BizAv Tips: Business Aircraft Operations to (or over) Cyprus
When overflying Cyprus – or landing for destination/ tech stop purposes – there are several operating considerations to be mindful of. Cyprus, a member state of the European Union (EU), is the third largest island in the Mediterranean and a popular business and tourism destination.
The following is an overview of what you need to know:
1. Know available airport options
Primary airports for Cyprus are Larnaca (LCLK) and Paphos (LCPH), with fewer operators traveling to Akrotiri (LCRA). LCLK and LCPH are 24/7 airports of entry (AOE) with round the clock availability of aircraft support services. Both make great tech stops for operators traveling through the region with no airport slots or prior permission required (PPR) needed. LCRA, on the other hand, is a military run domestic only airfield with a lead time of 48 hour for a required PPR. Credit for services can be arranged at all three airports with prior notice. Nicosia (LCEN) is located in the Turkish occupied territory of Cyprus and is not an ICAO recognized airfield. This airport may only be used by Turkish registered aircraft operating between Turkey and Cyprus or vice versa. No other aircraft are permitted to utilize this airfield. Cyprus is a popular aircraft parking alternative for operators traveling to Middle East destinations – such as Beirut (OLBA) or Tel-Aviv (LLBG) – who may not feel comfortable leaving their aircraft on the “mainland.”
2. Be aware of permit requirements
Overflight and landing permits are required for all operations to Cyprus. Note that permits are needed for the entire Nicosia FIR, not just the Cyprus landmass. EU-registered aircraft receive automatic permit approvals, but a request must be sent to CAA. When making Cyprus permit requests be sure to provide full crew/passenger information, aircraft details, and complete schedule. No local business contact information, however, is needed when operating to or over Cyprus. Permits are valid for +/- three days. When requesting permits it’s best to indicate your purpose in visiting Cyprus and the relation of each passenger with the aircraft/operator. Your ground handler will normally provide this information, in advance, to ensure local authorities do not have any objections to the flight. There are currently no cabotage restrictions for Cyprus.
3. CIQ considerations
Note that you’ll need to arrange customs overtime if you intend to clear CIQ at LCLK after 1430 local on weekdays and anytime on the weekends. At least 24 hours’ notice is recommended to coordinate overtime. In the case of LCLK, a copy of your aircraft type certificate must be furnished to local authorities on arrival.
4. You may not fly between Cyprus and Turkey
General aviation (GA) aircraft are not permitted to operate directly between Cyprus and Turkey or to overfly the airspace of both countries. There are no exceptions to this rule.
5. CAA operating hours
Official permit processing time is three business days with shorter notice permit requests at the discretion of CAA. Cyprus CAA is diligent about processing permits during normal 0730-1430 local Monday through Friday. While duty officers are available for after hour and weekend operations, permit processing time tends to slow down during these periods.
6. CAA closed for public holidays
Cyprus CAA permit office is closed on public holidays. However, permits may be obtained via the local AIS as it remains open during holidays. The following are some public holidays in Cyprus where CAA will close:
- New Year’s Day – 1 January
- Epiphany – 6 January
- Clean Monday – date variable
- Greek Independence Day – 25 March
- Cyprus National Day – 1 April
- Good Friday – date variable
- Holy Saturday – date variable
- Easter Sunday – date variable
- Easter Monday – date variable
- Easter Tuesday – date variable
- Labor Day – 1 May
- Pentecost Monday – date variable
- Dormition of the Theotokos – 15 August
- Cyprus Independence Day – 1 October
- Greek National Day – 28 October
- Christmas Eve – 24 December
- Christmas Day – 25 December
- Boxing Day – 26 December
7. Hotel, local transport and security considerations
Availability of 4- and 5-star crew accommodations is plentiful in Cyprus. Sold out situations isn’t usually an issue, but may occur during summer high season – particularly August. For local travel, pre-paid transport (car with driver) is available, and rental vehicles can be coordinated via your ground handler. Most ground handlers provide local transportation with their own cars, vans, and/or limousines. Rental vehicles are only recommended if you are familiar with the area. Note that private vehicle ramp access and planeside pick-up is not possible in Cyprus. In terms of security, Cyprus is a low risk country, and security at all airports is adequate.
Always allow sufficient advance notification to arrange required overflight or landing permits for Cyprus. Be mindful that if after hours customs clearance is required at LCLK overtime arrangements need to be coordinated in advance. When operating to the military airport – LCRA – allow at least 48 hours’ notice to obtain a required PPR.
If you have any questions about this article or would like assistance in arranging your next trip to Cyprus, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.