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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
This business aviation blog post continues from our article last week, titled “2016 Cannes Film Festival & Monaco Grand Prix – Part 1: Airport Options.“
Airport slots and prior permission requirement (PPR) mandates need to be addressed early in the flight planning process for business aircraft operations to either Nice (LFMN) or Cannes (LFMD) during the 2016 Cannes Film Festival & Monaco Grand Prix period (May). Be mindful that there’s a risk of losing your parking confirmation, and having to go to the back of the line, if you make a change to your confirmed slot and PPR times. For this reason, it’s recommended to avoid any changes to your trip after you’ve submitted the request.
The following is an overview of what you need to know:
1. Airport slots and PPRs
Airport slots are required for both LFMN and LFMD. It’s best to request slots as early as possible. Once the slots are approved, prior permission required (PPR) for parking is approved simultaneously. Slots and PPR are issued with the same confirmation number, and this must be placed in the remarks section of your flight plan. Note that slot deviation is +/- 10 minutes for LFMN and +10/-5 minutes for LFMD. If you exceed this deviation you may have to depart without a prior permission required (PPR) and receive an infringement notification after the event. For such cases, you will need to justify why you missed your airport slot, and you may receive a fine up to 20,000 Euros. Therefore, it’s important to stay with your approved schedule and keep your handler in the loop if a delay is likely or a confirmed slot needs adjustment.
2. Parking and length of stay considerations
There’s no set maximum length of stay at either LFMN or LFMD as this is based on your PPR approval for the specific event. However, even with a PPR but without parking approval, your maximum time on the ground at LFMN and LFMD is limited to three hours. Then you’ll need to reposition, possibly to Genoa (LIMJ) or Le Castellet (LFMQ). Be aware that your actual parking spot may not be known until you’re on approach. And, neither airport has hangar space available for transient GA operation.
3. Fuel uplifts
At LFMN the same fuel trucks cover both GA and scheduled commercial operations, and fuel uplift delays on departure often run 15 to 60 minutes. For this reason we recommend uplifting sufficient fuel on arrival to at least get you to an alternate refuel location should a delayed fuel delivery become an issue on the day of departure.
4. Crew accommodations
Hotel accommodations will be in high demand over the Cannes Film Festival and Monaco Grand Prix period. Many popular hotels are already sold out. We recommend confirming crew accommodations as soon as the schedule is known. Be mindful that many area hotels require prepayment and are non-refundable/non-changeable. Hotel room prices average 300-500 Euros for 4-star properties during the Film Festival period and 400-800 Euros during Grand Prix dates.
5. Local transport
Preferred local transport options will also be in high demand over this period and should be booked in advance. It’s important to ensure that your ground handler maintains contact with the transport company, both in advance and on day of operation, or there may be delays or schedule malfunctions. Helicopter charter services are available at both LFMN and LFMD to get to/from the Grand Prix venue. Due to high demand these services must be arranged and prepaid in advance with exact specification on number of passengers and amount of luggage. Note that these services are typically non-refundable, even if weather conditions do not permit the flight.
6. In-flight catering considerations
In-flight catering is available at both LFMN and LFMD. Due to high demand over this busy period, it’s recommended that orders be kept simple to avoid potential errors and delays. Caterers here may become overwhelmed at times and deliver items that are not what the operator requested. At LFMN and LFMD, it’s often possible to de-cater your aircraft and keep food items in refrigerators at the GAT, without having to take this through CIQ. Additionally, it’s recommended to bring extra items such as linens and plates, but if you send these items off to the caterer for cleaning, you may experience delays or mix-ups during delivery.
7. VAT refunds
If you need to request value added tax (VAT) refunds it’s important that all items, and associated receipts, be kept separate from your other luggage. Special forms must be filled out, and if this is not done you could face long delays and potentially miss your departure slot. We recommend that passengers requiring VAT refunds reach the airport at least 30 minutes prior to departure. There have been cases where it’s taken customs officers two to three hours to verify every item on a passenger’s VAT refund list, with the passenger not given the option to cancel this VAT reclaim process once it begins.
Due to supply and demand issues during this busy annual event period you’ll be in competition with many other operators for the best slot times, aircraft parking, crew accommodations, and local transport. Our advice is to plan early, try to stay with your approved schedule, and have contingency plans at the ready just in case parking should become an issue last minute.
Universal and Universal Aviation are 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 email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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