Business Aviation Trip Planning Tips: Indian Grand Prix 2013

> | October 7, 2013 | 0 Comments
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Business Aviation Trip Planning Tips: Indian Grand Prix 2013

This is a post by author Manav Chopra. Manav is manager for Universal Aviation India, which has an aircraft ground handling facility in New Delhi. Manav is an expert on business aircraft operations in India and can be contacted at

The Airtel Indian Grand Prix takes place October 25-27 at the Buddh International Circuit located just outside New Deli. This race circuit was inaugurated in 2011. For business aircraft operators seeking preferred access to aircraft parking, hotel accommodations and related trip support services, it’s best to begin working with your 3rd-party provider and ground hander as early as possible.

The following is an overview of what you need to know:

1. Primary airport to consider

Primary airport to consider for this event is New Delhi (VIDP), a one-hour, 10-minute drive from the Buddh International Circuit.

New Delhi (VIDP)

  • Airport of Entry (AOE): Yes
  • Operating hours: 24 hours for Stage 3; 0600-2200 local for Stage 2
  • Prior Permission Required (PPR): Not required
  • Airport slots: Required
  • Aircraft parking: Available
  • Ground handling: Available
  • Aviation fuel (Jet A-1): Available
  • In-flight catering: Available


Airport slots are required for all arrivals and departures to VIDP. As this is a high-traffic airport, airport slots should be requested in advance. Airport slot deviation time is +/- 15 minutes, and all confirmations are provided in UTC.

Ground handlers have no fixed aircraft parking spaces. All aircraft parking is allotted by the Delhi Intl Apt Pvt LTC (DIAL).

The following documents are required to be signed by the Pilot in Command (PIC) and submitted by the ground handler to different agencies at the airport:

  • General declaration / passenger manifest
  • Crew bags declaration
  • Departure cards

A fuel duty needs to be paid upon arrival at your first landing, but only on remaining fuel when the operator will be making more than one stop in India. We’ve included links to additional articles which delve more into this topic at the bottom of this post.

2. Alternate airports for the event

If aircraft parking becomes unavailable at VIDP for this event, there are two alternate airports to consider: Jaipur (VIJP) and Agra (VIAG) – both approximately 30-minute flights from VIDP. Keep in mind that as VIAG is a military airport, and lead time for permits is 30 working days, this option requires more pre-planning.

Jaipur (VIJP)

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


Airport slots are required for all operations into and out of VIJP. It’s recommended that slots be requested as soon as the schedule is known. Slot deviation is +/- 1 hour, and all confirmations are provided in UTC time.

Agra (VIAG)

  • AOE: Upon request
  • Operating hours: Sunrise-sunset (see below)
  • PPR: Not required
  • Airport slots: Required
  • Aircraft parking: Available
  • Ground handling: Available
  • Aviation fuel (Jet A-1): Available
  • In-flight catering: Available


This is a military airport and it’s an AOE upon request. It takes approximately four weeks to arrange customs for VIAG.

Operating hours fluctuate every month. Overtime is available all week with advance notice, and additional fees will apply.

A military permit is needed for all operations into this airport, and 30 days is required to process such requests. It’s important to note that this is separate from the India landing permit.

VIAG may not be used as an alternate for VIDP operations.

General Aviation (GA) operations into VIAG need to fly a non-directional beacon (NDB) approach. No instrument landing system (ILS) approach is permitted.

Airport slots are required for all aircraft into and out of this airport. It’s recommended that airport slots be requested as soon as the schedule is known. Airport slot deviation time is +/- 15 minutes.

3. Know standard international arrival and departure procedures for VIDP

Aircraft will be parked on the domestic or international apron, or a parking bay, as allocated by apron control. A general declaration is required upon landing, and arrival cards should be filled out by crew and passengers. Onboard stores (including liquor) must be declared to customs, and consumption of liquor on domestic sectors is not permitted. Passengers will be transferred with luggage, immediately after arrival, to customs/immigration clearance within the terminal building. Duty of fuel remaining onboard must be paid on first landing in India if the following sector is a domestic leg. Aircraft security can be set up, via your ground handler, if required. For departure, crew and passengers meet at the domestic airport terminal GA lounge and will be escorted by the ground handler through security screening and to the aircraft. Passengers are required to report at least 40 minutes prior to departure and 60 minutes prior to departure during peak operating hours. All arrival/departure movements of non-Indian registered aircraft are from Terminal 1D. Be aware that the PIC’s presence is always required when a flight plan is filed in India. Turnaround time for tech stops in India is about 60 minutes, and crew/passengers are not required to deplane to clear customs.

4. Airport notes and restrictions

The airport authority of India requests that all aircraft carry a tow bar onboard. Power out taxiing is prohibited in India, and all aircraft must be pushed back or towed out of parking bays prior to engine startup. Be aware that short-notice repositioning of aircraft may be necessary at airports in India. Keep in mind that once an aircraft has been parked and sealed, it can be difficult to get permission to return to the aircraft to retrieve items or baggage.

5. Landing permits are required for all flights into India

Indian landing permits are required for all private non-revenue and charter (non-scheduled commercial) flights. The regulations on permits have recently changed. The lead times have been reduced, and additional information needs to be provided with each landing permit request. For more information on the new changes, please see our article titled "It’s Official: Lead Time Reduced for India Flight Permits." Note that landing permit lead time for all military airports is 30 working days. However, maximum length of stay for a non-Indian-registered aircraft in India is 14 days. If you’re planning on staying longer, you’ll need to depart the country on the 14th day and return. Available options include repositioning to Kathmandu (VNKT) or Dhaka (VGHS) with return to India the same day. Please note that additional permits will be required for these repositions, so you’ll need to make advance arrangements.

6. Plan hotel and local transport arrangements as early as possible

Many good hotel options, including popular large chain hotels, are available in the New Delhi area. It’s recommended that you try to book 4- or 5-star hotels as early as possible due to high demand over the Indian Grand Prix period. Avoid rental vehicles if you’re not familiar with the area due to traffic issues and possible road closures during the event period. Prepaid local transport (car with driver) is the preferred option for many business aircraft operators.

7. Recent changes with Indian crew visas

In the past there were difficulties in obtaining crew visas, and obtaining Temporary Landing Permits (TLPs) upon arrival wasn’t an option. However, these issues were resolved as of September 4, 2013. For more information on these changes, please see our article titled "Obtaining Crew Visas and Temporary Landing Permits for India – Process Has Been Streamlined."

8. Additional information on business aviation operations in India

9. Additional information on the Indian Grand Prix

Additional information on the Airtel Indian Grand Prix can be found at the India Formula 1 website.


Be mindful of certain unique considerations that come into play when operating to India. You must, for example, always carry a towbar, and the captain’s personal presence is always required when filing flight plans. Keep in mind also that at least 30 days’ lead time is required for any operation to military airfields in India.


If you have any questions about this article, contact Christine Vamvakas at

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Category : Best Practice, Events

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Manav Chopra served as Manager, Operations for Universal Aviation India – New Delhi from 2007 to 2014. Manav has a bachelor’s of science degree from Indira Gandhi National Open University and is fluent in English, Hindi and Punjabi.

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