Trip Planning for the 2013 Belgian Formula 1 Grand Prix

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Trip Planning for the 2013 Belgian Formula 1 Grand Prix

The 2013 Belgian Formula 1 Grand Prix runs August 23-25 at the Spa Francorchamps circuit in the Ardennes forest 22 miles southeast of Liege. This is one of the most popular circuits in the annual Formula 1 calendar. If you want to go to the Belgian Formula 1 Grand Prix, it’s best to begin the planning process without delay.

Here is a general overview of what you should be aware of:

1. Primary airports to consider

There are two primary airports for this event: Liege (EBLG), 40 minutes from the race track, and Brussels (EBBR), 30 minutes from the track. Both are Airports of Entry (AOEs). Due to increased traffic at both airports over the Formula 1 period, it’s recommended that aircraft parking, local transport and aircraft services be requested well in advance.

Liege (EBLG)

  • AOE: Yes
  • Operating hours: 24 hours for Stage 3 aircraft
  • Prior Permission Required (PPR): Not required
  • Airport slots: Not required
  • Aircraft parking: Available
  • Ground handling: Available
  • Aviation fuel (Jet A-1): Available
  • In-flight catering: Available

Notes:

Note that Stage 2 aircraft are banned from Belgium. Exceptions (granted by the Department of the Interior) are available for medical, military and royal flights.

For aircraft arriving from/going to destinations inside the borders of the European Union, customs controls are not applied to crew and passengers, but immigration control is still needed. However, if the aircraft is coming from/going to destinations inside the borders of the Schengen agreement countries, customs and immigration controls are no longer applied to either crew or passengers.

Jet fuel uplifts may be subject to value added tax (VAT) and mineral oil tax (MOT), so it’s best to verify your tax status with your 3rd-party provider prior to traveling to Belgium.

Brussels (EBBR)

  • AOE: Yes
  • Operating hours: 24 hours with noise restrictions; Saturday, 0200-0559 local, take-off ban; Sunday-Monday, 0001-0559 local, take-off ban
  • PPR: Required for all aircraft, with at least 24 hours’ notice
  • Airport slots: Required
  • Aircraft parking: Available
  • Ground handling: Available
  • Aviation fuel (Jet A-1): Available and aviation fuel cards accepted
  • In-flight catering: Available

Notes:

There are aircraft restrictions to consider for EBBR, depending on your particular noise Quota Count (QC):

  • Takeoff or landing with QC > 8 is forbidden 2200-0459 local
  • Takeoff or landing with QC > 12 is forbidden 0500-0559 local
  • Takeoff with QC > 48 is forbidden 0600-1959 local
  • Landing with QC > 24 is forbidden 0600-1959 local
  • Takeoff with QC > 24 is forbidden 2000-2159 local
  • Landing with QC > 12 is forbidden 2000-2159 local

Airport slots are required for all aircraft traveling to EBBR when a high density of flights is expected. If slots are needed, the deviation is +/- 15 minutes, and flight plans must be filed using your confirmed allocated slot time. Note that no airport slots are allocated for takeoffs Saturday and Sunday evenings, 2300-0559 local.

PPR is only required for aircraft utilizing the military side for parking, and the lead time is a minimum of five working days’ notice.

Overtime will not be granted except for humanitarian and government flights.

Airport authorities require a copy of the aircraft noise certificate for all operations to EBBR. If the noise certificate isn’t available, airport authorities will accept a copy of the noise characteristics page from the aircraft’s flight manual. This must include the following:

  • Manufacture date
  • Chapter/stage
  • Seating capacity
  • Flap positions

2. Landing permits are needed for certain charter (non-scheduled commercial) flights

Belgium only requires charter permits for large aircraft charter operations such as Airbus or Boeing equipment. Lead time for such permits is a minimum of four working days. Once a permit is approved, it remains valid for the Zulu day.

3. Consider hotel and transport options

There are many excellent hotel options in the Brussels area, including a wide selection of 4- and 5-star accommodations. Liege, however, offers limited hotel options. Due to increased traffic during this busy period, it’s recommended that hotels be booked as far in advance as possible.
Pre-paid transportation (car with driver) is suggested during the Belgium Grand Prix period. As there will be heavy traffic, possible road closures and a general lack of parking in the area, rental vehicles are not recommended.

4. Comply with European Union Emission Trading Scheme (EU-ETS)

Intra-EU flights (flights departing and arriving within the European Union) are required to comply with EU-ETS monitoring, reporting and carbon trading requirements. You can read our series on aviation EU-ETS or visit the EU-ETS Resource Center for more information.

5. Additional information

Additional information on the Belgium Formula 1 Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps can be found at the Belgium Formula 1 website.

Closing thoughts

While preferred aircraft parking and hotel options will be available to those who book early, your ground handler will try to find ways to accommodate even short-notice and last-minute operations. It’s best to start working with your 3rd-party provider to start making arrangements for your trip now.

Questions?

If you have any questions about this article or operating to Belgium, contact us at greglinton@univ-wea.com or christinevamvakas@univ-wea.com.

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About

Greg Linton, Team Lead, ELATE Team, 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 greglinton@univ-wea.com.

About

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 christinevamvakas@univ-wea.com.

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