This year’s Belgium Grand Prix takes place August 31 through September 2 at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit. As the Belgium Grand Prix draws considerable business aviation traffic to the region, it’s recommended that you plan early if you will be flying in for the event. Here are some important things to consider in your planning:
1. You have two nearby Airports of Entry to consider — Liege and Brussels.
Liege (EBLG) is the closest airport to the Spa-Francorchamps circuit and is about a 40-minute drive away. Brussels (EBBR) is another good option at about a one hour and 30-minute drive away. Both are Airports of Entry (AOE).
2. EBLG has few restrictions.
EBLG operates 24 hours for Stage 3 movements. Stage 2 aircraft are banned from this airport. Recertified aircraft and hush-kited aircraft are banned from 2200-0600 UTC. Full services and credit are available and aviation fuel cards are accepted. Jet fuel uplifts may be subject to Value Added Tax (VAT) and Mineral Oil Tax (MOT), so it’s important to confirm the tax situation in advance with your 3rd-party provider.
3. EBBR has take-off restrictions on weekends and strict noise requirements. Plus, airport slots are required.
EBBR is available 24 hours a day for Stage 3 aircraft arrivals with some restrictions for take-offs on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. There are movement restrictions for certain jet aircraft (EBBR 2.21, § 1). For more information on these restrictions, please contact your 3rd-party provider, as certain documentation may need to be submitted to the airport authorities. Be aware that ATC overtime will not be granted except in the case of humanitarian or government flights.
Full services and credit are available at EBBR and major aviation fuel cards are accepted.
Jet fuel uplifts may be subject to VAT and MOT, so it’s important to confirm the tax situation in advance with your 3rd-party provider.
Airport slots are required for arrival and departure at EBBR whenever a high density of flights is expected. Airport slots are not allocated for take-offs on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights between 2340-0559 local, but arrivals are permitted 24 hours a day. If airport slots are needed, your flight plan must be filed with a confirmed airport slot time. Airport slot deviation is -/+15 minutes.
4. Landing permits are required for certain charter (non-scheduled commercial) flights in Belgium.
Charter landing permits are only required for large commercial aircraft, such as an Airbus or Boeing, with commercial seating configurations. These landing permits are valid for 24 hours. For such landing permits, four working days is required by Civil Aviation Belgium to process the request. Corporate-sized/configured aircraft do not require landing permits for Belgium.
5. Charter flights are subject to security checks upon departure.
Per EU regulation 300/3008, all charter flights are subject to full aviation security checks upon departure. All crew, passengers, and luggage will be security screened in accordance with EU regulations in the same manner that commercial flights are screened. This means that items such as any liquids above 100 ml will not be allowed onboard. It’s important to advise passengers of these requirements. Best practice is to plan ahead and allow additional time to complete security screening.
6. Additional operating restrictions and requirements will apply.
Flights to and from Libya via Belgium are strictly prohibited.
Special permission is required and special documentation is needed when operating an experimental aircraft that’s not registered in Belgium. Required documentation includes certificate of registration and aircraft insurance.
All aircraft operating to Belgium must have onboard of copy of a 3rd-party insurance policy meeting European Union (EU) minimum insurance requirements.
7. Your hotel and local transport arrangements should be made as early as possible.
Many hotel options are available in the EBBR area, including popular large chain hotels. However, EBLG has limited hotel options. We recommend operators book early to confirm hotel accommodations during the Belgium Grand Prix period. Operators should also pre-plan local transportation – either rental vehicles or pre-paid transport – as transport arrangements will be needed to and from this event. If you’re not familiar with the area, avoid rental vehicles due to traffic issues and possible road closures associated with the Belgium Grand Prix.
8. Additional information about the Belgium Grand Prix is available online.
Information regarding the circuit diagram, date and timetable, ticket purchases, and more can be found on the Formula1 Web site.
Work closely with your 3rd-party provider and local ground handler in order to secure the best aircraft parking and hotel accommodation options. Charter operators should allow additional lead time in planning a trip to Belgium. All operators should be aware of strict noise requirements and required noise-related aircraft documentation when planning operations to EBBR.
About Greg Linton
An original member of the Universal Trip Support Services Team Europe, Master Trip Owner Greg Linton is known as a solutions-oriented problem solver. He’s also known as an expert on operations around the globe, particularly to Europe, Africa and China. Since joining Universal in 2000, Greg has facilitated more than 9,100 trip legs. He has represented Universal at numerous industry tradeshows and conventions including the European Business Aviation Association Conference & Exhibition and the National Business Aviation Association Conference. Greg has also been interviewed for and contributed articles to many industry publications. Prior to joining Universal, Greg served as an aircraft maintenance administration supervisor in the United States Marine Corps. Greg holds a bachelor’s degree in aviation management. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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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