Business Aviation Trip Planning Tips: Tips for Operating to Greece’s Top Destinations

> | March 17, 2014 | 1 Comment
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Business Aviation Trip Planning Tips: Tips for Operating to Greece's Top Destinations

This is a post by author Dimitra Kiriakopoulou. Dimitra is the operations and customer care director for Universal Aviation Greece – Athens, which has an aircraft ground-handling facility in Athens. Dimitra is an expert on business aircraft operations in Greece and can be contacted at dimitrakiriakopoulou@universalaviation.aero.

Popular island destinations, exclusive summer resorts, and an upward trend in tourism have made Greece an even more in-demand tourism/business destination for this summer. For operators planning general aviation movements to Greece, there are many popular destination stops to consider. The good news is that operating to and within Greece is not onerous – from a planning or day-of-operation perspective. However, it is important to be aware that aircraft parking may be limited or unavailable at certain locations during the peak season.

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

1. Athens is the most popular destination

Athens – primary airport: Athens (LGAV) – is the most popular business/leisure destination for operators traveling to Greece. LGAV airport has ample parking throughout the year and is about a 40-minute drive to the city center.

Athens (LGAV)

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

Notes:

  • Private aircraft under Maximum Takeoff Weight (MTOW) of 5,700 kg (12,500 lbs) need PPR year-round due to limited parking spots available for those types of aircraft. PPRs will only be issued the day before estimated time of arrival and are granted for a maximum period of three days. You may be able to extend the PPR for another three days depending on availability.
  • It may be possible to pick up and drop off the passengers planeside. This, however, will depend on the arrival/departure and purpose of the trip. Prior permission is necessary to arrange planeside pickup, and it’s at the discretion of the customs duty officer to approve/disapprove.
  • Four copies of your general declaration are required upon arrival in Greece.
  • For more information on operations to LGAV, please see our blog article titled "Top Considerations When Operating to Athens (LGAV)."

2. Thessaloniki is another popular destination

Thessaloniki – primary airport: Thessaloniki (LGTS) – is also a very popular destination in Greece for both business and tourism purposes. LGTS has good aircraft parking availability, is close to many summer resort destinations, and is about a 30-minute drive to the city center.

Thessaloniki (LGTS)

  • AOE: Yes
  • Operating hours: 24 hours
  • PPR: Required, no number issued
  • Airport slots: Not required
  • Aircraft parking: Available
  • Ground handling: Available
  • Aviation fuel (Jet A-1): Available
  • In-flight catering: Available

Notes:

  • PPR is required for aircraft parking longer than two hours. Lead time to obtain a PPR is three days.
  • Four copies of your general declaration are required upon arrival in Greece.

3. Iraklion is a good tech stop

Iraklion – primary airport: Iraklion (LGIR) – is a popular summer destination for many and about a 10-minute drive to the city center. LGIR also serves as a good tech stop, but the airfield is crowded during the summer months. Note that this location may have limited aircraft parking available during summer months.

Iraklion (LGIR)

  • AOE: Yes
  • Operating hours: 24 hours
  • PPR: Required, no number issued
  • Airport slots: Not required
  • Aircraft parking: Available
  • Ground handling: Available
  • Aviation fuel (Jet A-1): Available
  • In-flight catering: Available

Notes:

  • PPR is required for all aircraft parking overnight or for a longer term. The lead time to obtain a PPR is 48 hours. During summer months it’s more difficult to obtain such permission.
  • Four copies of your general declaration are required upon arrival from the previous departure point.

4. Summertime aircraft parking in Mikonos is limited

Mikonos – primary airport: Mikonos (LGMK) – is about 10-minute drive to the city center. Because Mikonos is an extremely popular summer destination, LGMK can experience heavy congestion during peak season and may have limited aircraft parking available at this time.

Mikonos (LGMK)

  • AOE: Yes
  • Operating hours: Varies
  • PPR: Required, no number issued
  • Airport slots: Not required
  • Aircraft parking: Available
  • Ground handling: Available
  • Aviation fuel (Jet A-1): Available
  • In-flight catering: Available

Notes:

  • Operating hours vary throughout the year, with the longest operating hours being in the summer. This is a very popular tourist destination, and airport operating hours often vary by season – as indicated by Notice to Airmen (NOTAM).
  • PPRs are required for all aircraft traveling to LGMK due to limited parking availability. Lead time to obtain a PPR is 24 hours, but it’s recommended to provide as much lead time as possible for summertime operations.
  • Four copies of your general declaration are required upon arrival from the previous departure point.
  • In-flight catering is provided by local hotels and restaurants when ordered via the ground handler or crew.

5. Congestion is to be expected in Santorini during the summer

Santorini – primary airport: Santorini (LGSR) – is another highly popular summer destination, and this creates congestion issues at LGSR during peak season. LGSR has limited aircraft parking availability during summer months, and the airfield is a 15-minute drive to the city center.

Santorini (LGSR)

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

Notes:

  • Operating hours vary throughout the year, with the longest operating hours being in the summer. As this is a very popular tourist destination, NOTAMs are issued every year to indicate seasonal operating hours.
  • PPRs are required for all aircraft traveling to LGSR due to limited parking availability. Lead time to obtain a PPR is 24 hours, but it’s recommended to provide as much lead time as possible for summertime operations.
  • Aircraft parking is very limited at this airport. There are only three parking positions available. Two narrow body and one commuter aircraft can be handled simultaneously at LGSR.
  • While lav service is available at this location, the cart does not accommodate Gulfstream aircraft.
  • Four copies of your general declaration are required upon arrival from the previous departure point.
  • In-flight catering is provided by local hotels and restaurants when ordered via the ground handler or crew.

6. Landing permit requirements

No landing permit is required for EU-registered charter aircraft operating to/from and within Greece. Non-EU-registered airlines require landing permits, but non-EU-registered charter business aircraft do not require permits.

7. General information

First-class medical certificates are not required for private flights to Greece, and there’s no age limit in effect for crew. All active pilots onboard must be type-rated for the aircraft.

Stage 2 aircraft may operate without restriction in Greece, provided aircraft’s MTOW is less than 34 tons.

Per EU regulation 300/3008, all charter flights are subject to full aviation security checks upon departure. All crew/passengers/baggage will be security-screened in accordance with the same regulations in effect for commercial flights. Note that this screening process meets full EU requirements, and any liquids over 100 ml will not be allowed to be carried onboard the aircraft. It’s best to allow additional time to complete this process. However, crew members are allowed to carry passengers’ restricted items to the aircraft.

Closing thoughts

When traveling to Greece, particularly during peak summer season, advance planning will give you preferred options in terms of aircraft parking, crew accommodations, and local transport. Be aware, however, that certain island locations have limited aircraft service options, and airport operating hours will often vary, as published by NOTAM, at popular destinations such as Santorini and Mikonos.

Questions?

If you have any questions about this blog article or need help arranging your aircraft ground handling in Greece, contact me at dimitrakiriakopoulou@universalaviation.aero.

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About

Dimitra Kiriakopoulou is the operations and customer care director for Universal Aviation Greece – Athens. Based in Athens, Dimitra has nearly a decade’s experience in the business aviation industry and with Universal Aviation Greece – Athens. An expert in business aviation operations to Greece, Dimitra is fluent in Greek, Italian, and English. Dimitra can be reached at dimitrakiriakopoulou@universalaviation.aero.

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