Aircraft Parking Complexities – Challenging Locations

PT 4 M minute read
Aircraft Parking Complexities – Challenging Locations

This business aviation blog post continues from our article last week, titled “Aircraft Parking Complexities – Top Considerations.

Certain airports around the world are known for their aircraft parking issues – either in terms of year round general aviation (GA) parking limitations or restricted parking availability during peak hours and times of major local events. Your 3rd-party provider, and local ground handler, are great resources in terms of helping you source aircraft parking opportunities and avoid potential parking issues.

Below we cover some of the common destinations with recurring challenges.

1. Italian Riviera and Greek islands

During summer months aircraft parking may be an issue along the northern Mediterranean coastline. Prior permission required (PPR) is needed for operations to Venice (LIPZ), Milan (LIML), Florence (LIRQ) and Verona (LIPX), while Olbia (LIEO) requires a parking request that must be sent in advance. Be aware that Rome Ciampino (LIRA) is usually very busy during summer months, and a PPR is needed. Also, for LIRA airport slots are required for charter flights with configuration seats over 19 passengers. Italy mandates landing permits for all charter (non-scheduled commercial) movements.

While Greece does not require landing permits for either private non-revenue or charter operations, aircraft parking must be requested in advance when operating to certain island destinations. Available alternates, when popular Greek islands run out of parking, include Athens (LGAV) and Thessaloniki (LGTS). Note that due to high congestion at many Greek islands, airport slots are needed. For more information on airport slots, see our article titled “UPDATE: Regulatory Changes for Greece: New GA Airport Slot Requirements.”

2. The airport at Nice fills up

Nice (LFMN) is congested during summer months and occasionally runs out of aircraft parking availability – particularly in May during Cannes Film Festival and Monaco Grand Prix events. Note that no PPR or airport slots are needed for LFMN airport alternatives – such as Basel (LFSB), Genoa (LIMJ) and LIML.

3. Hong Kong is busy all year round

Hong Kong (VHHH) always seems to have congested parking, and the situation here has become increasingly more restrictive. Landing permits, along with airport slots and PPR, are required for all flights. Best alternate option is Macau (VMMC) where landing permits and airport slots are also needed. Unfortunately, VMMC also runs out of parking from time to time, so operators may need to consider relocating aircraft to the Philippines.

4. Some Caribbean locations run out of parking during high season

St Maarten (TNCM) is somewhat notorious for running out of aircraft parking availability during the peak winter season. For parking alternates consider San Juan (TJSJ), Aruba (TNCA), Bridgetown (TBPB) and Antigua (TAPA). These locations have no airport slot or PPR requirements, but advance parking requests are necessary.

5. GA operations are restricted at MMMX

Mexico City (MMMX) does not permit GA operations with the exception of head of state and approved diplomatic flights and landings for maintenance work (with prior approval). The alternate is Toluca (MMTO) where no airport slots or PPRs are required. Mexico requires landing permits for all flights.

6. OMDB has become more of a parking challenge

Dubai Intl (OMDB) is a very busy commercial airport, and GA airport slot applications are often denied. The best alternate, and the location local aviation authorities would prefer you to land, is Dubai Al Maktoum (OMDW) where airport slots are needed. Other recommended alternates include Sharjah (OMSJ) and Abu Dhabi (OMAA). Note that the United Arab Emirates requires landing permits for all private non-revenue and charter flights.

7. Consider LSZH parking alternates during World Economic Forum (WEF)

Parking at Zurich (LSZH) is especially challenging each January during the Davos World Economic Forum (WEF). Airport slots are required for all operations and slots are tied in with parking approval. Recommended alternate for LSZH is Friedrichshafen (EDNY) – about a two hour drive away. EDNY requires PPR, and parking here also tends to fill up during the WEF period. Another alternate to consider is LFSB. Be aware that Switzerland requires permits for all charter flights other than European Union (EU) registered aircraft arriving from within the EU.

8. Mumbai also has parking issues

Don’t be surprised if overnight or longer term parking is not available at busy Mumbai (VABB). While there are no practical close airport alternates available, operators can consider parking at Ahmadabad (VAAH). Although this location is 275 miles from Mumbai, good crew accommodation options are available nearby. Be aware that India requires landing permits for all flights.

9. Sao Paulo and Buenos Aires parking considerations

Sao Paulo Guarulhos (SBGR) is extremely tight on parking year round, and PPR is necessary. Alternates, in the event you cannot obtain overnight parking at SBGR, include Congonhas (SBSP), Campinas (SBKP), and Rio de Janeiro (SBGL). Note that SBSP is not an airport of entry (AOE), and airport slots, but no PPR, are required. SBKP requires a PPR for all arrivals. SBGL is located farther out from Sao Paulo. However, aircraft parking is usually available, and no PPR or airports slots are needed.

Buenos Aires Jorge Newbery (SABE) is a domestic only airport and requires a PPR to make it an AOE. Also, note that GA aircraft with a capacity of less than 30 passengers will never be approved to travel to SABE unless it’s a government official, ambulance, or common wealth flight. However, overnight parking is available at Buenos Aires Ezeiza (SAEZ), and it’s an AOE. Landing permits for Argentina are only required for certain larger aircraft – “C” class and above.


Be aware of destination parking restrictions as well as how to request aircraft parking at particular airfields. These are key elements in successful trip planning. Sometimes parking is granted by way of a PPR request, and in other cases, parking is tied in with airport slot requests. At many airports, however, it’s standard procedure to request parking separately from permit, slot and PPR procedures. Best practice is to work with your 3rd-party provider and local ground handler, well in advance, to be aware of all parking options and potential challenges.


If you have any questions about this article or would like assistance planning your next trip, contact me at

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