7 Tips for Business Jet Operators Flying to the British Grand Prix
The 2012 Formula 1 Santander British Grand Prix takes place at Silverstone, which is about 90 minutes northwest of London, on July 6 – 8, 2012. Few sporting occasions match the intensity, glamour, and drama of the Formula 1 Santander British Grand Prix, and visitors can look forward to a full weekend of great racing. Several options are available for business aviation jet access to the event. In general, it’s always best to make arrangements and book aircraft parking as early as possible. If you are a business jet operator flying to the event, here are some tips to help you in your planning.
1. Luton (EGGW) or Coventry (EGBE) will be the best airport option for most operators
First choice for many operators will be Luton (EGGW) or Coventry (EGBE), as both are airports of entry (AOE). Another option is Oxford (EGTK), which is an AOE on request. Full services are available at all locations and can be arranged on credit. Contract fuel is also available at all three locations. Aviation fuel cards are accepted at EGGW, EGTK, and EGBE. These airports are relatively close to Silverstone and the race track. Once you’ve selected your airport, aircraft parking should be requested as soon as possible. There may be limited aircraft parking options close to the date of the event.
2. Airport slots are required for EGGW
EGGW operates 24 hours a day for Stage 3 aircraft. Stage 2 operations are restricted to Monday through Saturday, 0600-2300 local, and Sunday, 0700-2300 local. Strict noise regulations require that aircraft reach an altitude of 1,000 feet within 3.5 NM of takeoff. Airport slots are necessary for all arrivals/departures, but prior permission required (PPR) is not necessary. Airport slot deviation is -15/+30 minutes.
3. PPRs are required at EGBE for non-based aircraft
EGBE operates Monday-Friday, 0700-2000 local, and Saturday-Sunday, 0900-1900 local. However, general aviation (GA) operations are limited to Monday-Friday, 0800-1700 local, with limited ATC, and Saturday-Sunday, 0900-1700 local, with no ATC CATII services. PPRs are required for all non-based aircraft with maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) of 30,000 kilos (66,000 pounds) and above. The reason for the PPR requirement at EGBE is to assist with aircraft- parking allocation.
4. EGTK is an AOE only upon request
For international arrivals, it’s necessary to request to make EGTK an AOE. PPRs are required, and 24hours’ notice is necessary at this location. Airport operating hours are 0630-2230 local. Keep in mind that the runway is somewhat short at 6,588 ft.
5. Hotel and ground transportation arrangements must be made in advance
As this is a large and popular event, hotels in the Silverstone vicinity will be in high demand and options may be limited. Be aware that hotel prices will increase during the Grand Prix period, and you may be faced with non-refundable deposits and extended cancellation policies. Work with your local ground handler to explore alternative accommodation options in the event that local hotels are fully occupied. Ground transportation should also be booked in advance, as these resources will also be in high demand.
6. Landing permits are required for all charter (non-scheduled commercial) operations
Official lead time on landing permits for charter operations is five working days, but a minimum of 48 hours’ notification must be provided prior to your scheduled departure. Documentation requirements include an Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC), certificates of registration and airworthiness, aerodrome operating minima, and a letter stating that your aircraft has an Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System (EGPWS). Department for Transport (DFT) operating hours are Monday-Friday, 0900-1700 local, with short notice approvals at the discretion of DFT but most likely not a viable option. An out-of-hours duty officer is available on weekends for emergencies only. Keep in mind that landing permit revisions are necessary for some schedule, crew, and passenger changes. In most cases, a time delay within 24 hours of scheduled departure is just a matter of notifying DFT. All charter operators to the UK should be aware that any proposed flight involving cabotage (4th, 5th, 6th or 7th freedoms) must allow local charter operators 24 hours to file an objection. As this regulatory requirement is unique to the UK, it’s recommended that operators talk with their 3rd-party provider regarding requirements and possible operating limitations.
7. Additional information is available online
The British Grand Prix has a long history at Silverstone. More about this event can be found here.
As is the case with most major international events, the best options in terms of airport parking, hotels, and local transport are usually available to those who plan and make reservations early. Should you need to organize a last-minute trip to the 2012 Formula 1 Santander Grand Prix, however, an experienced local ground handler should be able to find ways to accommodate your flight.