter landing permit requests.
6. Treviso and Trieste are good alternate aircraft parking options for LIPZ
In the event that parking isn’t approved for LIPZ, you may drop off the passengers and reposition to another airport. The preferred alternate airports for parking are Treviso (LIPH) or Trieste (LIPQ). LIPH is only a 30-minute drive from LIPZ, while LIPQ is approximately 1.5 hours from LIPZ.
The Venice Film Festival is sure to attract increased aircraft traffic, which will require more coordination to arrange the services needed. It’s best to plan early and start working with your 3rd-party provider now. Once all your requested arrangements have been made, take the time to enjoy this great event.
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About Christine Vamvakas
An FAA-Licensed Dispatcher, Christine Vamvakas is an expert in all areas of trip support services, including TSA Waivers, international visa requirements, aircraft fuel ranges, operations in Greece, and charter operations throughout Europe. A native of Greece, Christine is fluent in Greek and has more than a decade’s experience working in trip support services with Universal Weather and Aviation, Inc. Having served as Master Trip Owner and Team Lead for Universal’s Charter Management Team, Christine has facilitated thousands of international trip legs and uses that experience in her role as Universal’s Operations Communications Manager. Christine holds a bachelor of science degree in business management and a master’s degree in business administration. Her expert commentary has been included in multiple business aviation publications. You can reach Christine at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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