Business Aviation Ops to St. Petersburg: Part 2 – Aircraft Parking, Services, and Security
This business aviation blog post continues from our article last week, entitled “Business Aviation Ops to St. Petersburg: Part 1 – Airport and CIQ.”
Should you desire special services upon arrival into Russia, such as on-board customs, immigration, and quarantine clearance and vehicle access airside, it’s best to give your 3rd-party provider and/or ground handler plenty of advance notification. Although such services are at the discretion of airport authorities, these options may be available at St. Petersburg (ULLI).
The following is an overview of what you need to know when operating to St. Petersburg:
1. Aircraft parking and hangar considerations
ULLI has 30 General Aviation (GA) aircraft parking spots available, and there are separate parking areas based on wingspan and type of aircraft. Aircraft parking availability is generally good at this location. During certain large local events, such as the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, aircraft parking may be unavailable for most GA operations. During such busy periods, GA aircraft will be permitted to drop off/pick up passengers, but overnight parking will likely not be possible.
2. Peak operating hours
Peak operating hours for ULLI are 1100-1400 UTC daily.
3. Vehicles airside
It’s possible to bring vehicles airside at ULLI, but this is approved on a case-by-case basis. While there are seldom issues with vehicle access for air ambulance or diplomatic flights, other operators should provide full transportation and vehicle information in advance when requesting airside vehicle access.
4. Catering and 4th-party services
In-flight caterers are located on- and off-airport at ULLI, with catering menus available upon request. At least 24 hours’ notice should be provided when requesting catering. All required 4th-party services should always be arranged well in advance and coordinated with your ground handler.
5. Security considerations
ULLI is a secure airport with 24-hour video surveillance, adequate fencing, alarm systems, and security patrols. Private aircraft security is not needed at this location, and private airside guards are not permitted, per airport authority regulations. Many operators, however, make executive protection arrangements for passengers due to possible crime and/or kidnap risks.
6. Alternate airports for parking
If you require an alternate airport for parking, consider Helsinki (EFHK), Tallinn (EETN), or any of the three Moscow-area airports – Vnukovo (UUWW), Sheremetyevo (UUEE), and Domodedovo (UUDD). All require airport slots except EETN and UUDD. Other recommended alternates are Stockholm (ENGM) or Oslo (ESSA). If you reposition outside the country, it’s important to ensure that crew members have multi-entry visas for Russia.
7. Hotels and local transport
For crew members there are many good 4- and 5-star accommodation options – including international chain hotels – in the St. Petersburg area. Rental car facilities are available at Terminal 2, but this option should be avoided unless you’re familiar with the local area. It’s best to avoid taxis for security reasons. Recommended option for local transport is pre-paid transport (car with driver).
When you operate to ULLI, it’s important to always be aware of potential security risks. Best practice is to obtain a security brief in advance, for your hotel and local area, and to consider executive protection depending on the particulars of your operation. Airport security at ULLI, however, is effective and should not be a concern for operators.
If you have any questions about this article or need assistance planning your next trip to Russia, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.