Operating to the BOAO Forum for Asia (BFA) 2019

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Operating to the BOAO Forum for Asia 2019

The annual BOAO Forum for Asia 2019 (BFA) will be held March 26-29, 2019 in Boao, Hainan Province, China. This high-profile, high-traffic event will draw government, business, and academic leaders from around the world.

If you’re planning to operate to the forum, here’s what you need to know:

1. What is BFA?

BFA is an annual, invitation-only conference held in Boao, China, modeled on the World Economic Forum. BFA is dedicated to promoting Asian countries to achieve common development through further integration of the regional economy.

BFA occurs on the heels of the 2019 China Development Forum (CDF) happening March 23-25 in Beijing, and it pulls in some of the same high-profile attendees. You can find operating tips for CDF in this article on our blog.

This year, more than 50 current and former government ministers will attend along with 91 business leaders, and 37 scholars.

2. What is the primary airport for attendees of BFA?

Qionghai Bo’ao Airport (ZJQH) is the primary airport for attendees traveling to Boao for BFA. It was built specifically to support traffic to BFA. ZJQH will be open 24/7 during the forum.

3. Will there be special restrictions for operating to BFA?

Update: March 20, 2019: 

CAAC just released the following notifications regarding restrictions for operating to BFA 2019.

  • ZJQH will be temporarily open for business aircraft attending BOAO
  • Operators must provide a certificate of participation issued by BOAO Asia BBS secretariat
  • No take offs or landings will be allowed at ZJQH if the flight is not coming for the Forum.
  • Flights coming to BOAO can operate to ZJQH during 0100-1659Z daily, and there are at most two slots within one hour. While there areno restrictions for ZJHK or ZJSY.

At this time, Chinese Civil Aviation (CAAC) has not made any official announcements or released any NOTAMs regarding whether business jets can land at ZJQH for BFA.

Last year, ZJQH was temporarily made an Airport of Entry (AOE) for this event, so business jets could choose to land at either ZJQH or Haikou Meilan International Airport (ZJHK). ZJQH is the top choice for clients as it is the nearest airport to the forum, while Sanya Phoenix International Airport (ZJSY) was used only for governmental flights.

However, at this point, temporary AOE has not yet been granted. We’ll continue to post updates as they become available.

If ZJQH does open up as an AOE, note that Jet-A is unavailable.

4. Invitation Letter:

If you are attending BFA, CAAC required all permit requests to be accompanied by a conference notice or invitation letter confirming attendance. Otherwise, CAAC will not process the permit for the flight.

If you have an invitation letter to BFA 2019, we recommend you provide it to your ground handler when making your arrangements. This way, if restrictions are imposed, your handler will already have the paperwork it needs.

If you need assistance, please contact Universal Aviation China, which will be onsite providing ground support supervision during this event.

5. Slots

Last year, CAAC only assigned two slots within one hour in ZJQH. Slots are provided on a first-come, first-serve basis.

6. Parking

In 2018, there were 20 parking stands for business jets at ZJQH, including parking spots for large jets such as an Airbus or BBJ. Because parking is limited, operators attending BFA should contact BOAO to reserve parking as soon as possible.

Normal sized business jets which are not larger than a G650 were dispatched to park at the business jet ramp, which is a 5-minute drive from the main terminal. Larger jets park next to the terminal and use the airbridge for boarding.

On departure, most of the parking spots will require a push back and then taxied out.

7. Parking alternatives

If aircraft can’t overnight park at ZJQH, an alternative is to drop passengers at ZJQH and then ferry to ZJHK. Another option is to operate directly to ZJHK. The driving distance from ZJHK to the forum is approximately 120 kilometers and takes about 90 minutes driving time.

We recommend operators provide their ground handler a formal handling request as early as possible so that it can coordinate and secure the ZJQH overnight parking accordingly.

8. VVIPs will receive preferential treatment – be prepared for delays

Several VVIP flights were visiting ZJQH last year, and during the operation of the VVIP flight, any other operation on the ramp was requested to stop. Non VVIP operations had to wait until VVIP flights departed. This impacted some of the crew and passengers, adding additional costs and time.

9. Recommended crew hotels

10. Catering

There are no in-flight caterers at ZJQH. To arrange catering, caterers located at ZJHK will send staff to ZJQH to assist. The caterer at ZJHK will provide the 2019 catering menu around two weeks before the forum.

11. Fuel

Jet-A fuel is available in ZJQH. Last year business jets fueled at ZJQH without issues.

Conclusion

BFA 2019 is going to be a high-traffic event, making it difficult to obtain parking and slots at ZJQH unless you plan ahead. Confirm your plans now and make sure you have an invitation letter to the conference or you will not be allowed to access ZJQH. If you need assistance, please contact Universal Aviation China, which has experience supporting foreign-registered aircraft to ZJQH (including eight at last year’s conference) and will once again be onsite providing ground support supervision during this event.


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