Davos 2016 World Economic Forum – Part 2: Slots, CIQ, and Local Area
This business aviation blog post continues from our article last week, entitled "Davos 2016 World Economic Forum – Part 1: Airports and Parking."
The next Davos World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting takes place January 21-24, 2016. More and more General Aviation (GA) operators have been traveling to Davos and Zurich (LSZH) during the WEF period, with approximately 1,700 aircraft movements during the 2015 event. If you are able to secure aircraft parking at LSZH, it’s important to avoid schedule revisions as any pre-confirmed parking arrangements may be lost. Additionally, airport slots, all aircraft services, crew accommodations, and local transport arrangements should be set up well in advance.
The following is an overview of what you need to know when operating to Davos:
1. Aircraft slots
Airport arrival/departure slots are needed for LSZH and should be requested, via the slot coordinator, as soon as schedule is known. Once slots are confirmed, you’ll receive a confirmation number that must be placed in section 18 of your International Civil Aviation Organization flight plan. While slots are usually not a problem at this airport – parking is typically the issue – it’s best to make slot requests as early as possible. If a slot is not available for your preferred operating time, the slot coordinator will give you the closest available option. Slot deviation at LSZH is +/- 15 minutes.
2. CIQ procedures for LSZH
Customs, Immigration, and Quarantine (CIQ) clearance takes place at the Fixed-Base Operator (FBO), and clearance usually does not take long. Onboard customs clearance is not possible at this location under any circumstances. A maximum of 24 passengers per aircraft may be cleared within the FBO. If you have more than 24 passengers, inbound or outbound, they’ll need to clear CIQ within the main commercial terminal along with airline passengers. Note that passenger/crew customs manifests are not required at LSZH when clearing at the FBO. Customs clearance is only needed if passengers have anything to declare. Immigration clearance, however, is required and available at LSZH for all flights from/to non-Schengen countries.
3. Fuel and GSE considerations
By regulation fuel uplifts at LSZH may not be done on arrival. You’ll need to schedule fuel uplifts for day of departure, and delays are possible, particularly on the last day of the event due to a high volume of aircraft movements. It’s important to communicate fuel requirements with the ground handler upon arrival, to minimize any day-of-departure uplift delays. While the ground handler at LSZH has a wide range of Ground Support Equipment (GSE) on hand, it’s best to carry your own tow bar during this busy event period. This is because the departure process could be delayed due to volume of movements being conducted if you don’t have your own tow bar available.
4. Helicopter transfers
There’s limited availability of helicopter transfer services during the Davos period, so requests for these services should be considered months in advance. For helicopter transfers you’ll need to clear CIQ prior to boarding the helicopter, and the heli operator needs to be provided with passenger count, luggage weights/volume, and intended schedule. For operators requiring helicopter transfers, it’s best to make requests months in advance.
5. Hotel availability
Preferred hotels fill up fast for the Davos period, and accommodation requests are often made a year in advance. Room costs are higher than normal during this period, with stricter cancellation and advance deposit policies. Note that for hotel program members with elite status, certain dates and options available during other times of the year are blacked out (i.e., upgrades and overrides are likely not possible).
6. Local transport
For local transport, particularly prepaid transport (car with driver), it’s important to make arrangements as soon as the schedule is known. If you need a specific type of vehicle or a vehicle for an extended period of time, this may not be possible without advance notice.
7. Last-minute trip planning
It’s unlikely that parking will be available at LSZH for last-minute operations to Davos. If you have a passenger who’s a registered speaker, and you have credentials to prove this, parking options may be somewhat better, but there’s still no guarantee. In most cases it’s best to be prepared to drop at LSZH and reposition. The good news is that aircraft parking at Friedrichshafen (EDNY) and Dubendorf (LSMD) is usually not an issue. While there are no airport slot or Prior Permission Required (PPR) mandates for these alternate airports, it’s recommended that parking requests be made as early as possible.
Any travel to Davos requires planning months – up to a year – in advance due to limited aircraft parking at LSZH. There are options at surrounding airports, but aircraft parking should still be requested months in advance. However, if you find yourself with a very last-minute trip to Davos, your 3rd-party provider will likely still be able to offer you options. While you may need to drop and go at LSZH, there will be parking alternates available, and full aircraft support services can be arranged.
If you have any questions about this article or would like assistance planning your next trip to Davos, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.