BizAv Trip Planning: 2016 World Economic Forum on Africa in Rwanda
The 2016 World Economic Forum (WEF) on Africa takes place May 11-13 2016 at Camp Kigali, Rwanda. Rwanda, the land of a thousand hills, is emerging as a regional tech hub and boasts one of sub-Sahara Africa’s fastest GDP growth rates. Leaders from across Africa will meet at Kigali to discuss the potential of rapid technological changes in creating new industries and reducing inequality.
If operating your business aircraft to Rwanda for this event, the following is an overview of what you need to know:
1. Primary airport
Kigali (HRYR) is the primary destination for this event, and it’s a 24-hour airport of entry (AOE) with full general aviation (GA) support infrastructure and services available. Drive time from HRYR to Camp Kigali is approximately 45 minutes.
2. Alternate airport
The nearest recommended alternate is Kampala (HUEN), a 24-hour AOE with full support services and credit available. HUEN is about a 50 minute flight, or approximately an eight-and-a-half hour drive, from Kigali. Note that if overnight parking is not possible at HRYR, drop and goes will be permitted prior to repositioning to your alternate. For travel to either HRYR or HUEN we recommend that any special service needs and/or ground support equipment (GSE) be requested and confirmed in advance of the day of operation.
3. Rwanda landing permits
Landing permits are needed for travel to Rwanda and are processed by the Rwandan Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) during normal Monday-Friday 0800-1600 local operating hours. Permit lead time is five business days for private non-revenue and seven business days for charter (non-scheduled commercial). Short notice permits for Rwanda are possible at CAA’s discretion. However, in this region it’s usually best to try to provide at least seven days lead time.
4. Permit requests
Permits for Rwanda should be requested via your 3rd-party provider or local ground handler, and a special application form must be used for permit requests. Required details include standard aircraft, crew and passenger information. While no documentation needs to be submitted with landing permit applications, evidence of valid worldwide liability insurance must always be available onboard the aircraft. Once a permit is approved, the confirmation number should be placed in remarks section 18 of your flight plan. Validity of landing permits is + 72 hours.
5. Permit revisions
Permit revisions are required for operations outside of the permit validity or for changes to origin/destination or aircraft registry.
6. Airport slots, PPRs and NOTAMs
Although airport slots and prior permission required (PPR) are not normally needed for HRYR, PPRs are anticipated to be in place over the WEF period, and these will likely impact overnight parking options. HRYR normally has a NOTAM in effect regarding an airport curfew between 0000 and 0500 UTC. It’s anticipated that the night operating curfew will be removed during the WEF period, but operators should re-confirm this closer to the event.
7. Access and parking
As the WEF is a particularly large local event, overnight parking could be a concern. Additionally, due to many head of state and high level VIP movements there will likely be operating and parking restrictions to consider. However, drop-and-goes will be possible if overnight parking is not available at HRYR.
8. CIQ and visa considerations
Customs, immigration, and quarantine (CIQ) clearance will involve standard processes during the period of this event, and you’ll clear in the main terminal. Currently, due to outbreaks of yellow fever in the area, authorities require that all travelers have yellow fever vaccination completed prior to arrival with at least 10 days incubation. For persons arriving without this vaccination, you will be able to obtain this service at the airport. Also, note that malaria prevention measures are recommended when traveling here.
Certain passenger nationalities require visas for Rwanda. These must be requested online, prior to travel, and are physically provided to you upon arrival. Note that crew members, regardless of nationality, may enter Rwanda without visas for stays of up to 72 hours. If crew need to stay in country longer it’s important to check on specific requirements for longer stays.
9. Hotels and local transport
There are 4- and 5-star hotels are available in downtown Kigali, including a couple of international brand hotels. Be mindful that hotels will be in high demand over the WEF period, with increased room prices and extended cancellation policies likely. For local travel prepaid transport (car with driver) is recommended, but you can arrange hotel shuttles to/from the airport. Secure transport options are available, but as these will be in high demand, it’s important to get requests in early.
For those planning to attend the WEF on Africa we recommend beginning the trip planning process as early as possible. Aside from permit, airport slot and PPR requirements, there are visa considerations, security assessments and hotel/local transport arrangements to be mindful of. As operations at HRYR will be busier than normal over this period, with assorted VVIP and head of state movements likely causing occasional delays, it’s best to provide your 3rd-party provider and ground handler with as much advance notice as possible.
If you have any questions about this article or would like assistance planning your trip to Rwanda, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.