Business Aviation Trip Planning: Venice International Boat Show
This is a post by author Lorena Carraro. Lorena is managing director for Universal Aviation Italy, which has Fixed-Base Operator (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.
The 2014 Venice International Boat Show takes place over two weekends – April 4 to 6 and April 11 to 13 – and is expected to draw some 80,000 attendees. For General Aviation (GA) traffic, Venice is always a busy destination during summer seasons and will be particularly busy over the International Boat Show period.
If you are flying into Venice during this period, the following is an overview of what you need to know:
1. Venice is always a popular destination for business aviation
High season in Venice generally lasts from the last week of March through the second week of October. July, August, and September are usually the busiest months. During this period there’s limited aircraft parking, costs are high, and hotel availability is often tight.
2. LIPZ is the preferred airport option
Venice (LIPZ) is a 24-hour Airport of Entry (AOE) with full aircraft support services and credit available. This location has no airport slot requirements, but Prior Permission Required (PPR) is necessary for parking. LIPZ has a General Aviation Terminal (GAT) where Customs, Immigration, and Quarantine (CIQ) can be cleared in some cases. It’s important to note, however, that GAT operating hours do not mirror airport hours. If you need to arrive/depart outside of normal GAT hours, passengers/crew will need to clear via the main commercial terminal.
Due to lack of available ramp space, GA parking is limited at this location – particularly for wide-body equipment – and parking permission may depend on your intended length of stay. While there’s usually no set maximum length of stay restriction for parking, airport authorities may impose limitations from time to time. Parking should be requested as soon as you know your schedule as it can always be canceled if your schedule changes later.
3. GAT and customs considerations for LIPZ
The GAT at this location operates 0600-2200 local. This facility has three VIP passenger lounges and CIQ availability for certain flights. Business aircraft operators arriving/departing between 2200 and 0600 local must use the main terminal and will clear CIQ in this commercial terminal. GAT overtime may be possible for an additional charge of 250 Euros, and your ground handler can help arrange this. Flights from within the Schengen region may clear CIQ at the GAT. Non-Schengen flights, however, must clear at the main terminal, and this takes approximately 10 minutes. Your ground handler will drive passengers/crew to the main terminal from the GAT for passport control.
4. PPR/parking considerations
For the PPR your ground handler will submit a full schedule, operator information, and aircraft details. Airport authorities usually advise on PPR status quickly. When submitting a schedule, always have firm dates and times as this information is needed to arrange aircraft parking. “To be advised” schedules are not accepted. For large events, such as the Venice International Boat Show, you may not be advised of the PPR/parking status until close to the day of operation. No PPR confirmation number will be provided, and no PPR notation is required in your flight plan filing. If PPR/parking cannot be arranged for your requested schedule, airport authorities usually provide alternate arrival and departure options. For instance, if aircraft parking is not available at LIPZ, you’ll be permitted to drop and go/pick up passengers with up to two hours on the ground. In addition, revisions to PPRs are possible but involve submitting a new PPR request, and, when you do this, you’ll lose any existing PPR approval.
5. Avoid revising schedules
Once parking has been confirmed, especially for LIPZ, it’s best to try to avoid revisions to your schedule. A tolerance of +/- 20 minutes is allowable for your PPR, but any schedule change outside this tolerance usually involves cancelling your PPR and applying for a new one.
6. Issues to consider at LIPZ
Scheduled commercial operations have first priority. For this reason, there may be fuel uplift delays for GA aircraft. Different fuel providers are available at LIPZ, and your ground handler can help arrange the best option, depending upon your estimated times of arrival and departure. In-flight catering is available at this location, and it’s best to provide 24 hours’ notification for any catering requests beyond routine/basic options. Be aware that you must use a certified catering company to transport catering through security and to your aircraft. Airport fees and handling charges are higher than average at LIPZ – all year round. Note that aircraft parking here is more expensive than at other Italian airports as LIPZ has special authority from the Civil Aviation Authority to charge increased prices. Vehicles are not permitted airside at LIPZ, other than for air ambulance operations, diplomatic flights, and special cases where security may be an issue. CIQ clearance is usually within the GAT, during normal operating hours. Passengers/crew do not have the option to clear CIQ onboard the aircraft.
7. Alternate airports
If parking is not available at LIPZ, the best alternate options are Treviso (LIPH), Verona (LIPX), and Milan Linate (LIML). LIPH is about a one-hour drive to Venice, and parking here is usually available, on a first-come-first-served basis. LIPX is a drive of approximately 1.5 hours to Venice, but, depending on the season, parking approval may or may not be possible. If you don’t need to stay close to Venice, LIML is a highly recommended alternate with plenty of aircraft parking. Note that PPRs are needed for LIPH and LIPX, but a parking request is sufficient for LIML. It’s about a 2.5-hour drive from LIML to Venice, and there’s also a train connecting the two cities. Good crew accommodation options are plentiful at all of these locations.
8. Venice hotel availability
Hotel prices are always expensive in Venice during peak summer season. Crew rooms in 4-star hotels close to the airport start at about 200 Euros and range up to about 1,000 Euros in the city. Hotels are likely to sell out during the Venice International Boat Show period. When booking crew rooms, it’s important to review cancellation policies and minimum stay requirements. It is highly recommended to book accommodations for the Venice International Boat Show period as far in advance as possible.
9. Local ground transportation options
Your ground handler can arrange pre-paid passenger/crew transportation to/from the city (via water taxi) or the boat show (via car/van). Note that water taxis are often the only practical means of getting to many Venice hotels, and prices are very high. A one-way water taxi transfer from LIPZ to a Venice hotel can easily cost 300 Euros – depending on the type of boat, number of passengers, and luggage. Your ground handler can provide cost estimates prior to your arrival. There are also public boat options, from the airport to central Venice, but this is not as convenient as water taxi options and is not usually recommended.
10. VAT refunds at LIPZ
If pre-departure VAT refunds are required, it’s recommended that the crew advise the ground handler in advance in order to coordinate this with the customs office. To claim VAT refunds passengers will need to be present with their goods and must show purchase receipts to customs. Time required to process refunds depends on the number of items declared.
11. Don’t forget about EU-ETS
Intra-EU flights (flights departing and arriving within the EU) are required to comply with the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU-ETS) monitoring, reporting, and carbon trading requirements. You can read our series on aviation EU-ETS or visit the EU-ETS Resource Center for more information.
In order to experience the fewest complications, when planning a trip to LIPZ, it’s important to arrange PPR, fuel uplifts, aircraft services, and hotel accommodations as early as possible. If you require a reposition, LIPH and LIPX are good options with attractive local environments. Many operators, however, choose to reposition to LIML, due to its ease of operation and wide-open parking availability.
If you have any questions about this blog article or would like assistance planning your next trip to Venice, contact me at email@example.com.