Business Aircraft Operations to Geneva during EBACE 2014 – Planning Tips
The European Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition (EBACE) takes place May 20-22, 2014. During this period there will be aircraft parking restrictions in place for Geneva. Local fixed-base operators are preparing for an influx of General Aviation (GA) traffic, but there will be certain operating limitations to be mindful of during this period.
The following is an overview of what you need to know:
1. LSGG is the primary airport
Geneva (LSGG) is the preferred parking option for operators attending EBACE. Alternate airports – including Lyon (LFLL), Zurich (LSZH), Milan Linate (LIML), and Basel (LFSB) – are located some distance from Geneva.
2. Aircraft parking issues at LSGG
Be aware that there will be parking issues at LSGG during the EBACE period for non-static display aircraft. You may need to drop, go, and reposition to alternate airfields. A0076/14 NOTAM specifies Prior Permission Required (PPR) mandates and highlights GA parking restrictions at LSGG. Be aware that GA operators may park for only one night during the EBACE period unless local maintenance arrangements have been confirmed in advance, or you have a private hangar arranged. If you’ve made such arrangements, you’ll need to provide specific details in order to obtain an exemption from airport authorities for stays of longer than one night. Aircraft parking limitations do not apply to aircraft that will be in the EBACE static display and for which permission has been obtained from the event organizer.
3. LSGG considerations/requirements
Landing permits for Switzerland are only required for charter (non-scheduled commercial), military, and diplomatic flights, as well as for flights by aircraft on experimental or special airworthiness certificates. Landing permit lead time is five business days, and required documentation includes aircraft registration, airworthiness, and insurance certificates. Note that for aircraft on experimental or special airworthiness certificates, you’ll also need to provide your “flight limitations section” for Civil Aviation Authority to review. LSGG accepts Stage 3 GA operations 0600-2200 local. Airport overtime is not possible at this location. Be aware that unless you’re on approach, early enough to taxi to your parking position by 2200 local, air traffic control will divert you to an alternate airport. Be aware that aircraft on approach to LSGG at 2145 local are routinely turned away. Note that LSGG mandates airport slots as a standard requirement. In addition, PPR is needed for operations during the ski season and during the EBACE period.
4. Additional LSSG considerations
Full aircraft services are available at LSGG, along with credit for all services, with prior arrangement. Exemptions for Stage 2 operations are possible if the aircraft is arriving for maintenance work and operates Monday-Friday between 0900 and 1900 local. Note that Stage 2 exemptions are not possible for weekend operations. Best practice is to bring a tow bar when operating GA aircraft to this location.
5. Airport slot/PPR specifics
In general, 72 hours’ lead time is recommended when requesting airport slots and PPR (when needed) for LSGG. During the EBACE period, however, it’s best to request slots/PPR as early as possible, due to limited parking availability. Once PPR/slots are issued, a confirmation number will be provided, and this must be placed in remarks section 18 of your International Civil Aviation Organization flight plan. Without this notation your flight plan will be denied, and you’ll have to re-file. On average six to nine airport slots are available, per hour, depending on the traffic at LSGG, and these are provided in 19-minute block times. The first slot is 0-19, second slot is 20-39, and third slot is 40-59 minutes past the hour.
6. Parking alternates
All four suggested alternate airports – LZSH, LFLL, LIML, and LFSB – are airports of entry, with full services, full credit availability (with prior arrangement), and good local hotel options. Although aircraft parking is not anticipated to be an issue at LIML, parking ramps may fill up quickly at LSZH and LFLL. If your aircraft is not part of the EBACE static display, you may need to plan to drop, go, and reposition to an alternate airfield. If the crew wishes to attend EBACE, it’s best to plan on staying at LSSG, assuming you’re able to secure the airport slots and PPR, for one night prior to repositioning.
7. LSGG CIQ/security screening
Passengers/crew clear Customs, Immigration, and Quarantine (CIQ) at LSGG’s general aviation terminal called “C3.” This process, applicable for non-Schengen flights, usually takes 5-10 minutes. Visas for Switzerland are needed for certain passenger/crew nationalities, and it’s best to confirm visa requirements prior to each trip. If visas are required, these should be Schengen-type visas and must be obtained prior to arrival in Switzerland. If you’re traveling with a pet, be sure to verify temporary animal import documentation requirements with your 3rd-party provider, or local ground handler, well in advance of day of operation. CIQ and security screening delays are not anticipated during EBACE. In terms of security screening, passengers and crew go through metal detectors while luggage is screened by X-ray. Note that first-time operators to LSGG must complete a form, with full aircraft details, and present aircraft documents for airport database billing purposes. Your ground handler can complete this form for you in advance.
8. Aviation fuel uplifts
It’s recommended to fuel at LSGG on arrival, particularly if you plan on departing May 22, the last day of EBACE, as movements are expected to be higher than normal on that day. Be aware that fuel prices in Switzerland are typically higher than average due to value-added tax and mineral oil tax, which are applicable to private non-revenue operations.
9. Hotels and local transport
Room rates in Geneva will be higher than usual during the EBACE period, and extended cancellation policies may be in place. Shortages of local transport options are not expected, as transportation companies will re-position vehicles/drivers to Geneva from the surrounding area. Prices for local transport services, however, may be higher than normal during EBACE.
As LSGG will be particularly busy over the EBACE period, it’s important to request airport slots, PPR, and parking as soon as your schedule is known. Be aware, also, that handling costs at LSGG are typically higher than at other destinations in Europe.
If you have any questions about this article or would like assistance planning your next trip to Geneva, contact me at email@example.com.