BizAv Trip Planning: 2016 Russian Grand Prix – Part 2: Permits, Slots, CIQ and Local Area

PT 4 M minute read
BizAv Trip Planning: 2016 Russian Grand Prix – Part 2: Permits, Slots, CIQ and Local Area

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

This business aviation blog post continues from our article last week, titled “BizAv Trip Planning: 2016 Russian Grand Prix – Part 1: Airports & Parking.

Landing permits procedures and lead time for Russia are relatively straight-forward, and airport slots will be available for general aviation (GA) operations to Sochi (URSS) during the Russian Grand Prix period (April 27 ndash; May 2). However, be mindful that approved slots may not be at the time you request and revising a slot time may be challenging.

If you are planning on operating into the area during this event, the following is an overview of what you need to know:

1. Landing permits

All private non-revenue and charter (non-scheduled commercial) flights to Russia require landing permits, issued by the Russian Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). In the case of private non-revenue flights, the minimum lead time for permit requests is one business day, and it is three business days for charter operators. Permit validity is 0000 Zulu on the day of arrival until 48 hours ahead of the original schedule. Mandatory information to be submitted for permit requests includes:

  • airworthiness and registration certificate
  • worldwide insurance certificate
  • noise certificate
  • in some cases, an airworthiness review certificate and/or liability insurance for damage caused to third parties
  • airport slot confirmation

2. Permit revisions

Permit revisions usually involve at least one business day lead time and are required in cases of schedule changes, revisions outside the validity period, origin/destination changes, routing changes and ndash; in the case of charters with more than 19 seats ndash; call-sign or registry changes.

3. Airport slots

To obtain URSS airport slots, operators must provide airport authorities (via the ground handler) with the schedule, aircraft information along with a complete passenger list, and the name of the company for which the flight is being performed. Once an airport slot is approved, parking is also confirmed. So, there is no need to make separate parking requests. Slot confirmations are in the form of an AFTN message, granting the slot for a particular time. Please note that this “particular time” will often not match requested slot times. In this case you may request a different slot time. However, if a new proposed slot time is approved, you must reply with acceptance within three business days, or the slot will be cancelled. No slot confirmation numbers need to be noted on flight plans. It is recommended that you avoid submitting changes to slots, due to the possibility of losing any slots for travel to this event.

4. CIQ procedures

Customs, immigration, and quarantine (CIQ) clearance for passengers on private non-revenue and charter flights will be in the VIP terminal. Crew clearance takes place either in the VIP terminal or the main terminal. Clearance at URSS takes approximately 10-15 minutes. Customs declarations, as well as immigration cards, must be completed and submitted, and your ground hander can assist, upon advance request.

5. Visa requirements

Passengers and crew must obtain any required visas prior to landing at URSS. It’s not possible to process or obtain visas on arrival at this location. For those arriving without required visas, personal fines of about 100 USD/person will be imposed, and you’ll face two to three hours of document processing prior to deportation. At a later date the company responsible for the crew or passengers arriving without visas will be fined about 5000 USD.

6. Hotel considerations

There are many 4- and 5-star hotel options available in the Sochi area, but these will be in very high demand over the Russian Grand Prix period, with higher pricing and extended cancellation policies. It’s important to work with your 3rd-party provider and/or ground handler to secure crew accommodation as early as possible.

7. Local transport

It’s recommended that prepaid transport (car with driver) be arranged via your ground handler with as much advance notice as possible. Due to security considerations, it’s unlikely that local authorities will permit helicopter transfers between the airport and/or hotels and the race circuit.

8. In-flight catering options

In-flight catering is available at URSS, but it’s important to provide at least 24 hours lead time for any catering orders. For special or very specific catering requests we recommend providing at least 48 hours advance notification.

9. Additional information

For more information on the Russian Grand Prix see:


Landing permits are required for all traveling to Russia. Also, as this is a large event for URSS, airport slots will be required for all arrivals and departures. It’s important that the slots are requested in advance and operators understand that they confirmation times will likely not match the requests due to the congestion that’s expected. Last, for any crew or passengers traveling to this event, it’s important to ensure that visas are obtained prior to arrival, as authorities will not permit any persons without such documentation into the country.

Universal and Universal Aviation are not associated in any way with the Formula One group of companies. F1, FORMULA ONE, FORMULA 1, FIA FORMULA ONE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP, GRAND PRIX, and related marks are trademarks of Formula One Licensing B.V.


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

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