Operating to Italy during Summer Months – Part 1: Regional Considerations
This is a post by author Lorena Carraro. Lorena is Managing Director for Universal Aviation Italy, which has 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.
This business aviation blog post is part one in a two-part series on operating to Italy during the summer.
While Italy is a popular destination all season, General Aviation (GA) movements intensify during peak travel periods, especially at Mediterranean-area locations in the summer. When traveling to Italy during peak season, your best flight and service options will be available with as much advance planning and notification as possible.
Here is some information to help you with your planning:
1. Know high-season periods in Italy
In central Italy – Bologna (LIPE), Firenze (Florence) (LIRQ), Pisa (LIRP) and Rome (LIRA) – the high season is April through September, with a great deal of activity to touristic and historical areas. Rome, as both the capital and home to the Vatican, is a special case and experiences “high season” all year. The summer peak travel period for Italy’s south and islands – including Naples (LIRN), Bari (LIBD), Catania (LICC), Palermo (LICJ), Reggio Calabria (LICR), Olbia (LIEO) and Cagliari (LIEE) – is June through the end of August. Even for northern Italy – Milan (LIML and LIMC), Turin (LIMF), Venice (LIPZ) and Genoa (LIMJ) – the high season typically begins in April in conjunction with major exhibitions.
2. Central Italy operating considerations
- LIPE is a 24-hour Airport of Entry (AOE) with a General Aviation Terminal (GAT) available 0600-2200 local.
- LIRQ operates 0530-2200 local with GAT available. Prior Permission Required (PPR) is necessary at LIRQ, aircraft parking can be difficult during summer months, and hangar space is not easy to secure.
- LIRA requires PPR and has operating hours of 0600-2300 local, with GAT availability 0700-2300 local.
- LIRP has limited aircraft parking availability and, in most cases, you’ll need to drop and go. PPR is required at LIRP, no GAT is available, and ground handling hours are 0400-2300 local.
3. Southern Italy operating considerations
- LIRN is a highly popular AOE and summer destination. A PPR is required, and there is a maximum of two hours on the ground, in most cases, with possible parking extensions to 72 hours upon request. Normal handling hours at LIRN are 0600-2100 local and 24 hours on request.
- LIBD is a 24-hour AOE with no GAT, handling hours of 0400-2300 local, and Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) available 0500-2200 local.
- LICC is also a 24-hour airfield with PPR (24 hours’ advance notification required) and no GAT. LICC experiences issues with overnight aircraft parking during summer. Ash clouds when Mt. Etna is active may limit airport capacity.
- LICJ operates 24 hours with PPR needed, normal handling hours are 0400-2300 local, there’s no GAT, and aircraft parking is limited during summer months.
- LICR requires specific pilot training and qualification for landing (operators should refer to the AIP for more information). LICR is a 24-hour airport, with CIQ available 0430-2300 local and normal handling hours of 0500-2300 local.
4. Northern Italy operating considerations
- LIML and LIMC are 24-hour AOEs. There’s a GAT at LIML but not at LIMC. Be aware that LIML has periodic runway closures 0015-0530 local as advised via notice to airmen (NOTAM).
- LIMF is a 24-hour AOE with a GAT and operating hours of 0615-2200. After the GAT closes, all CIQ clearance is done at the main terminal.
- LIMJ is a 24-hour airport with no GAT, and two-hour advance notification is needed for GA ops between 2200-0500 local.
- LIPZ is also a 24-hour airfield with PPR. LIPZ’s GAT is available 0600-2200 local. All operations outside these hours are handled at the main terminal.
- LIPX has no GAT, operates 24 hours, requires PPR and has extremely limited available aircraft parking during summer months.
Drop-and-goes are usually possible, when aircraft parking is not available in Italy. If you do secure overnight or longer-term aircraft parking, be aware that GAT hours and airport operating hours can differ. Revising a flight plan to leave before a GAT opens can be somewhat troublesome, and it’s usually best to just wait until your GAT opens for business.
If you have any questions about this article, contact me at email@example.com.