Canada Formula 1 Grand Prix – Tips for Business Aircraft Operators
Several good airport options are available for business aircraft operators intending to visit the Canada Formula 1 Grand Prix which runs July 7-9 at the Circuit Gilles Villeneaux in Montreal. Here’s some information to help you with your trip planning:
1. There are 3 primary airports to consider for the Canada F1 Grand Prix
Three airports in the Montreal area can be considered when traveling to the Canadian Grand Prix. Pierre Elliot Trudeau Intl (CYUL) is 30 minutes from the race track, Montreal Intl (Mirabel) (CYMX) is about one hour from the track, and St. Hubert (CYHU) is an approximately 30-minute ride from the race circuit. All three are Airports of Entry (AOEs).
2. CYUL is first choice for the venue
CYUL operates 24 hours for Stage 3 aircraft of less than 45,000 kg. Aircraft that are Stage 3 but weigh more than 45,000 kg are banned for arrivals and departures between 0100-0700 local. Stage 2 aircraft may operate 0700-2330 local for arrivals and 0700-2300 local for departures. Customs is available 24/7 at this location. Best practice is to request aircraft parking early, as traffic volumes will be elevated during the Canada Grand Prix period. Airport authorities haven’t imposed any airport slot requirements for this event. With prior arrangement, ground handling and 4th-party services can be set up via credit.
3. CYMX is another good option
CYMX is a 24-hour AOE with no requirement for either airport slots or PPRs. Ground handling and 4th-party services can be arranged in advance via credit. Customs is available for general aviation but is only available for aircraft with a maximum number 15 of people (crew and passengers) onboard. Normal customs operating hours are 0800-1700 local, seven days a week, with overtime available until 2000 local with prior arrangement. Note that overtime charges apply for all after-hours customs requests.
4. CYHU doesn’t have customs on weekends
CYHU is a 24/7 airport; however, customs is only available Monday-Friday, 0800-2200 local and is closed on weekends and holidays. CANPASS accepts aircraft with a maximum of 15 people onboard (this number includes crew) and operators must adhere to CANPASS procedures. If you’re scheduled for an international arrival outside of normal customs hours, you will need to operate to CYUL.
05/24/2013: Thank you to Bill Singleton for the corrections above
5. Landing permits are required for charter flights to Canada
Requirements for charter operations into and out of Canada depend on many different variables. For more information on charter landing permits, please visit our article titled "Canada Permit Requirement for Bizav Operators."
6. Additional information for Canada
Canada has cabotage issues to consider, and regulations pertain to both private non-revenue and charter (non-scheduled commercial) flights. For more information on cabotage regulations for Canada, please see our article titled "Canadian Cabotage and Business Aviation: 6 Things you Need to Know."
7. Confirm hotel and local transport arrangements as early as possible
Montreal has a good selection of 4- and 5-star hotels, including large international chains. Best practice is to book these hotel accommodations as early as possible, due to high demand during the Canadian Grand Prix period. If you’re not familiar with the local area, it’s best to avoid rental vehicles, due to traffic issues and possible road closures during the event period. Prepaid local transport (car with driver) is the preferred option for many business aircraft operators, and your ground handler will be able to assist with those arrangements.
8. Check online for additional information
More information on Canada F1 Grand Prix 2013 – race dates, schedules and ticket purchase options – can be found on the Formula 1 website.
We do not envision significant operating or aircraft parking issues, even for short-notice or last-minute operations to the Montreal area during the Canada Formula 1 Grand Prix period. However, to secure best parking and hotel accommodations, it’s recommended to begin trip planning as soon as schedule is known.