Paris Air Show 2017 – Part 1: Airports, Parking & Accreditation
This is part one of a two-part article series on considerations for the Paris Air Show.
This is a post by author Sandrine Jackson. Sandrine is managing director for Universal Aviation France – Paris, which has a recently renovated FBO with hangar at Le Bourget Airport. Sandrine is an expert on business aircraft operations in France and can be contacted at email@example.com.
Taking place every two years, the Paris Air Show is a must-attend event for many in the aviation industry. This year the airshow and exhibition runs June 19-25 at Le Bourget (LFPB). Trade days are June 19-22 with the show open to the public June 23-25. As this will be a busy event, in terms of both airport congestion and hotel availability, it’s recommended to begin trip planning as soon as schedule is known.
The following is an overview of what you need to know:
1. Primary airport
LFPB is the preferred general aviation (GA) airport for this event as this is where the airshow and static display take place. LFPB is a 24-hour airport of entry (AOE) with full services, fixed-base operators (FBOs) and credit available.
2. Parking availability
While GA parking seldom runs out at LFPB, it may during the Air Show period. With regard to GA parking, there may be issues with availability, depending upon the number of aircraft needing to be accommodated. The airport authority may allocate additional parking to FBOs but it’s at their discretion. Parking availability will depend on space available on FBO ramps and whether or not the airport authority allocates additional space. If overnight parking is not available only drop and goes will be permitted.
3. Parking restrictions
The large aircraft parking area at LFPB will be taken over by the static display and we do not expect overnight wide body parking availability, for anything larger than an Airbus ACJ or Boeing BBJ, to be available June 12 to at least June 26. Note that max wingspan for parking will be 42 meters over this period.
4. Airport closures
During the Air Show period there will be airport and runway closures from time to time, for demo flight purposes. During these periods no aircraft, other than those participating in the flying display, will be permitted to operate.
5. Alternate airports
If you’re not able to secure overnight parking at LFPB, or if your aircraft has a wingspan of more than 42 meters, alternate parking will need to be considered. Pontoise (LFPT) is located just 20 miles from LFPB. Charles de Gaulle (LFPG), 6 miles away, can also be considered. Both provide full service GA support however LFPT has just a 5541 foot runway. LFPT is normally not an AOE and airport hours are usually 0800-2200 local with overtime available upon request. However, during the Paris Air Show period, airport operating hours may be extended at LFPT and the airfield may temporarily be designated an AOE. In the case of LFPG, this is a commercial airport and scheduled commercial flights take priority. Airport slots are needed for LFPG, with -5/+10 minutes deviation, and should be requested as soon as the schedule is known.
6. Accreditation requirements
Accreditation can only be obtained online via a website that just became available. Processing time depends on the number of requests and the personnel doing the processing. Deadline for accreditation is June 12 and any requests received after the deadline may be delayed or rejected. Information and documentation needed to secure accreditation include valid certificates of airworthiness, copies of PIC and SIC passports indicating city and country of birth and valid licenses including type ratings for the type of aircraft that will be flown. If the travel document doesn’t indicate the city and country of birth, it should be clearly noted on the documents sent over. Documentation transmitted may be no more than 1 MB in size as the online system will not accept anything larger. It’s recommended to allow your ground handler to process your accreditation request as the online system requires a dedicated login and password. If you have any questions regarding information/documentation requirements it’s important to clarify this in advance with your handler or the person submitting your request. If your request submission is missing anything it will be denied and you’ll need to submit a new request.
7. SAFA checks
Safety assessment of foreign aircraft (SAFA) checks are conducted at random throughout the European Union (EU), including at LFPB. Best practice, to avoid potential fines, delays and other issues, is to ensure you have all documentation on the SAFA checklist available and organized for inspection.
The only special permission needed to travel to LFPB during the Paris period is prior accreditation. There is a deadline that you need to meet regarding the accreditation to avoid delays or denials. However, be mindful that GA parking will be on a first-come first-serve basis and parking options may run out close to and during the event period. It’s recommended that you submit any parking requests as soon as a schedule is known.
Stay tuned for Part 2, which covers permits, airport slots, customs, and immigration for operations to the Paris Air Show.
If you have any questions or would like assistance planning your trip to the Paris Airshow, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.