Winter Games Update: Business Aviation Trip Planning Tips

> | November 13, 2013 | 1 Comment
|

Winter Games Update: Business Aviation Trip Planning Tips

The Winter Games will take place in Sochi, Russia February 7-23, 2014. Business aircraft operators should anticipate assorted operational challenges – including lack of aircraft parking availability; Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) clearance; and aircraft services options – if planning to attend this busy sporting event. It’s best to initiate trip planning with your 3rd-party provider and local ground handler without delay. Be aware, however, that many operational restrictions will be in place, depending on the nature of your flight.

If you are planning on flying into Sochi during the Games, the following is an overview of what you need to know:

1. Current status for Sochi (URSS)

The general aviation terminal at URSS is not ready but should be completed by late November 2013.

Currently, airport ground handlers have very limited resources of any kind. It’s expected that equipment – such as de-icing trucks, fuel trucks, GPU, MDL, belt loaders, stairs, etc. – (as well as ground personnel) will be relocated from nearby locations prior to the Games. There are two official ground handlers at URSS for General Aviation (GA) flights. During periods of heavy traffic, additional resources may be brought in from locations such as Krasnodar (URKK) and Anapa (URKA).

Most Russian bizav support companies will use their own personnel on the ground – as permitted by the Federal Security Service (FSS). It’s expected that some non-Russian ground handling companies will do the same.

2. Russian landing permits and airport slots

Russian landing permits and airport slot allocations will be strictly controlled by FSS. According to published Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) (A3075/13), most landing permit requests will be handled no earlier than November 1, 2013. It’s recommended that business aircraft operators provide as many details regarding the purposes of their flights as early as possible in order to facilitate permit processing. Depending on the purpose of the flight, additional priority may be given to your request.

Charter (non-scheduled commercial) flight operations have been separated into distinct operation types. Each has been given a date, as follows, when slots may be requested:

  • International and domestic scheduled charter flights: Sept. 1, 2013
  • Flights for athletes and athletes’ family members, sport federations and marketing partners**: Nov. 1, 2013
  • International and domestic non-scheduled charter flights: Dec. 1, 2013
  • International and domestic non-scheduled charter flights in purpose of transport of cargo for the 2014 Games: 14 days prior to operations.
  • All other operations: Five days prior to operations date. (Please be advised that airport slots will be difficult to obtain and in most cases will not be approved.)

Note: Marketing partners include sponsors and other companies considered important to the Sochi Olympic Committee (SOC).

3. Full NOTAM restrictions for flights to URSS

A3075/13

URSS A3075/13 FROM 01 JAN 2014 TILL 30 APR 2014 SOCHI AD AVBL
ONLY FOR ARR/DEP OF: – SKED FLT, – INTL AND DOMESTIC CHARTER
FLT INCLUDING BUSINESS FLT CARRIED OUT IN THE INTEREST OF
THE XXII OLYMPIC GAMES AND XI PARALYMPIC GAMES IN SOCHI IN
2014, – ACFT OF THE MINISTRY OF DEFENCE OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION
DETACHED TO ENSURE SECURITY OF OBJECTS OF STATE IMPORTANCE
AND SAR AND RESCUE OPERATIONS, – ACFT SPECIALLY DETACHED
TO RENDER ASSISTANCE IN EMERGENCY SITUATIONS. PERMISSION
FOR ALL OTHER FLT TO BE ISSUED AFTER COORDINATION WITH FEDERAL
AIR TRANSPORT AGENCY IN EVERY INDIVIDUAL CASE. WHILE FUELLING
CALCULATING, TAKE INTO CONSIDERATION THAT LONG DELAYS OF
ARR ACFT IN HOLDING AREAS AND THEIR FURTHER LEAVING FOR ALTN
AD ARE POSSIBLE DUE TO CEREMONIAL EVENTS AND ALSO ACFT DEP
DELAYS. DURING MENTIONED PERIOD SOCHI AD NOT AVBL AS ALTN.
ACFT PARKING FOR MORE THAN 2 HR NOT ALLOWED FOR ALL FLT.
LONG PARKING (MORE THAN 2 HR) FOR ACFT CARRYING OUT FLT IN
THE INTEREST OF THE XXII OLYMPIC GAMES AND XI PARALYMPIC
GAMES IN SOCHI IN 2014, DEPENDING ON TECHNOLOGICAL ACFT SERVICING
SCHEDULES AND OTHER REASONS, SHALL BE PROVIDED ONLY BY COORDINATION
WITH AD ADMINISTRATION. END PART 1 OF 3. 12 AUG 13:00 2013
UNTIL 30 APR 23:59 2014. CREATED: 12 AUG 13:43 2013

URSS A3075/13 IN CASE OF NON-COMPLIANCE TO ALLOCATED SLOT (EARLY
ARR OR DELAY OF MORE THAN 30 MIN FOR FLT WITH FLIGHT DURATION
WITHIN THREE HR AND DELAY OF MORE THAN 45 MIN FOR FLT WITH
FLIGHT DURATION OF MORE THAN THREE HR), SLOTS FOR FURTHER
FLIGHTS OF A SCHEDULE MAY BE CANCELLED. SLOT PROVISION FOR
OPS DRG MENTIONED PERIOD SHALL BE CARRIED OUT AS FLW: – FOR
SKED FLT (INTL AND DOMESTIC SKED FLT): SLOT APPLICATIONS
TO BE SUBMITTED TO ADDRESS OF SOCHI AIRPORT NOT LATER THAN
01 SEP 2013. CONSIDERATION OF SLOT APPLICATION AND NOTIFICATION
OF APPLICANT ABOUT TAKEN DECISION SHALL BE CARRIED OUT BY
SOCHI AIRPORT WITHIN 10 (TEN) WORKING DAYS AFTER RECEIVING
OF APPLICATION. – FOR DIRECT INTL AND DOMESTIC NON-SKED (CHARTER)
FLT, CARRIED OUT ACCORDING TO SKED FOR TRANSPORTATION OF
SPECTATORS AND VISITORS OF OLYMPIC GAMES: SLOT APPLICATIONS
TO BE SUBMITTED TO ADDRESS OF SOCHI AIRPORT NOT LATER THAN
01 DEC 2013. CONSIDERATION OF SLOT APPLICATIONS AND NOTIFICATION
OF APPLICANT ABOUT TAKEN DECISION SHALL BE CARRIED OUT BY
SOCHI AIRPORT WITHIN 10 (TEN) WORKING DAYS AFTER RECEIVING
OF APPLICATION. – FOR DIRECT INTL NON-SKED (CHARTER) FLT,
INCLUDING BUSINESS FLT REFERRED TO FLW CLIENT CATEGORIES:
END PART 2 OF 3. 12 AUG 13:00 2013 UNTIL 30 APR 23:59 2014.
CREATED: 12 AUG 13:43 2013

URSS A3075/13 A. OLYMPIC/PARALYMPIC FAMILY, B. SPORTSMEN, C.
SPORT FEDERATIONS, D. MARKETING PARTNERS OF THE OLYMPIC COMMITTEE
(ONLY THE FIRST PERSONS OF COMPANIES-MARKETING PARTNERS:
SLOT APPLICATIONS TO BE SUBMITTED TO SOCHI AIRPORT NOT LATER
THAN 01 NOV 2013. CONSIDERATION OF SLOT APPLICATION AND NOTIFICATION
OF APPLICANT ABOUT TAKEN DECISION SHALL BE CARRIED OUT BY
SOCHI AIRPORT WI 10 WORKING DAYS AFTER RECEIVING OF APPLICATION.
– FOR DIRECT INTL AND DOMESTIC NON-SKED (CHARTER) FLT IN
PURPOSE OF TRANSPORTATION OF CARGO FOR OLYMPIC (PARALYMPIC)
GAMES: SLOT APPLICATIONS TO BE SUBMITTED TO SOCHI AIRPORT
NOT LATER THAN 14 WORKING DAYS PRIOR TO DATE OF FLT. CONSIDERATION
OF APPLICATION AND NOTIFICATION OF APPLICANT ABOUT TAKEN
DECISION SHALL BE CARRIED OUT BY SOCHI AIRPORT WI 4 WORKING
DAYS AFTER RECEIVING OF APPLICATION. – FOR INTL (NON-SKED)
CHARTER BUSNESS AVIATION FLT NOT REFERRED TO CLIENT CATEGORIES
HAVING THE RIGHT TO PERFORM DIRECT INTL FLT TO SOCHI AD:
SLOT APPLICATIONS TO BE SUBMITTED TO SOCHI AIRPORT NOT LATER
THAN 5 WORKING DAYS PRIOR TO DATE OF FLT. CONSIDERATION OF
APPLICATION AND NOTIFICATION OF APPLICANT ABOUT TAKEN DECISION
SHALL BE CARRIED OUT BY SOCHI AIRPORT WI 3 WORKING DAYS AFTER
RECEIVING OF APPLICATION. ALL SLOT APPLICATIONS TO BE SUBMITTED
TO OPEN JOINT STOCK ** COMPANY ,,SOCHI AIRPORT,, TO ADDRESSES:
AFTN URSSAPBF, URSSAPCS, E-MAIL: SLOT(UNDERSCORE)MANAGER(AT)AER.BASEL.AERO.
END PART 3 OF 3. 12 AUG 13:00 2013 UNTIL 30 APR 23:59 2014.
CREATED: 12 AUG 13:43 2013

For latest information on URSS NOTAMs, please click here.

4. Visas and CIQ

All crew members must have valid Russian visas prior to arrival. Plan on about two months’ lead time to arrange business visas for the Game period.

CIQ clearance at URSS will likely not be available except for governmental operations. GA aircraft will need to use another location as an Airport of Entry (AOE) prior to proceeding to Sochi. While there are no official NOTAMs or final decisions about the procedure yet, it should be considered as a most likely option until further notice.

5. GA traffic to URSSM

Estimated GA traffic during the Games will be about 200 movements per day. That exceeds current bizav traffic movements at URSS by about 70 times.

During the Games period, parking at URSS will be prohibited for all aircraft except government/diplomatic flights. URSS has about 80 aircraft parking places in total, including all sizes. Tow bars are expected to be available for all aircraft types.

Hotel arrangements via 3rd-party providers are not possible in Sochi. All hotel rooms in the area were pre-booked – about two years ago – by the Sochi Olympic Committee (SOC).

Local transportation and in-flight catering requirements of any kind must be arranged through SOC or via one of the ground handlers at URSS. It’s not possible to arrange these services via 3rd-party providers.

At this time, helicopter flights are strictly prohibited, with the exception of special government flights.

6. Jet fuel considerations for URSS

Although there have been no NOTAMs or final decisions issued, GA operators will likely not be permitted to uplift fuel at URSS during the Games period. At this point, and until further notice, fuel uplifts at URSS should not be considered an option.

Note that there are no hydrant fuel facilities at URSS. Currently, only three to four fuel trucks are available at this location. Limited fuel infrastructure may cause considerable delays, and alternate fueling options should be considered.

7. Alternate airports

The official alternate airport for URSS is URKK, where about 50 aircraft parking places are available. Another option to consider is URKA, with about 40 parking places. Other alternates are Stavropol (URMT) and Rostov (URRR). Gelendshik (URKG) can also be considered as a parking alternate. However, it is not an AOE, and a Russian navigator will be required when operating to this location.

It may also be best to look at other alternate airports for aircraft repositioning farther away from the immediate area. It’s best to speak to your 3rd-party provider to consider the best options for your flight.

8. Security considerations

More information on how Russia is boosting security in advance of the Games can be found on The Moscow Times website.

9. Additional information

For more information on this event, please see our other articles covering this topic:

Conclusion

Despite the challenges of bringing your business aviation aircraft to Sochi during the Games period, there are options/alternatives available to accommodate mission requirements. Be mindful that you’ll need to be flexible in terms of where you land, park and clear CIQ and also in terms of both local transport and crew accommodations. Over the coming weeks, we anticipate receiving additional clarity with regard to available options.

Questions?

If you have any questions about this article, contact me at jerribanks@univ-wea.com.

Universal Flight Scheduling Software - Easy to use. Easy to learn. Mobile. Watch our video!
|

Tags: , , , ,

Category : Best Practice, Events

Related Posts

About

A Universal employee since 2007, Jerri Banks has more than a decade of aviation experience. A former trip owner and team lead, Jerri currently serves as Team Manager for Universal’s ELATE teams, including the Echo and Large Aircraft Teams and Team Europe. An expert on international operations and security, Jerri has coordinated more than 3,000 international trip legs in her tenure with Universal.

Jerri, who completed Six Sigma training, can be reached at jerribanks@univ-wea.com.

Operational Insight is a moderated blog.
Before adding your comments, please read our Comment Policy.