2015 Cannes Int’l Film Festival & Monaco Grand Prix – Part 3: Local Area Considerations for GA

2015 Cannes Int’l Film Festival & Monaco Grand Prix – Part 3: Local Area Considerations for GA

This is a post by author Isabelle Canton. Isabelle is the senior Universal Aviation representative – south of France for Universal Aviation France, which has aircraft ground handling facilities in Paris, Le Bourget, and Le Castellet. Isabelle is an expert on business aircraft operations in southern France and can be contacted at cantonisabelle@universalaviation.aero.

This business aviation blog post continues from our article last week, entitled "2015 Cannes Int’l Film Festival & Monaco Grand Prix – Part 2: GA Parking & CIQ Clearance."

Next to airport slot and parking issues, securing short-notice hotel accommodations will be one of the larger issues during the Cannes Film Festival and Monaco Grand Prix period. It’s important to try to avoid schedule revisions as rescheduling can have a negative cascading effect on all your other arrangements, including non-refundable hotel and local transport bookings and pre-arranged aircraft services.

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

1. Hotel options

Crew accommodations during this event period – particularly May 21-25 when rooms will often be non-refundable and non-changeable – will be more expensive and more restrictive than those at other times of the year. In some cases local ground handlers may be able to negotiate better pricing, with fewer booking restrictions, but this depends on accommodation availability. However, in many cases a three-night minimum booking requirement will be imposed, particularly during the period when the Formula 1 event overlaps with the Cannes Festival. Expect crew accommodations to be expensive. For the first week or so of the festival, plan on about 300 Euros/night for 4-star accommodations and 350-500 Euros/night on weekends and close to the end of the Cannes Festival period.

2. Local ground transport

While many options are available for local transport, it’s important to make arrangements as early as possible for the best choices. Your handler can assist with prepaid transport (car with driver), but vehicle type selections may be limited due to high demand. Last-minute requests, even for public taxis or Uber-like services, could still result in long delays due to congestion in the area.

3. Helicopter transfers

A range of helicopter transfer options is possible in this area, but this must be arranged in advance due to high demand. In most cases non-refundable payment will be required upfront. If your schedule changes, revisions to pre-arranged services may or may not be possible, and refunds are unlikely. It’s important to be clear on number of crew members and/or passengers for a helicopter transfer, as well as luggage details. Note that upon arrival you must first clear Customs, Immigration, and Quarantine (CIQ) prior to boarding the helicopter. This condition applies even for domestic European arrivals.

4. Early airport arrival

For departures from either Cannes (LFMD) or Nice (LFMN), it’s best for crews to arrive at the airport at least two hours prior to the estimated time of departure, to coordinate all needed services. While the crew can walk out to the aircraft at LFMD, ground transport must be arranged to access your aircraft at LFMN as parking is in an outlying area (parking area Kilo). It’s best to advise passengers to be at the airport 30 minutes before departure for either airport.

5. VAT refunds

If anyone onboard needs to have a Value-Added Tax (VAT) refund processed prior to departure, it’s important to let your handler know in advance. Pre-arrangement must be made for this service, and it could add additional time to the departure process. To process a VAT refund, the items must be separated from general luggage, and both receipts and passports need to be presented. The passenger must be present, along with the ground handler, and the name on the passport must match the name on the receipt. VAT refund forms need to be filled out completely and signed. Note that authorities are very strict in ensuring that all information is correct and penalties may be imposed for false declarations. You could face delays of up to several hours if there are issues with confirming VAT refund information.

6. Additional information

For more information on the Cannes Film Festival, see the official website. Supplemental information on the Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix event can be found at the official website.

7. Additional reading: 2015 Cannes Int.’l Film Festival & Monaco Grand Prix Series Index

Note: Links will be updated as articles are published.


When you operate to the French Riviera during this very busy event period, it’s important to pay attention to non-refundable, non-cancellable, and non-changeable hotel policies and other services such as helicopter transfers. Should your schedule change on short notice, you may not only lose your existing bookings but also not be able to secure suitable alternative accommodations.

Universal is not associated in any way with the Formula One group of companies. F1, FORMULA ONE, FORMULA 1, FIA FORMULA ONE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP, GRAND PRIX, and related marks are trademarks of Formula One Licensing B.V.


If you have any questions about this article or would like assistance planning your next trip to southern France, contact me at cantonisabelle@universalaviation.aero.