Which GA Airport to Pick for Frankfurt: Part 1 – Landing Options
This is part one of a three-part article series on business aircraft operations to Frankfurt.
For business aircraft operators, operating to Frankfurt is seldom an issue in terms of aircraft parking and service availability. There are, however, considerations in terms of airport slots, Prior Permissions Required (PPRs), and documentation. Work with your 3rd-party provider and ground handler to take advantage of your options when planning a trip to the Frankfurt area.
The following is an overview of what you need to know:
1. Three airports available
When operating to Frankfurt, you have the option of landing at Frankfurt Main (EDDF), Frankfurt Hahn (EDFH), or Mainz Finthen (EDFZ). EDFZ is located close to EDDF, but this location is seldom used by corporate operators as its runway is only 3,281 feet long.
2. EDDF and EDFH are the two best choices
Depending on the final destination of your passengers, both EDDF and EDFH are good options. EDDF has airport slot requirements, while EDFH mandates PPR for all operations. EDDF is usually the preferred airport for General Aviation (GA) as it’s about 10 miles from the city center (a 20-minute drive without traffic), while EDFH is about 90 miles (a one hour 30-minute drive) from the center. Note that EDDF has restrictions on GA night movements between 2200-0500 local for Stage 3 and a 24-hour ban on Stage 2 operations. The airport is available 0500-2200 local for Stage 3 and 0500-2300 local for Stage 4 aircraft. EDFH is available to GA 24 hours, but Stage 2 restrictions are in place during 2200-0600 local. Both airports host scheduled commercial traffic, and these operations receive airport slot priority. While both airfields are busiest early in the morning and later in afternoons, there are no recognized peak operating hours.
3. Consider aircraft parking availability
Aircraft parking issues are rare at EDDF, but international operators must pay close attention to airport slot planning. EDFH does have parking limitations from time to time, and this is the reason PPRs are in place. Your PPR confirms parking at EDFH, but, if parking is unavailable at this location, you’ll need to consider using EDDF. Best practice is to request the PPR for EDFH as soon as schedule is known. Lead time is 72 hours for PPR, and requests are processed by the airport authority. Note that hangar space is generally not available at either airport for operators not based there. Occasionally, you may be able to arrange transient hangar accommodation with a locally based operator.
4. Extended stays are possible at both locations
For extended stays at EDDF, ensure airport departure slots are available and confirm in advance that there will be no aircraft parking issues. Confirmed PPRs at EDFH ensure that there will be no issues with extended parking stays. From time to time at both airports, aircraft will need to be repositioned on the field. Ground handlers will contact the crew, to ensure it’s OK to move the aircraft, and crew can decide to be present or not.
5. Both airports are secure
Both EDDF and EDFH are secure airfields with adequate airport fencing, patrols, surveillance, and entry controls. Additional security measures are not normally recommended for aircraft, passengers, or crew, but this is at the discretion of the operator.
6. Aviation fuel considerations
Operators need to be mindful of very high aviation fuel prices. Mineral oil tax (MOT) and value added tax (VAT) can double or even triple the base price of fuel. Best practice, when operating to this area, is to consider benefits of tankering fuel or, alternatively, scheduling a fuel uplift after departing Germany.
While three airports are available for Frankfurt, only EDDF and EDFH are suitable for larger corporate aircraft. Always pay close attention to airport slot and PPR planning when setting up trips to the Frankfurt area.
If you have any questions about this article or would like to arrange a trip to Frankfurt, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Later, we’ll discuss operating considerations for your travel to Frankfurt.