This is a post by author Jason Hayward. Jason is general manager for Universal Aviation U.K. – London-Stansted. Jason is an expert on business aircraft operations in the U.K. and can be contacted at email@example.com.
The Rugby World Cup takes place once every four years, and this time it’s in the UK. This year, the Rugby World Cup takes place at various venues in England and Wales between September 17 and October 31. This will be a very popular event, so there will be high local traffic to consider when traveling to these areas.
If you plan to operate into any of the host cities during the busy period, the following is an overview of what you should know:
1. Game venues
The 2015 Rugby World Cup takes place at assorted venues throughout the country. While some of the games will be played in the London area, there will be games as far south as Exeter, as far north as Newcastle and Manchester, and as far west as Cardiff.
2. London-area airports
With three different game venues in the London area, operators have several airport options to choose from. Games at the London Wembley Stadium venue are well served by both Stansted (EGSS) and Luton (EGGW). As semi-finals and finals take place in Twickenham in southwest London, Farnborough (EGLF) is well located for General Aviation (GA) aircraft parking.
3. Parking for venues outside of London
Cardiff (EGFF), Manchester (EGCC), Newcastle (EGNT), Exeter (EGTE), Gatwick (EGKK), Bristol (EGGD), and Coventry (EGBE) are the airports that should be used for other games taking place outside the greater London area (depending on the game). Note that there may be a couple of airports that may experience restricted parking conditions, depending on the traffic received.
4. Airport curfews and requirements
Airports of Entry (AOEs) with full GA support services are available close to all Rugby World Cup events. Be aware, however, that not all of these operate 24/7, and overtime options vary depending on the particular airport. Some locations require airport slots and/or Prior Permission Required (PPR). If PPR is needed, we recommend applying for it about a month in advance.
5. Airport operating hours
- EGSS: 24-hour AOE with airport slots required (+/- 5 minutes deviation)
- EGGW: 24-hour AOE with airport slots required (no deviation)
- EGLF: AOE 0700-2200 local Monday-Friday and 0800-20000 local Saturday and Sunday. PPR is needed.
- EGBB: 24-hour AOE with PPR needed for certain types of flights
- EGFF: 24-hour AOE with PPR needed
- EGCC: 24-hour AOE with airport slots required. The deviation for the slots is +/- 5 minutes.
- EGNT: AOE 0800-1900 local with overtime available upon request
- EGTE: AOE upon request but only with a PPR. Summer operating hours: 0800-2000 local Monday-Friday, 0800-1900 local Saturday, and 0900-2000 local Sunday. Overtime available on request.
- EGKK: 24-hour AOE with airport slots and PPR required. Slots have a deviation of +15/-5 minutes, and PPR is needed for night operations (2300-0700 local).
- EGGD: AOE 0700-2200 local with PPR needed for night operations (2200-0700 local)
- EGBE: AOE and accepts GA operators only 0700-0100 local Monday-Friday and 0900-1900 local on Saturday and Sunday
Based on the schedule of events, we foresee that the heaviest traffic will be at EGSS, EGGW, EGLF, and EGKB.
6. Hotel accommodations
Good-quality crew accommodation options are available across the UK. Prices, however, will be higher around event venues, and options will be more limited at smaller locations. While the city of London has approximately 120,000 hotel rooms, available accommodations stock is more limited in cities such as Exeter. While the most preferred accommodations near Rugby World Cup venues are already sold out, it’s recommended that crew rooms be secured as soon as possible for those planning to attend this event.
7. Local transport
While prepaid ground transport (car with driver) is often the chosen method for travel locally within the UK, be aware that roads will be highly congested near stadium areas on event days and local highways may be clogged with traffic. We recommend planning to leave for a game location at least two or three hours prior to start time. If you want to leave for a stadium closer to game time, use mass public transport options – either the subway or train system – to avoid clogged highways (motorways) and road closures around stadiums. While rail transport will be crowded, it will get you close to event venues. Rental cars are not generally recommended due to high traffic, road closures, and few parking options. Helicopter transfers, from airports to event locations, are not often possible for practical considerations.
8. Charter landing permits
UK landing permits are only required for charter (non-scheduled commercial) and not for private non-revenue operations. If you need a permit, be aware that Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) only operates 0900-1700 local Monday-Friday with no after-hours personnel on duty. While short-notice permit requests may be considered, assuming all documentation is in order, CAA is strict with operators who submit a permit request and operate without permit confirmation. Non-compliant operators may face potential legal action, monetary fines, or a ban on travel to the UK. The reason for this is that CAA is trying to crack down on and stop illegal charter flight activity.
For more information on charter permits, please see our article “UPDATE: Regulatory Changes for UK Charter Permits.”
9. UK APD
Be aware that UK Air Passenger Duty (APD) is applicable to every domestic and international departure from the UK. These charges, however, apply only to passengers who board aircraft in the UK and not crew members. You can read our articles covering UK-APD for more information. Depending on who you work with, your 3rd-party provider can facilitate these payments on your behalf.
10. Comply with EU-ETS
Intra-EU flights (flights departing and arriving within the EU) are required to comply with the EU Emission Trading Scheme (EU-ETS) monitoring, reporting, and carbon trading requirements. You can read our series on aviation EU-ETS or visit the EU-ETS Resource Center for more information.
11. Additional information on this event
It’s important to note that tickets for most Rugby World Cup 2015 games – especially semi-finals and finals – have already been issued. There will be no opportunity to buy tickets on the day of the event or even close to the day of the event unless tickets are part of a hospitality package. For more information on the Rugby World Cup, see the official website.
While we do not anticipate airport parking to be an issue for Rugby World Cup events, the heaviest GA traffic activity will likely be at EGSS, EGGW, EGLF, and EGKB. It’s important for charter operators to consider permit requirements and lead times. All operators should review hours of operation for smaller airport locations, particularly for games outside the London area. Also, it’s recommended that hotel options be considered as soon as possible.
If you have any questions about this article or would like more information on operations to the UK, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Jason Hayward
Based in London, Jason Hayward, general manager for Universal Aviation U.K. – London, is an expert on ground support and operations into the United Kingdom. He’s been with Universal since 1997 and has more than 17 years’ experience combined in aviation handling and operations. A native of the U.K. and veteran of the Royal Air Force, Jason has been instrumental in helping establish Universal Aviation offices around the globe. Jason is also an expert on coordinating operations and handling for special events and was Universal’s point person for the 2012 Games in London. He’s shared his insight on operations and special events with many industry publications. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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