Operating to 2017 Cannes Festival and Monaco Grand Prix – Part 2: Airports, Parking & Services

Operating to 2017 Cannes Festival and Monaco Grand Prix – Part 2: Airports, Parking & Services

This business aviation blog post continues from our article last week, titled “Operating to the Cannes Festival and Monaco Grand Prix 2017 – Part 1: Operating Procedures & CIQ.

This is a post by author Isabelle Canton. Isabelle is the senior Universal Aviation representative – south of France for Universal Aviation France, which has aircraft ground handling facilities in Paris, Le Bourget. Isabelle is an expert on business aircraft operations in southern France and can be contacted at cantonisabelle@universalaviation.aero.

Preferred overnight parking options may be challenging to obtain at both Nice (LFMN) and Cannes (LFMD) during this event period. Although extended aircraft parking is available at LFMN, daily parking change rates escalate exponentially the longer you stay. For operators not able to obtain parking, there are other options in the area.

The following is an overview of what you need to know:

1. Preferred airports

LFMN, located between the two event venues, is the preferred airport for both the Cannes Film Festival and Monaco Grand Prix. For the Film Festival, operators may also consider LFMD although there are maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) restrictions and limited operating hours at this location. Parking at both airports is expected to be full during the May 17-28 period, particularly closer to the end of these events.

2. Airport hours and restrictions

LFMN is a 24-hour airport of entry (AOE) accommodating any size aircraft. However, LFMD is only operational 0800 local to 30 minutes after sunset with no airport overtime allowed. Note that LFMD restricts operations to MTOW of 35,000 kg (77,175 pounds), but this is up from the previous limitation of 22,000 kg (48,510 pounds) back in 2015. LFMD mandates that crew obtain a special approach briefing due to local noise restrictions. This can be found on the airport site.

3. Alternate airports

While preferred airports for the Cannes Film Festival are LFMN and LFMD, alternates to consider should parking become an issue include Toulon (LFTH), Le Castellet (LFMQ) and Marseilles (LFML). In the case of Monaco Grand Prix, if you’re not able to obtain parking at LFMN then Genoa (LIMJ), 85 miles away and with helicopter transfers available to Monaco, may be considered.

4. CIQ for alternate airports

Note that LFTH has limited clearance hours and it’s advised to request customs, immigration, and quarantine (CIQ) clearance at least 24 hours prior. For example, clearance at this location is 0900-1800 local daily even though airport hours are longer. Note that LFMQ has discontinued international arrival/departure ability as there’s no longer a customs presence on the airfield. It’s now only possible to arrive into LFMQ on a domestic flight or one from within the Schengen region. Meanwhile, LIMJ and LFML are 24-hour airports with clearance within the main terminal.

5. Drop and go

If overnight parking is not available at either LFMN or LFMD it will be possible to drop and go at LFMN but this option may not be available at smaller LFMD. Max permitted time on the ground at LFMN is three hours and this must be arranged in advance due to slot requirements. Once passengers have been dropped at LFMN the aircraft may reposition to an alternate airport for parking and crew accommodation.

6. Service and fuel considerations

Due to congestion at LFMN and LFMD during this event period we expect there to be delays in terms of fuel uplifts and other services. Additionally, as LFMN encounters fuel shortages from time to time it’s recommended to fuel or arrival, or at least to partially refuel. In the event of fuel shortages at LFMN, a NOTAM will usually be issued, after the fact, and you may be restricted to uplifts of only 5000 liters.

7. In-flight catering

Catering services, just like all other services during this period, will be in very high demand and longer advance request lead times are suggested. During this busy period if passengers have any special catering requests it may be better to bring the items in with you and have them stored at the airport until departure.

8. Hotels considerations

We expect most hotels, and all preferred hotel accommodations, to sell out in the region between Monaco and Cannes during this event period. Many hotels are already sold out and those that are available may be 800 USD/night. Note that the busiest period in terms of hotel demand will be May 24-28 and you’ll likely be faced with full prepayment and no possibility of refunds. For short notice crew accommodations, rooms may be available one to two hours outside the region but be prepared for long travel times due to road traffic congestion.

9. Local transport

As local transport options will be in high demand it’s best to make arrangements for pre-paid transport (car with driver) as soon as possible. Note that certain vehicle types, including SUVs and larger sedans, will be in very high demand and few options may be available. For the Monaco Grand Prix helicopter services are available from Nice, Cannes and Genoa. This requires payment in advance and is typically non-refundable, even in the event of weather issues.

10. Additional information

For more information on these events see the official event websites:


While this period along the Cote d’Azur will be much more congested than usual in terms of GA activity it’s always possible to set up arrangements on short notice or last minute, if needed. However, in such cases you may be faced with a drop and go and very limited hotel accommodation options.


If you have any questions about this article or would like assistance planning your next trip to southern France, contact me at cantonisabelle@universalaviation.aero.