Greece Peak Travel Season for Business Aviation
June through September is always peak season for Greece creating congestion. Airports throughout the country – both mainland and islands – are inundated with traffic from all over the world. Due to the congestion, authorities are implementing restrictions to accommodate for the influx, which is affecting general aviation (GA).
The following is an overview of what you need to know:
1. Airport slots are needed for many destinations
Many airports in Greece require airport slots during the summer season. As these are high traffic airports, there is a high demand for services such as slots. Once approved, the slot deviation is +/- 20 minutes, but operators need to be flexible based on slot availability. Additionally, if an operator isn’t going to use the slots, they need to be cancelled at least 12 hours prior in order to avoid penalties.
2. Airport parking is in high demand
Airport parking is always in high demand during the peak summer season. The Greek Islands have limited parking and as of this season some are only permitting a maximum of 60 minutes on the ground. Two such examples are Santorini (LGSR) and Mykonos (LGMK), where for any drop offs or pick-ups, you won’t be permitted to remain more than the maximum 60 minutes on the ground.
Airports on the mainland have traditionally been used as reposition parking for aircraft that can’t remain on the ground. This year, many of these airports have received a large uptick in scheduled commercial traffic. This influx has made parking an issue for these airports, especially for GA aircraft. Many airports are experiencing situations where no parking is available or they are limited the permitted time on the ground. The parking situation is always influx and what is available now may not be an option later that day due to the amount of requests for parking these airport authorities are receiving. Athens (LGAV) airport authorities have now issued a NOTAM for this season advising that any GA operator looking to stay at this airfield for more than two hours will need to apply for a prior permission required (PPR).
For assistance with parking in Greece, contact Universal Aviation Greece.
3. Landing permits are now required for charter operators
This year, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) of Greece has implemented landing permit requirements for non-European Union (EU) registered aircraft (non-scheduled commercial) operators traveling to the country. Note: EU-registered aircraft do not need this permit.
Charter aircraft with or less than 19 passenger seats can obtain an annual permit, whereas aircraft with more than 19 passenger seats will need to obtain one for each flight. The lead time is a minimum of five working days and documentation such as the company operating license, airworthiness and registration, and the security program approval must be furnished. It’s recommended that you work with your trip support provider to obtain landing permit(s) for travel to Greece.
4. New Mykonos general aviation terminal (GAT)
In summer 2018, LGMK opened a new GA terminal. If you plan on utilizing the facility, it’s important to book in advance to avoid additional fees.
With advance notice, the cost of using the GAT is 300 euros booking fee + 90 euros per departing pax + 24 % VAT. Max charge is 1500 + 24% VAT.
Last-minute booking (three hours prior to use) increases the fee to 390 euros + 117 per passenger with max charge at 1.950 euros + vat.
Operators traveling to Greece during the peak season should be aware of the restrictions and limitations at many of these airports that are inundated with traffic during this time. Also, it’s always recommended to be flexible with items such as airport slots and parking, as these are in high demand and limited.