Flying to the 2017 Davos World Economic Forum – Part 1: Airport Options and Parking
This is part one of a two-article series on traveling to the Davos World Economic Forum.
The Davos 2017 World Economic Forum (WEF) takes place Jan 17-20, 2017, at Davos-Klosters Switzerland. This event will bring together 3,000 internationally known business people, economists, and politicians in addition to some 40 Heads of State. Last year Davos attracted approximately 1,700 general aviation (GA) movements, and this year is expected to bring in comparable traffic, if not more. For those planning to attend Davos 2017, it’s best to initiate the trip planning process 6+ months in months in advance, if able.
The following is an overview of what you need to know:
1. Meeting venue
The Davos 2017 WEF takes place at the Davos Congress Centre, 148 km southeast of Zurich (LSZH). Drive time from LSZH to Davos is up to two hours, and train travel can take up to three hours. This beautiful away-from-it-all setting in the Swiss Alps has been the backdrop for all Davos WEF meetings since 1971.
2. Primary airport
LSZH is the closest airport of entry (AOE) for Davos and the preferred option for drop and goes and overnight parking. GA operating hours here are 0600-2200 local with no overtime possible. For arrivals, you must be on the ground by 2200 local or you’ll be diverted. Note that Stage 2 aircraft are only permitted to operate 0900-1900 local Monday-Friday, with prior permission. Extended Stage 2 operating hours may be possible, with prior arrangement, for air ambulance and diplomatic flights as well as operators landing for maintenance purposes.
3. Alternate airports
Preferred parking alternates include Friedrichshafen (EDNY) and Dubendorf (LSMD). EDNY operates 0600-2200 local Monday-Friday and 0900 – sunset Saturday, Sunday, and holidays. Plan on about a one-and-a-half hour drive time between EDNY and Davos. In the case of LSMD, this is an AOE only for the WEF, and aircraft handling is available. Basel (LFSB) is also a parking option although it’s some distance from the event.
4. Plan early
Due to overnight parking challenges in the area, as well as hotel accommodation limitations, many GA operators begin trip arrangements as early as a year in advance. In some cases, even this is not early enough to secure preferred parking and hotel options. Note that parking at LSZH is on a first-come-first-serve basis and depends upon aircraft size.
5. Parking requests
LSZH has about 60 parking spaces available for GA use, depending upon aircraft size. Larger aircraft, the size of a Gulfstream G650, may have no option than to drop and go at LSZH. If overnight parking is not available at LSZH you’ll usually be allowed two hours on the ground for a drop and go. LSZH parking is arranged via ground handlers who process requests with the airport authority. Short notice parking requests for LSZH may be possible if you have passengers onboard who are WEF speakers and have credentials to prove this. In the case of EDNY, parking is not usually an issue, but it should still be requested as early as possible.
6. Airport slots
Airport slots are required for LSZH, with a deviation of +/- 15 minutes, and should be requested as soon as the schedule is known. It’s important to be careful with any slot or parking revision requests. If you revise your schedule after parking is confirmed, your parking will be cancelled. Also, if the departure is delayed you may face an extended time on the ground while a new airport slot is coordinated. EDNY does not mandate airport slots or prior permission required (PPR).
This is a high traffic event for many GA operators, so advanced preplanning is required. Many operators start this process a year out due to the limited space LSZH has for aircraft parking. Also, airport slots are needed for LSZH, so this should be requested in advance. If parking isn’t available at the primary airport, there are alternate options in the vicinity.
Stay tuned for Part 2, which covers additional considerations for travel to Davos.
The World Economic Forum is a registered trademark of the World Economic Forum. Universal Aviation is not affiliated in any way with the World Economic Forum.
If you have any questions about this article or would like assistance planning your next trip to Davos, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.