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 email@example.com.
This business aviation blog post continues from our article last week, entitled "2015 Cannes Int’l Film Festival & Monaco Grand Prix – Part 1: GA Airports and Options."
For business aircraft operators, parking limitations will not be as critical a factor during the opening phase of the Cannes Film Festival. The heaviest traffic period, when airport slots and parking approvals will be more of a significant issue, is expected to be May 21-26. It’s best to try to avoid revisions as much as possible during this period. Also, you need to be aware of the Customs, Immigration, and Quarantine (CIQ) process.
The following is an overview of what you need to know:
1. Parking limitations/costs
While there are no time limitations on parking at either Cannes (LFMD) or Nice (LFMN) when approved by authorities, be aware that LFMN parking can be particularly expensive, especially for longer stays. Daily rates increase substantially, depending on length of stay. LFMD, on the other hand, has standard parking rates that do not increase, on a per-day basis. Operators looking to minimize parking charges should consider repositioning to Genoa (LIMJ).
2. Parking location
General Aviation (GA) parking at LFMD is close to the terminal whereas parking at LFMN is more remote – at parking area Kilo. Ground handlers at both airports must escort crew members/passengers to the aircraft in all cases. At LFMD it’s an easy walk from the terminal to the aircraft, but LFMN requires transportation to/from the parking stand, and delays may be involved.
3. Alternate parking
If you’re unable to secure parking at LFMD or LFMN, there are several parking alternates to consider – including Le Castellet (LFMQ), LIMJ, and Marseille (LFML).
You can read more about Le Castellet in these articles:
- Business Aircraft Ops to the French Riviera via Le Castellet: Part 1 – Airport Considerations
- Business Aircraft Ops to the French Riviera via Le Castellet: Part 2 – Operating Considerations
4. CIQ clearance
Passports are required for entry into France, and in general you should have at least three months’ remaining validity from the date of your departure. Depending on crew/passenger nationality, Schengen visas may also be required. Be aware that if you require a visa, this must be obtained in advance as visas are not issued on arrival. Full crew/passenger information must be forwarded prior to arrival so that your handler can submit this to local CIQ authorities. If submitted information is incorrect, this could cause delays.
CIQ clearance is not possible onboard your aircraft, unless it’s an air ambulance or diplomatic flight – for either airport. VIP lounges are available at both LFMN and LFMD, but these facilities are only available on departure, as on arrival there is no access to this lounge from the ramp side, and passengers first need to get their passports stamped from customs.
Ensure that you have all required aircraft documentation available for airport authorities – including airworthiness and registration certificates, copies of worldwide insurance, and an Air Operator Certificate for charter (non-scheduled commercial) operations. Crew should also have copies of licenses and medical certificates available to give to authorities when requested. Ensure that all crew members, including flight attendants, have crew IDs available and ready to present. Note that French authorities are strict on documentation and ID requirements. For charter flights ensure that you’ve obtained a charter landing permit in advance, and be mindful that the pilot in command may not be over age 60 for operations to or within France.
6. CIQ clearance at LFMD
CIQ clearance is completed at the General Aviation Terminal (GAT). This is the only terminal at LFMD as the airport has no commercial airline operations. Customs clearance usually takes no more than 5-10 minutes, depending on traffic and if any value-added tax refunds are needed.
7. CIQ clearance at LFMN
CIQ clearance at LFMN is accomplished at the GAT, which is a separate building from the main terminal. For clearances between 2000 and 0800 local, your ground handler will need to contact customs/immigration authorities to arrange for them to come out to the GAT. Note that the ground handling agent, along with the passengers, usually waits at the police desk for the customs clearance. If the passengers aren’t there when the police agent arrives, the police agent will return to the main terminal, which will cause delays until he/she is able to return. Be aware that there may be delays during the 2000-0800 local night period, particularly if commercial flights are being cleared at the same time.
8. Additional reading: 2015 Cannes Int’l Film Festival & Monaco Grand Prix Series Index
Note: Links will be updated as articles are published.
Consider parking alternates to LFMN and LFMD to help maximize operational flexibility and opportunities for short-notice schedule revisions. It’s best to prepare your passengers for any delays that may be experienced due to local airport congestion.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stay tuned for Part 3, which covers local area information for travel to southern France for large events.
Category : Best Practice
About Isabelle Canton
Isabelle Canton is senior Universal Aviation representative – south of France. With 19 years’ experience in the industry – most of that involved with General Aviation (GA) in the south of France – Isabelle describes her role as a mix between a handling agent and a concierge. With her extensive knowledge of this important and often challenging part of the world, Isabelle is a valuable resource in optimizing all facets of a client trip to the region. Prior to joining Universal Aviation, she worked in the Paris area as a charter airline and crew scheduling representative and then spent the next 16 years as a GA handling agent in the south of France. Isabelle can be reached at email@example.com.
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