2016 St Petersburg Int’l Economic Forum – Part 1: Airports & Parking
This is a post by author Dmitry Konovalov. Dmitry is general director for Universal Aviation Russia – Khabarovsk, based in Khabarovsk (UHHH), which provides 24/7 coordination of flight permits and ground handling services throughout Russia. Dmitry is an expert on business aircraft operations in Russia and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This business aviation blog post is part of a series on bizav ops to St. Petersburg for the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF).
The St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), an annual conference dedicated to economic and business issues, is expected to attract over 7000 political and business leaders this June. For business aircraft operators planning to fly in during this high-traffic event, we recommend confirming airport slots, aircraft parking, hotel accommodation and local transport arrangements as soon as schedule is known.
The following is an overview of what you need to know:
1. Event details
This year the SPIEF takes place June 16-18 and is being held under the auspices of Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation. Political and business leaders from all over the world are expected to attend, and this event promises to involve a large number of general aviation (GA) arrivals from around the world.
2. Primary airport
Primary airport for this gathering is St. Petersburg (ULLI), a 24-hour airport of entry (AOE) with full GA support capabilities and two fixed-base operators (FBOs). This location has no GA operating curfews and no noise restrictions. Located about 14 km south of the city center, ULLI is about a one hour drive into town, depending upon traffic.
3. Peak hours of operation
Scheduled commercial aircraft always take priority over GA in Russia, for both airport slots and aircraft parking. Peak hours for arrivals/departures and ramp activity at ULLI depend upon the season and whether or not large local events are taking place.
4. Alternate airports
If you need to reposition, due to lack of overnight parking at ULLI, recommended alternates within Russia include: Sheremetyevo (UUEE), Domodedovo (UUDD) and Vnukovo (UUWW). For parking alternates outside the country we recommend Helsinki (EFHK), Tallinn (EETN) and Riga (EVRA). All of these are 24-hour AOEs with full GA support infrastructure and services available. In the case of UUEE, UUDD and UUWW, prior permission required (PPR) is needed along with airport slots.
5. Parking possibilities
About 50 GA parking stands are expected to be available during SPIEF, with separate parking areas assigned based on aircraft maximum takeoff weight (MTOW). Hangar space is possible at this location, including three sections that are 2500 sq. meters each. ULLI hangars at can accommodate up to 25 mid-size transient business jet operations, but these options will be expensive. There are times when aircraft may need to be relocated on the ramp, but GA equipment is not moved without prior notice given to crew and/or handlers. Parking priority is often allowed for VVIP flights (i.e., those with passengers participating in SPIEF), so it’s recommended to provide a complete passengers list when applying for airport slots—especially if a passenger is participating.
6. Fuel uplifts
Fuel uplifts are generally reliable and on time at ULLI. With sufficient notification fuelers will be on standby for your arrival/departure. Fuel uplifts generally take about 30 minutes, depending on the size and type of your aircraft. Operators may schedule fuel uplifts either on arrival or prior to departure.
7. In-flight catering considerations
In-flight catering should be ordered well before the estimated time of departure, ideally 48 hours prior but not less than 24 hours. There are also restaurant options, but you must provide at least 24 hours’ notice. On international arrivals it’s possible to offload and retain some onboard catering, usually up to about five kgs per arrival, including meats and or dairy products. With advance arrangement onboard catering can be stored with your ground handler as they have refrigeration facilities available.
ULLI is a user friendly GA airport with adequate parking at most times. However, during the SPIEF period operators should anticipate increased airport congestion, longer slot lead times and limited parking. For fuel uplifts and catering, it’s recommended to provide advance notice in order for the ground handler to ensure that arrangements are made and will be available when you need it.
Stay tuned for Part 2, which covers permits, slots, and operating considerations for the upcoming SPIEF.
If you have any questions about this article or would like assistance planning your next trip to Russia, contact me at email@example.com.