7 Things to Know About Flying to Milan for Fashion Week
This is a post by author Lorena Carraro. Lorena is Managing Director for Universal Aviation Italy, which has FBO and ground support locations at Rome (LIRA), Venice (LIPZ), Milan-Linate (LIML) and Milan-Malpensa (LIMC). Lorena is acting Member of the Board of the Italian Business Aviation Association and an expert on business aircraft operations in Italy. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Milan Fashion Week is one of the Big 4 Fashion Weeks internationally, the others being Paris, London and New York, and is held each spring and fall in Milan. This year’s Fall Milan Fashion Week takes place September 19-25, and business aircraft operators can expect congestion at both Milan airports, with aircraft parking limitations and restricted hotel availability. This is a busy month for Milan, as the Italian Grand Prix is also in September, as we discussed in this post. If flying into Milan during this period, work with your 3rd-party provider and local ground handler well in advance to maximize aircraft parking options and facilitate operational logistics.
Here are seven important things to keep in mind if you are planning to fly your business aircraft to Milan during this period:
1. Two airports are available for business aviation operations
Linate (LIML) is the airport closest to Milan city center and just a 15-minute drive to downtown. Located to the east of the city, LIML is easily reachable by taxi, public bus, and other types of transportation. Malpensa (LIMC) is about a 45-minute drive to central Milan and a perfect location to reach the Lake District (Lake Maggiore and Lake Como). Located to the northwest of Milan, LIMC is accessible by in-airport train service as well as taxis and other types of transportation. LIML is the preferred airport for Milan Fashion Week due to its proximity to the city center. However, if aircraft parking is unavailable, it’s important to have a plan “B,” as you may have to reposition the aircraft after dropping off passengers.
2. Airport slots aren’t necessary, but parking confirmation is mandatory
While no airport slots are required for either LIML or LIMC, an aircraft parking confirmation issued by airport management is mandatory at LIMC. Your ground handler will advise on requirements.
3. Charter flights require landing permits
While private non-revenue flights don’t require a landing permit for Italy, charter (non-scheduled commercial) flights do. Keep in mind that the Italy charter permit previously made our list of 10 Potentially Challenging International Permits for Business Aviation Operators. Lead time for charter permits for aircraft that have operated to Italy within the past two years is seven working days. However, if this is your first trip to Italy, or if it’s been more than two years since the last time you operated there, the permit lead time is 45 days. All landing permit requests must be accompanied by appropriate required documentation, including Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC), registration and airworthiness certificates, and insurance in special format in terms of wording and information provided. In addition, Ente Nazionale per L’Aviazione Civile (Italian Civil Aviation Authority or ENAC) requires a completed Foreign Operator’s Questionnaire, which must be submitted directly by the operator.
4. Aircraft parking limitations exist for charter operations
Maximum time permitted on the ground at either Milan airport or any other location is, by regulation, 36 hours. Any exception to this rule is at the discretion of ENAC. ENAC may permit operations to more than one location in Italy, provided that flights are executed for transportation of the same passengers and no additional passengers embark or disembark the aircraft within Italy, per Italy’s cabotage regulation. There’s an exception to this rule, permitting a charter aircraft to reposition due to lack of parking availability at the requested destination. In either case, we recommend that you work with an experienced 3rd-party provider to assist with Italian-charter-landing-permit requests.
5. Consider alternate parking options
6. Book hotel accommodations early
Hotel options, including larger hotel chains in the Milan area, tend to sell out during Milan Fashion Week. It’s important to book accommodations as soon as your schedule is firm. Higher- than-normal room rates, as well as non-refundable deposits and extended cancellation policies, are possible during this period. It’s recommended that crew stay at 4- or 5-star hotels.
7. Confirm local transportation arrangements well in advance
Prepaid local transportation (car with driver) should be confirmed as early as possible, as demand for all services is very high throughout the area over the course of Milan Fashion Week. Many operators may prefer to avoid rental car options due to high levels of traffic congestion expected during this period. Local taxis and buses are an option to consider, but there may be language barriers. Your ground hander will be aware of the best resources in terms of prepaid transportation options.
Italy is always busy during the summer months but things will be especially congested, from the business aviation infrastructure and services perspectives, during Milan Fashion Week. While it’s always best to confirm aircraft parking, accommodations, and services early, there will be options available even for very short-notice trips to Milan during Fashion Week. An experienced local ground handler can always source solutions. However, this may require a drop and go and/or crew hotel accommodations outside the vicinity of the city.
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