Business Aviation Trip Planning Tips: Mumbai (VABB) – Part 1: Permits and Parking

> | October 9, 2013 | 1 Comment
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Business Aviation Trip Planning Tips: Mumbai (VABB) – Part 1: Permits and Parking

This is a post by author Sameer Kadam. Sameer is manager of operations for Universal Aviation India – New Delhi. Sameer is an expert on business aircraft operations in India and can be contacted at sameerkadam@universalaviation.aero.

When operating a business aircraft to Mumbai (VABB), many operators may be concerned by two things: aircraft parking and landing permits. Arranging aircraft parking can be challenging at this airport, and extended aircraft parking arrangements are often difficult to secure. Best practice is to provide your ground handler with as much notice as possible so that landing permits, airport slots and aircraft parking can be secured for preferred operating times. Here’s an overview of what you should know:

1. There are two GA parking areas at VABB

Parking spots at VABB are not provided until day of operation. You’ll be parked in one of two areas: either the Lima apron or on the old side of the airfield. While the old side is a three-minute ride to the General Aviation Terminal (GAT), the Lima apron is a seven- to eight-minute shuttle ride. The Lima apron is unavailable for General Aviation (GA) parking until further notice due to maintenance activity. Note that aircraft parking approvals for VABB will only be confirmed for stays of up to 72 hours. Aircraft parking cannot be extended beyond 72 hours after landing at VABB, with very few exceptions to this rule. If parking needs to be extended, a request must be submitted before the aircraft arrives. When a parking extension is approved, you’ll be charged for every hour of extension based on the maximum takeoff weight (MTOW).

2. VABB’s GAT offers full services

The GAT at this location offers on-site Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ), Wi-Fi and lounges with refreshments for departures only. All aircraft support services can be arranged, and your ground handler will be able to coordinate credit for all services with advanced notice.

3. Indian landing permits and airport slots are required

Landing permits are required for all stops in India. Over the past few months the lead time has been reduced for non-military airports. Generally the lead time is three working days, but there are exemptions to this rule. For operations to military airfields, such as Agra (VIAG), plan on 30 days’ lead time. For more information on landing permit lead times for India, please visit our article titled "It’s Official: Lead Time Reduced for India Flight Permits."

Airport slots are necessary for all arrivals/departures at VABB with a minimum lead time of 72 hours. Once a slot request is received from an operator, the ground handler will, in turn, request airport slots and parking from airport authorities. In most cases, airport slots and parking status will be advised 72 hours prior to the estimated time of arrival(ETA).

4. Be aware of airport restrictions

If you have aircraft parking approved and revise your schedule by a few hours (i.e., arrival at 0700Z rather than 0500Z), your airport slot will need to be revised. Be aware of GA traffic restrictions – as advised by NOTAM – whenever considering schedule changes. GA arrivals/departures are not permitted at VABB between 0230-0430Z and 1200-1400Z. And, 1545-1745Z, GA arrivals are not permitted. Due to GA closures, it’s best to avoid multiple schedule changes.

5. Have options ready if aircraft parking is not available

If aircraft parking is not available at VABB, you’ll be allowed two hours on the ground to drop passengers, clear CIQ and depart to a reposition point. Likewise, if aircraft parking has been approved, you must depart VABB before the 72 hours have elapsed. Alternate parking/reposition options include Ahmedabad (VAAH) and Ozar (VAOZ). VAAH is approximately 200 nautical miles (NM) from VABB and is a 24-hour Airport of Entry (AOE). VAOZ is 83 NM from VABB, is not an AOE and operates 0200-0900Z. Overtime is possible at VAOZ with advance notification. Overtime can be extended to any time requested by the operator, but requests must be submitted at least 24 hours in advance (48 hours is preferable), and charges apply. There’s ample aircraft parking at VAOZ, and plans are in the works to make this an AOE with an airport authority-controlled GAT. Both VAAH and VAOZ offer full aircraft services with nearby 4- and 5-star hotel options for crew accommodation.

6. Additional information on business aircraft operations in India

Questions?

If you have any questions about this article or if you would like assistance with planning your next trip to VABB, contact me at sameerkadam@universalaviation.aero.

Stay tuned for Part 2, which covers CIQ and operational tips for VABB.

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About

Sameer Kadam is manager of operations for Universal Aviation India – New Delhi and is based in Mumbai, India (VABB). With 10 years’ prior experience in the travel and hotel industries, and three years working with commercial airline operations, Sameer has been immersed in business aviation for the past two years. With a degree in travel and tourism and hotel management, and extensive hands-on client service and logistics experience, Sameer is focused on facilitating the crew and passenger experience for corporate operations to India.

You can reach Sameer at sameerkadam@universalaviation.aero

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