Business Aviation Ops Planning: Milan Fashion Week, Fall 2017
This is a post by author Stefano Bruno. Stefano is the station manager for Universal Aviation Italy – Milan-Linate, which has Fixed-Base Operator (FBO) and ground support locations at Rome (LIRA), Venice (LIPZ), Milan-Linate (LIML), and Milan-Malpensa (LIMC). Stefano is an expert on business aircraft operations in Italy. He can be contacted at email@example.com.
Milan Fashion Week is a semi-annual clothing trade show held in Milan during spring and fall. The upcoming September 26-October 3 runway event debuts the latest from different fashion houses for the upcoming Spring/Summer season. Because this is one of the “Big 4” international fashion events, it tends to be a draw for business aviation.
If you are operating to Milan for this event or during this period, we recommend that trip planning arrangements begin as soon as possible. Preferred options for aircraft parking and crew (and pax) accommodations options will be in higher demand.
The following is an overview of what you need to know:
1. Preferred airports
Milan is served by two airports of entry (AOEs). Linate (LIML) and Malpensa (LIMC), about 10 km and 45 km from the city center respectively. Overnight parking is possible at LIMC for any size aircraft. LIML, on the other hand, accepts up to Boeing 767 sized aircraft for short ground stays but restricts overnight parking to aircraft no larger than a Boeing 737-900.
During Milan Fashion Week, general aviation (GA) parking is not expected to be an issue at either airport. LIML has a large West apron available to GA, located close to the general aviation terminal (GAT). Parking spots here are often walking distance to the GAT. Additionally, runway 35/17 has been closed for over a year, and this area is available for overflow parking. Note that all LIML parking stands require push back and aircraft here are often relocated. So, it’s important to leave brakes off when parking. LIMC, on the other hand, has no dedicated GA apron but GA parking is very seldom an issue. Also, most LIMC parking stands do not require push backs some do.
3. Ground handling
LIML’s GAT is conveniently located on the west GA ramp, usually just a 200 meter or so walk from your assigned parking spot to the GAT. While LIML ground handing is available 24 hours the GAT operates 0600-2000 local with overtime possible. To request GAT overtime at LIML a minimum of one hour prior notice is necessary. LIMC also provides ground handling services 24/7, but there’s no GAT at this location and no dedicated GA parking area.
4. Fuel uplifts
Fuel is available 24/7 at both Milan airports. LIML offers Jet A1 and Avgas while LIMC has only Jet A1 available. Fuel uplifts should be requested in advance and confirmed by VHF on approach. Fuel delays of up to 40 minutes are possible at LIMC during peak periods of scheduled commercial operations, typically early morning and late evening. Major aviation and fuel cards are commonly accepted for fuel credit, as are consumer credit cards.
5. Airport security
Airport security and airside access controls are good at both LIML and LIMC, with CCTV surveillance and 24 hour patrols. Private aircraft guards can be arranged, with advance notice, for either airport. In the past it was possible to obtain armed guard services but these days the only available options are unarmed resources.
6. Local transport
For local transport during Milan Fashion Week we recommend prepaid transport (car with driver) or public taxis arranged by either your ground handler or hotel. Rental cars can be obtained at the main terminal of either Milan airport, and there’s one rental car provider who will bring vehicles to the GAT at LIML. Setting up local transport via UBER is also an option. However, note that UBER should be the last option after the recent disruption between taxi drivers and the Italian Transport Ministry vs. the UBER network.
7. Permit requirements
Landing permits are required for charter (non-scheduled commercial) flights with a non-EU registered aircraft and this may involve a lead time of about 45 days for a first time operator.
8. Slot, PPR and ACDM requirements
While neither Milan airport has airport slot or prior permission required (PPR) mandates Airport Collaborative Decision Making (ACDM) is in place at both LIML and LIMC. ACDM procedures are applicable only for departures. This process is designed to better match flight plan departure times with off-the-block times. Your ground handler will assist in making required Target of Block Time (TOBT) requests, and this process usually takes no more than two minutes once passengers are onboard. Should you encounter a flight delay it’s not usually an issue to move requested block times forward or back, to suit changing schedules.
9. CIQ clearance
Customs, immigration and quarantine (CIQ) clearance is always required for arrivals/departures from/to outside the EU. At LIML you’ll clear CIQ within the GAT 0900-1700 local, and this is typically a quick process. For arrivals/departures outside GAT hours it’s often necessary to clear in the main terminal, and this could take up to 30-45 minutes. LIMC has no GAT or FBO and CIQ clearance here takes place 24/7 within Terminal 2. Clearance may require up to 30 minutes during busier periods of scheduled commercial operations as GA passengers clear alongside commercial traffic. Fast track clearance for GA passengers is possible at LIMC but must be requested and confirmed in advance.
10. Passports and visas
All passengers and crew arriving from outside the Schengen region must present passports with validity of at least 90 days beyond intended departure. Depending upon nationality certain passengers may also require Schengen visas to enter Italy and the EU. As visas on arrival are not possible, all passengers requiring visas should obtain these prior to arrival. In some cases passengers without Schengen visas may be permitted to stay in Italy for up to 48 hours, subject to fines of over 1000 Euros.
Active crew irrespective of nationality, do not require visas for Italy so long as they present valid passports and IATA-approved crew IDs. Note that for visa free access crew must be traveling to Italy on duty and not for tourism purposes. A problem sometimes arises when crew do not have ID’s considered to be ‘valid.’ In such cases crew members may also be subject to fines of over 1000 Euros.
11. Hotel options
Preferred hotels in central Milan may be sold out during Milan Fashion Week. However, both 4- and 5-star international chain hotel options are available close to LIML and LIMC, in some cases just by the main terminal. These airport area hotels usually do not sell out during this time of year. Expect to pay 100-200 Euros for 4-star crew accommodations near the airport and 150-500 Euros for preferred 4-star properties close to city center Fashion Week venues.
While we do not expect operators to encounter overnight parking issues at either LIML or LIMC during the upcoming Milan Fashion Week, but it’s always best to confirm parking and required services as early as possible. Be aware of the CIQ, visa and landing permit requirements when traveling to any location in Italy. Also, hotels will be in high demand so it’s recommended that this is obtained in advance.
If you have any questions about this article or would like assistance planning your next trip to Italy, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.