2017 St Petersburg International Economic Forum – Part 2: Permits, Slots, Visas & Cabotage

2017 St Petersburg International Economic Forum – Part 2: Permits, Slots, Visas & Cabotage

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 dmitrykonovalov@universalaviation.aero.

This business aviation blog post continues from our article last week, entitled “2017 St Petersburg International Economic Forum – Part 1: Airports, Parking & Services.”

The 21st St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) takes place June 1-3. As permits and airport slots are needed for all general aviation (GA) operations to St. Petersburg (ULLI), it’s best to begin setting this up as soon as schedule is known. Operators should consider additional lead time for permits, airport slots and prior permission required (PPR) needs due to the increased requests authorities will receive. Also, it’s important to consider cabotage restrictions when traveling to Russia, as authorities are stringent on such regulations.

The following is an overview of what you need to know:

1. Landing permit considerations for Russia

All aircraft must obtain a landing permit when traveling to Russia. Over the last few years, the Russian Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has streamlined the permit request process. Typically, the lead time is one business day for private non-revenue aircraft, while it’s three business days for charter (non-scheduled commercial aircraft). As the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) will increase the number of requests CAA will receive, consider that the processing time may increase, so additional lead time should be considered.

For more information on landing permit requirements for travel to Russia, please see our article titled “Coming Soon: Russian Landing Permit Changes – Effective May 30, 2013.

2. Airport slot requirements

For ULLI no PPR is needed, but airport slots are required. Slots and parking are confirmed a few days prior to arrival and can differ from what had been requested. It’s important to consider that if parking isn’t approved the airport slots will reflect that on the confirmation. Specifically, airport slots for stays longer than two hours will not be granted if parking is not available. Note that the airport slot deviation at ULLI is +/- 30 minutes. Though airport slot confirmation numbers don’t need to be inserted to your flight plan, consider that authorities are stringent in ensuring operators maintain approved slots. Operators that don’t adhere to approved slots may be penalized, but this all depends on the persons onboard the aircraft.

Operators that will be repositioning to other airports should consider airport slot and PPR requirements. Also, due to the increased traffic that operators will experience at ULLI, revisions to downline airport slots may be needed on the day of operations.

3. Visa requirements

Visas are not available upon arrival at ULLI. Crew and/or passengers arriving without appropriate visas depending on nationality will receive penalties and possible deportation. Note that fines can be upwards of 5000 USD.

4. CIQ procedures

If your first entry into the country is at ULLI, you will need to clear CIQ. Upon arrival appropriate documentation will be collected by the ground handler and then proceed to the passport control area in the general aviation terminal (GAT). It’s important to ensure that you choose the line for foreign nationals at Pulkovo 3. Border Control officers will take your passport and arrival card, stamp both of them and retain one half of the arrival/departure card. The clearance time for CIQ is usually 10-15 minutes, but consider additional time in the event there are multiple GA operators clearing at the same time.

Below you will find the documentation requirements for CIQ clearance:

  • Valid passport
  • Visa depending on nationality
  • Arrival/departure cards – a form with two identical parts both of which must be completed in either English or Russian
  • Crew ID
  • At least three copies of the gen dec

5. Prohibited flights

Russia at this time doesn’t permit flights directly between Egypt, Ukraine, and Georgia to/from Russia.

6. Changes to flight plans

Flight plans should always be filed three to four hours prior to departure. If departure time from Russia is changed to a time earlier than the originally scheduled and approved departure, the crew should advise the party that originally filed the flight plan to cancel it. An updated flight plan should only be filed after a rejection of the original flight plan has been received from authorities.

7. Cabotage restrictions

It’s forbidden for foreign carriers to transport commercial cargo within the Russian territory, and it’s illegal to pick up passengers in Russia who will be transported to another point within the country. This is considered cabotage, and such operations violate current rules declared via AIP and Air Code. If the passengers are picked up in Russia they should stay with the aircraft and not disembark until outside of Russian territory.

8. Hotels and local transport

The SPIEF event will bring high traffic to ULLI. Large international hotel chains in the city center will fill up quickly. Do your research in advance—hotels may have no-cancellation policies in place. If that’s the case for your preferred hotel options, it’s recommended that arrangements for hotels aren’t made until the airport slots and parking are confirmed—as costs will be high.


Operators should expect this June 1-3 SPIEF period to be particularly busy and restrictive at ULLI. Consider additional lead time for landing permit and airport slots for ULLI. If you are repositioning to another airport for parking, consider the slots and/or PPRs needed there. Be aware of both visa and cabotage regulations for Russia.


If you have any questions about this article or would like assistance planning your next trip to Russia, contact me at dmitrykonovalov@universalaviation.aero.