Business Aviation Trip Planning Tips: Oktoberfest in Munich
Oktoberfest 2013 takes place September 21 to October 6 in Munich. The first Oktoberfest was held in the year 1810 in honor of Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig’s marriage. The celebrations have repeated since then. This year, Munich’s Lord Mayor will tap the first keg of Oktoberfest beer on opening day. Business aircraft operators planning to travel to Munich for Oktoberfest 2013 will do best to make aircraft parking, hotel and local transport arrangements as early as possible.
If you are flying to the event, the following is an overview of what you need to know:
1. EDDM is the primary airport for the event
Munich (EDDM) is a 24-hour Airport of Entry (AOE) with full general aviation services available. Airport slots are required, but Prior Permission Required (PPR) is not needed. No additional operating or parking restrictions will be implemented at EDDM during the Oktoberfest 2013 period.
2. Request airport slots early
Airport slots should be requested as soon as your schedule is known, as EDDM is a busy airport. Slots are requested via the slot coordinator, or your ground handler, up to six weeks in advance. Short-notice slot requests depend on availability. If lead time is less than 24 hours, requests should be submitted via the Aeronautical Information Service (AIS) unit. Note that all flight plans filed for slot-controlled German airports must indicate the 10-digit airport slot ID in remarks section 18.
3. Bear in mind CIQ considerations
Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) formalities are conducted at the General Aviation Terminal (GAT) at EDDM. Customs is notified of all inbound international flights on a daily basis and may show up at their discretion to inspect your aircraft. CIQ clearance at EDDM takes approximately five-10 minutes. Valid passports are required for crew and passengers, and Schengen visas may be needed depending upon crew and passenger nationality. Note that if crew/passengers require visas for Germany, the visas must be obtained prior to arrival. Customs does not require collection of any general declarations. It’s recommended that your ground handler coordinate all crew and passenger information for customs with at least 24 hours’ notification.
4. Know that alternate airports are available
Both Oberpfaffenhofen (EDMO) and Nuernberg (EDDN) may be considered as alternate airports, and parking options, for Oktoberfest 2013. EDMO – not an AOE – operates daily 0700-2100 local, Monday-Friday, and 0800-2100 local on Saturday. For Sunday operations, overtime arrangements are required, as the airport is normally closed. EDDN is an AOE but is farther away – about a 1.5-hour drive from Munich, with daily operating hours of 0600-2200 local. CIQ procedure at EDDN is similar to that at EDDM, with clearance at the GAT, but 24 hours’ advance notification is recommended for customs clearance.
5. German landing permit requirements
Landing permits are only required in Germany for charter (non-schedule commercial) operations. These permits are processed by German Civil Aviation (LBA), and their normal operating hours are 0800-1600 local. A minimum of two business days is needed to process a landing permit, and no permits will be processed within this 48-hour deadline. It’s recommended that four business days’ lead time be provided for German landing permits to ensure that all required documentation is assembled. Landing permit revisions are needed for all changes to your trip – including schedule, aircraft and crew/passenger changes.
6. German landing permit documentation
If a landing permit is required, you’ll need to provide evidence of liability insurance for Germany, a completed operating permit questionnaire, certificates of registration and airworthiness and your air operator certificate, to name a few. For more information on the documentation requirements for a charter permit, please contact your 3rd-party provider.
7. Consider cabotage issues
There may be cabotage issues to consider when operating to Germany. It’s best to check with your 3rd-party provider, or local ground handler, on a trip-by-trip basis to ensure that there are no cabotage limitations or issues to consider.
8. Book hotels and local transport early
Be aware that preferred hotels and local transport options do sell out during the Oktoberfest period. Prices for hotel accommodations in the Munich area increase during this period, and cancellation policies may, in some cases, be extended.
Business aircraft operators attending Oktoberfest 2013 will find that Munich airports are operating normally, and all aircraft support services are available. Issues, in terms of congestion, are generally off-airport, as the city experiences a large influx or people and traffic during this period. It’s important to consider lead times for charter permits and to book hotel accommodations as early as possible.
If you have any questions about this article or if you would like assistance in planning your next trip to Germany, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.