2016 St Petersburg Int’l Economic Forum – Part 2: Permits, Slots & Operating Considerations
This is a post by author Dmitry Konovalov. Dmitry is general director for Universal Aviation Russia – Khabarovsk, based in Khabarovsk (UHHH), which provides 24/7 coordination of flight permits and ground handling services throughout Russia. Dmitry is an expert on business aircraft operations in Russia and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This business aviation blog post continues from our article last week, entitled “2016 St Petersburg Int’l Economic Forum – Part 1: Airports & Parking.“
Customs, immigration, and quarantine (CIQ) and operating procedures at St. Petersburg (ULLI) are straight-forward and not particularly onerous. However, it’s recommended to work closely with your 3rd-party provider and/or ground handler to ensure arrival processing, airport slots, and any required permit revisions go smoothly for the for the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) period, taking place June 16-18.
Below is what you need to know:
1. Russia landing permits
Landing permits are mandatory for flights to Russia, with typical permit lead time of one business day for private non-revenue flights and three business days for charter (non-scheduled commercial). However, during the busy SPIEF period we recommend allowing additional lead time for processing landing requests. Permits remain valid from 0000 UTC on the approved day to + 48 hours. Permit revisions are needed for schedule changes outside the validity window; changes to origin/destination/routing; and, in cases of call sign changes, for charter aircraft with more than 19 seats.
2. Permit documentation
Landing permit requests must be accompanied with the following documents:
- aircraft airworthiness and registration certificates
- worldwide insurance
- noise certificate
- in certain cases you may also need to provide an airworthiness review certificate and/or specific evidence of liability insurance for damage caused to third parties
3. Airport slots, PPRs and local restrictions
Airport slots are required for general aviation (GA) flights operating into/out of ULLI, but there are currently no prior permission required (PPR) mandates in place. The airport slot deviation is +/- 30 minutes. Note that airport slots for stays longer than two hours will not be granted if parking is not available. Be aware that slot times are strictly enforced and flights must always be performed in accordance with airport slot confirmations. It’s not necessary to enter slot confirmation numbers in flight plans. Due to heavy congestion and slot restrictions over the SPIEF period we recommend that operators avoid changing approved slots. Should an operator miss a slot, or arrive without an airport slot, repercussions often depend upon who’s onboard. Flights with VVIP passengers may be permitted to land, but other operations could experience significant delays or prohibition from landing. NOTAMs, indicating temporary operating restrictions for ULLI, are expected to be published four-to-six weeks prior to the event.
4. Visa requirements
While it had been possible to obtain visas on arrival at this location in the past, this is no longer an option. Penalties for arriving in Russia without a valid visa are severe. Expect personal fines of 100 USD and two-to-three hours’ time lost for assorted document processing, followed by deportation. In addition, the handling company responsible for the flight carrying the visa-less person may be fined 5,000 USD.
5. CIQ documentation
To clear CIQ you’ll need to present valid passports, visas, arrival/departure cards – a form with two identical parts, both of which must be completed in either English or Russian – crew IDs, and at least three copies of the gen dec. Ground handlers can assist in pre-filling out arrival/departure cards and, if requested, will help complete required gen decs as well.
6. CIQ procedures
Upon international arrival you’ll need to turn in arrival/departure cards and visas. Passengers and crew then proceed to passport control, and it’s important to ensure you choose a line designated for foreign nationals. Border Control officers will take your passport and arrival card, stamp both of them, and retain one half of the arrival/departure card. CIQ clearance for GA at ULLI takes place within the Business Aviation Terminal, at Pulkovo-3. Be aware that it’s not possible to clear CIQ onboard your aircraft. It generally takes no more than 10-15 minutes for passengers and crew to clear CIQ at ULLI. Also, no fees are associated with CIQ clearance.
7. Prohibited flights
Currently there’s a prohibition in effect barring direct flights between Russia and 1) Turkey, 2) Ukraine and 3) Georgia.
8. Hotels and local transport
Preferred 4- and 5-star hotels, particularly popular international chain brands, will be in short supply over the SPIEF period, with higher room pricing and extended cancellation policies likely. We recommend booking crew hotel accommodations as soon as you’ve received your airport slot and parking confirmations. For ground transport within the St. Petersburg area, it’s recommended to arrange for pre-paid transport (car with driver), via your ground handler.
Due to the heavy traffic expected at this airport for this event, aircraft parking and airport slots will be in high demand. It’s always important to be mindful of visa requirements for passengers and crew when arriving at ULLI. Also, hotels and transportation should be booked in advance, one the parking and airport slots are confirmed, in order to avoid sold out situations.
If you have any questions about this article or would like assistance planning your next trip to Russia, contact me at email@example.com.