BizAv Ops Planning: Fortune Global Forum in Guangzhou – Airports, Permits, Curfews & Ground Handling
This is a post by author Cynthia Zhang. Cynthia serves as Managing Director for Universal Aviation China, which has aircraft ground handling facilities in Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou. Cynthia can be contacted at email@example.com.
The Fortune Global Forum brings together world leaders and leaders of global multinationals December 6-8 in Guangzhou. One of the most influential economic forums held worldwide, this event promises to bring a heavy influx of general aviation (GA) to China’s southern gateway to the world.
If you are planning on operating into Guangzhou during this event, the following is an overview of what you need to know:
1. Primary airport
Primary airport for this event is Guangzhou (ZGGG). This is a full service 24-hour airport of entry (AOE) with fuel, in-flight catering, a brand new fixed-base operator (FBO) and credit available.
2. Airport restrictions
It’s likely that either the Civil Aviation Authority of China (CAAC) or the airport authority will impose some level of operating restrictions during the Fortune Global Forum period. Based on previous experience, GA aircraft coming to ZGGG during this period, but not arriving specifically for this event, may not have overnight parking options Dec 6-8. If restrictions are imposed this may occur just a week or so prior to the event, via official notice from CAAC and/or the airport authority. Note that priority for airport slots, parking and ground services will be given to aircraft including business jets coming for the Fortune Global Forum event. If you’re landing at ZGGG during this period, and not coming for the Forum, you may be subject to restrictions.
3. Permit and sponsor requirements
Landing permits are needed for all operations into China, with official lead time of three business days. However, for this event one business day should be sufficient lead time to obtain permits. While sponsor letters are no longer normally required for GA operations to China, an invitation letter (from the Forum) will be needed for CAAC to verify flight purpose of the GA operation to ZGGG during the Forum period.
4. Permit limitations and revisions
For GA operations to China be aware that you’re limited to a maximum of five mainland stops per permit. While it’s best practice to limit permit revisions to a maximum of two after the permit is confirmed, when operating to and within China, we don’t expect permit revisions to be an issue for attendees of the Fortune Global Forum.
5. Parking availability
If you’re attending this event as an official guest we expect that overnight aircraft parking will be readily available. Parking ramp areas at ZGGG have been significantly extended and parking issues are unlikely.
6. Operating curfews
ZGGG normally has a daily curfew on business aircraft operations between 0700 and 0900 local daily. It’s possible that this restriction may be temporarily removed by CAAC during the Fortune Global Forum period. In this case you’ll be able to land/takeoff 24/7.
7. Ground Handling
CAAC underwent a thorough vetting process to appoint several ground handlers to supervisory support on the ramp for the influx of GA traffic. Universal Aviation China is among those selected.
8. CIQ procedures
At this time customs, immigration and quarantine (CIQ) is cleared within the main terminal at ZGGG. However, the new FBO which is currently under construction and should be open and operating by early December, will offer a new clearance option for crew and passengers. With the new FBO, operators will be able to clear CIQ quickly and efficiently within the FBO in a 10-15 minute process. Universal Aviation China and other appointed ground handlers will be able to escort crew and passengers through this process. Be mindful that on any international arrival into China crew must not open the aircraft door until directed by an immigration officer. This is a permanent and strictly enforced regulation across China.
9. Hotels and local transport
Although many preferred hotels may be sold out during this period we do not anticipate issues in obtaining 4-star crew accommodations in the Guangzhou area during the Forum period. A wide range of hotel options is available, including international chain brands, with average price of 4-star accommodations in the city about 150 USD. For local transport your handler can assist with arrangement for car and driver services.
10. Parking alternates
If you’re not able to obtain overnight parking at ZGGG alternates to consider include Shenzhen (ZGSZ), Xiamen (ZSAM) and Nanning (ZGNN). These are all AOEs with full GA support services including fuel, credit, in-flight catering and ample overnight GA parking. Note that none of these alternate locations have FBOs. Passengers and crew will need to clear CIQ within the main terminals. Road travel time from ZGSZ to Guangzhou is about two hours by car, while it’s about a one hour flight from either ZSAM or ZGNN to Guangzhou.
In order to ensure preferred parking and service options during the Fortune Global Forum period it’s best to make requests, and confirm ground handling arrangements, at least a week prior. Work closely with your local handler and trip support provider to confirm any last minute operating curfews that may be imposed prior to the event. Providing a sponsor letter along with your landing permit request will help ensure there will be no issues in obtaining overnight parking at ZGGG.
If you have any questions about this article or would like assistance planning your next trip to China, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.