Business Aircraft Operations to Greece: Airport Considerations

> | October 2, 2014 | 2 Comments
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Business Aircraft Operations to Greece: Airport Considerations

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.

This business aviation blog post is part of a series on operating in Greece.

For business aircraft operators traveling to Greece, it’s important to confirm Prior Permission Required (PPR), airport curfew, and aircraft parking requirements as soon as your schedule is known – particularly during summer months. Be aware of assorted airport restrictions and limitations that may exist when operating to popular island or secondary airport destinations in Greece.

Below is an overview of what you should know:

1. What are the airport considerations for Greece?

While some airports such as Athens (LGAV), Thessaloniki (LGTS), Rhodes (LGRP), Corfu (LGKR), Iraklion (LGIR), and Chania (LGSA) operate 24 hours, many smaller airports have curfews. During summer months some airports will expand operations to 24 hours, as indicated by NOTAM, and these will most likely include Santorini (LGSR). Additionally, some regional airports on the mainland change operating hours depending on the season, and this is indicated by NOTAM. Always confirm airport operating hours, the local parking situation, and overtime options with your ground handler.

2. Can aircraft parking fill up at times?

During summer months at popular destinations, available aircraft parking may fill up fast, and a drop-and-go may be your only option. Aircraft parking is on a first-come, first-served basis. In rare cases, often as a result of an aircraft on ground, an airport may refuse previously confirmed parking, and you’ll be faced with a drop-and-go.

3. Are there other parking considerations?

At most airports in Greece, there are separate aircraft parking areas for light General Aviation (GA) aircraft, heavier GA aircraft, and airline equipment. In the case of light jets, you may require special permission for longer-term parking. Aircraft are only moved/relocated at airports in Greece with the presence of crew or an appointed aviation maintenance technician. Condition of airport tarmac/taxiways and runways is good throughout the country, and hangar space may be available for transient GA aircraft.

4. Are there peak hours of commercial activity?

There are no significant peak activity constraints for GA in Greece. At LGAV peak periods are seldom an issue as GA parking is separate from scheduled commercial. There may, however, be occasional fueling delays during peak times of commercial operations.

5. Must aircraft be staged for departure?

There are no particular departure procedures at larger airports, such as LGAV, and aircraft typically arrive/depart from parking stands under their own power. At smaller island airports, aircraft may need to be towed to position. At LGMK and some other island destinations, GA aircraft are parked very close together and usually must be towed to position. At some destinations parking options are very limited. For example, Skiathos (LGSK) has only two published parking spots.

6. What are other airport considerations?

Scheduled commercial airlines require arrival/departure airport slots for all operations, but this requirement does not apply to GA. PPR, however, may be needed for GA operations to military airports. This involves four days’ advance notification, along with full crew/passenger details. PPR is also necessary for GA operations to LGKR. For other airports in Greece, you’ll need a PPR to request and confirm aircraft parking. Airport authorities will advise if parking is approved or not. Note that Stage 2 operations are banned in Greece unless CAA receives a valid reason and grants special permission. To obtain a Stage 2 waiver, plan on three to four working days’ notice. Be aware that CAA operating hours are Mondays-Fridays, 0800-1400 local.

7. Most airports are relatively close to town centers

In most cases airports in Greece are only about 20 km out from town/city centers. For example, LGAV is located 35 km (an approximately 45-minute drive) from city center. For crews on longer stops, there are historical sites, monuments, and compelling seaside locations to visit. Be sure not to miss the Acropolis and Plaka area in Athens (also known as the "neighborhood of the Gods"). If you have the opportunity, a trip to closer Aegean islands is well worth your time.

8. Additional reading: "Business Aircraft Operations in Greece" series index

Links will be added as new articles are published.

Conclusion

Many smaller airports in Greece have parking limitations to be aware of. Even with parking confirmation, there may be times that you may still need to revert to a drop and go.

Questions?

If you have any questions about this article or need assistance planning your next trip to Greece, contact me at dimitrakiriakopoulou@universalaviation.aero.

Later, we’ll discuss ground handling for Greece and its impact on your trip.

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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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