Cannes Film Festival & Monaco Grand Prix 2024: Business Aviation Guide

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OPERATING TO THE CANNES FESTIVAL AND MONACO GRAND PRIX
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The two largest events on the Cote d’Azur – the Cannes Film Festival and Monaco Grand Prix – will take place back-to-back this year, putting additional demands on general aviation (GA) infrastructure, airport slots, parking, support services, crew accommodations, and local transport options.

The sporting and cultural events scheduled on “Côte d’Azur” between May 14 and May 27 are likely to generate air traffic exceeding the receiving capacities of Nice Airport and Monaco Helipad.

Specific measures have been taken to face this exceptional traffic.

The following is an overview of what you need to know:


Event Dates

The 77th annual Cannes Film Festival runs May 14-25, 2024, with the Monaco Grand Prix taking place May 24-26, 2024, just next door in the Principality of Monaco. Primary airports will be Nice (LFMN) and Cannes (LFMD), with both mandating airport slots and prior permission required (PPR).


Preferred Airports

LFMN

LFMN, located between the two event venues, is the preferred airport for both the Cannes Film Festival and the Monaco Grand Prix. For the Film Festival, operators may also consider LFMD, although there are maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) restrictions and limited operating hours at this location. Parking at both airports is expected to be full during the events period, particularly closer to the end of these events.


Airport hours and Restrictions

LFMN is a 24-hour airport of entry (AOE) accommodating any size aircraft. However, LFMD is only operational from 0800 local time to 30 minutes after sunset, and airport overtime is not allowed.

Note that LFMD restricts operations to an MTOW of 35,000 kg (77,175 pounds), up from the previous limitation of 22,000 kg (48,510 pounds) in 2015. Due to local noise restrictions, LFMD mandates that the crew obtain a special approach briefing, which can be found on the airport site.

Special procedures for LFMD during the events.

Authorities have established special slots and required prior permission (PPR) mandates for LFMD during the entire summer peak season (May 16 – September 16). These include airport slots required for all arrivals/departures at LFMD and PPR for parking. During this period, any schedule changes of more than 20 minutes will require canceling approved slots and reapplying.


Applying for slots and PPRs for LFMD

Cannes, France

LFMD slots and PPRs are applied for at the same time, and this should be done ASAP. As only registered users may apply for slots online, your trip support provider will typically request and coordinate slots/PPR. Once an available slot and PPR have been obtained, you’ll receive a confirmation – one number for both – and this needs to be placed in Remarks section 18 of the flight plan.

Restriction Notice: From May 14 to May 27, 2024, Cannes Mandelieu Airport faces operational restrictions due to the International Film Festival and the Monaco Grand Prix.

Coordination Requirements: All general aviation flights must obtain a pre-approved slot from the coordinator COHOR and include the authorization number in their flight plan.

Specific Restrictions:

  • May 18-19 & May 25-27: No VFR flights are allowed except for piston-engine aircraft.
  • Training Flights: Limited to based aircraft with prior approval.
  • IFR Flights: Banned between Nice and Cannes during certain periods.
  • Compliance: Non-compliance can lead to flight plan suspensions and administrative penalties.

Slots and PPR at LFMN

Nice, France

LFMN requires airport slots and a PPR throughout the year. For these events, once your requested schedule is granted for LFMN, it’s important to note that if the dates change, the slots will be canceled, and you will need to reapply and be placed at the end of the list for new slots and parking.

Note: even modifying ARRIVAL OR DEPARTURE times too often might affect the validation of the flight.

Universal customers are advised to check with us before sending any changes to the handler. We can call Airport Authorities first to test whether the changes will be validated before actually submitting them online. 

Note that if you experience a delay on departure, you’ll likely be taken back to your parking spot, which will cause additional delays for the operator.

Flight requests since mid-March 2024 have been entered into the airport system, and slots are now open.

All new flights can be entered, and those already submitted can be modified.

Quick-turn flights are being confirmed by LMFN, and Universal customers who submitted these requests have been issued slot IDs.

  • Year-round Coordination: Slots for all flights, managed by COHOR.
  • Flight Plan Specifications: Mandatory for general aviation to include a COHOR-assigned slot ID in their flight plan.
  • Flight Plan and Slot Consistency: Non-compliance may lead to flight suspension by EUROCONTROL.
  • Event-specific Restrictions: From May 23 to May 27, 2024, maintenance activities are discouraged due to expected traffic congestion.
  • Helicopter Operations: Limited parking for specific operations from May 23 to May 27, 2024, requiring pre-authorization.

Please see the following supplemental AIP for the busy May 14-27th period.


CIQ clearance

Customs, immigration, and quarantine (CIQ) clearance is possible at LFMN within 24 hours. From 0800-2100 local, you’ll clear in the general aviation terminal (GAT), and outside these hours, you’ll be cleared either in the main terminal or the GAT at CIQ’s discretion. Once the aircraft arrives at LFMN, or when crew/passengers are ready at the airport for departure, CIQ authorities will confirm the clearance location. For LFMD, CIQ clearance is always accomplished in the main terminal and the process is usually quick.


Visa and passport requirements

Certain nationalities require Schengen visas, which must be obtained prior to arrival. If crew or passengers require Schengen visas but do not have them, they’ll be deported. At this time, U.S. nationals do not need Schengen visas for travel to or within the European Union (EU). For all travel in this region, we recommend passenger/crew passports have at least six months remaining validity beyond the intended length of stay.


Alternate airports

Helicopter transfer South of France

While LFMN and LFMD are preferred airports for the Cannes Film Festival, alternates to consider, should parking become an issue, include Toulon (LFTH), Le Castellet (LFMQ), and Marseilles (LFML). In the case of the Monaco Grand Prix, if you’re not able to obtain parking at LFMN, then Genoa (LIMJ), 85 miles away and with helicopter transfers available to Monaco, may be considered.


CIQ for alternate airports

Note that LFTH has limited clearance hours, and it’s advised to request customs, immigration, and quarantine (CIQ) clearance at least 24 hours prior. For example, clearance at this location is 0900-1800 local daily, even though airport hours are longer. Note that LFMQ has discontinued international arrival/departure ability as customs are no longer present on the airfield. Meanwhile, LIMJ and LFML are 24-hour airports with clearance within the main terminal.


Drop and go

If overnight parking is not available at either LFMN or LFMD, it will be possible to drop by and go at LFMN and LFMD, depending on slot availability. Max permitted time on the ground at LFMN to be three hours, and this must be arranged in advance due to slot requirements. Once passengers have been dropped at LFMN, the aircraft may be repositioned at an alternate airport for parking and crew accommodation.


Service and fuel considerations

Due to congestion at LFMN and LFMD during this event period, we expect fuel uplifts and other services to be delayed. Additionally, as LFMN encounters fuel shortages from time to time, it’s recommended to fuel on arrival or at least partially refuel. In the event of fuel shortages at LFMN, a NOTAM will usually be issued after the fact, and you may be restricted to uplifts of only 5000 liters.


In-flight catering

Catering services, like all other services during this period, will be in very high demand, and longer advance request lead times are suggested. During this busy period, if passengers have any special catering requests, it may be better to bring the items in with you and have them stored at the airport until departure.

For more information on catering, visit Air Culinaire Worldwide.


Hotel considerations

We expect most hotels and all preferred hotel accommodations to sell out in the region between Monaco and Cannes during this event period. Many hotels are already sold out, and those that are available may cost 800 USD/night. Note that during this busy period, you’ll likely be faced with full prepayment, no possibility of refunds, and a minimum number of nights (usually 3-5 nights, depending on the hotel). For short-notice crew accommodations, rooms may be available one to two hours outside the region but be prepared for long travel times due to road traffic congestion.

Local transport

Ground transportation South of France

As local transport options will be in high demand, it’s best to make arrangements for pre-paid transport (car with driver) as soon as possible. Note that certain vehicle types, including SUVs and larger sedans, will be in very high demand, and few options may be available. For the Monaco Grand Prix, helicopter services are available from Nice, Cannes and Genoa. This requires payment in advance and is typically non-refundable, even in the event of weather issues.


Conclusion

If you’re planning to attend the 2024 Cannes Film Festival or Monaco Grand Prix and have not yet requested airport slots and parking, it’s important to make these arrangements ASAP. We expect parking at both LFMN and LFMD to fill up over this busy period. As always, if there are any schedule changes, cancel your previous request and push yourself down the priority list.

Preferred overnight parking options may be challenging to obtain at both Nice (LFMN) and Cannes (LFMD) during this event period. Although extended aircraft parking is available at LFMN, daily parking change rates escalate exponentially the longer you stay. For operators not able to obtain parking, there are other options in the area.

While this period along the Cote d’Azur will be much more congested than usual in terms of GA activity, it’s always possible to set up arrangements on short notice or at the last minute if needed. However, in such cases, you may be faced with a drop-and-go and very limited hotel accommodation options.

 


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