Operating to the 2019 Paris Air Show

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Taking place every two years, the Paris Air Show is a must-attend event for many in the aviation industry. This year the airshow and exhibition runs June 17-23 at Le Bourget (LFPB). Trade days are June 17-20 with the show open to the public June 21-23. As this will be a busy event, in terms of both airport congestion and hotel availability, it’s recommended to begin trip planning as soon as schedule is known.

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

1. Primary airport

LFPB is the preferred general aviation (GA) airport for this event, as this is where the airshow and static display take place. LFPB is a 24-hour airport of entry (AOE) with full services, fixed-base operators (FBOs) and credit available.

2. Parking availability

While GA parking seldom runs out at LFPB, it may during the Air Show period. With regard to GA parking, there may be issues with availability, depending upon the number of aircraft needing to be accommodated. The airport authority may allocate additional parking to FBOs, but it’s at their discretion. Parking availability will depend on space available on FBO ramps and whether or not the airport authority allocates additional space. If overnight parking is not available only drop and goes will be permitted.

3. Parking restrictions

The large aircraft parking area at LFPB will be taken over by the static display and we do not expect overnight wide body parking availability, for anything larger than an Airbus ACJ or Boeing BBJ, to be available June 12 to at least June 26. Note that max wingspan for parking will be 52 meters over this period.

4. Airport closures

During the Air Show period, there will be airport and runway closures from time to time, for demo flight purposes. During these periods no aircraft, other than those participating in the flying display, will be permitted to operate.

5. Alternate airports

If you’re not able to secure overnight parking at LFPB, or if your aircraft has a wingspan of more than 52 meters, alternate parking will need to be considered. Pontoise (LFPT) is located just 20 miles from LFPB. Charles de Gaulle (LFPG), 6 miles away, can also be considered. Both provide full service GA support, however, LFPT has just a 5,541-foot runway. LFPT is normally not an AOE and airport hours are usually 0800-2200 local with overtime available upon request. However, during the Paris Air Show period, airport operating hours may be extended at LFPT and the airfield may temporarily be designated an AOE. In the case of LFPG, this is a commercial airport and scheduled commercial flights take priority. Airport slots are needed for LFPG, with -5/+10 minutes deviation, and should be requested as soon as the schedule is known.

6. Accreditation requirements

Accreditation can only be obtained online via a website: https://siaeaeronef.mybadgeonline.com/aeronef. Processing time depends on the number of requests and the personnel doing the processing. Deadline for accreditation is 7 days prior date of Operations and any requests received after the deadline may be delayed or rejected. Information and documentation needed to secure accreditation include valid certificates of airworthiness, copies of PIC and SIC passports indicating city and country of birth and valid licenses including type ratings for the type of aircraft that will be flown. If the travel document doesn’t indicate the city and country of birth, it should be clearly noted on the documents sent over. Documentation transmitted may be no more than 1 MB in size as the online system will not accept anything larger. It’s recommended to allow your ground handler to process your accreditation request as the online system requires a dedicated login and password. If you have any questions regarding information/documentation requirements, it’s important to clarify this in advance with your handler or the person submitting your request. If your request submission is missing anything it will be denied and you’ll need to submit a new request.

7. SAFA checks

Safety assessment of foreign aircraft (SAFA) checks are conducted at random throughout the European Union (EU), including at LFPB. Best practice, to avoid potential fines, delays and other issues, is to ensure you have all documentation on the SAFA checklist available and organized for inspection.

8. Hotels and local transport

Preferred hotels in Paris and the immediate surrounding areas are expected to sell out during the Paris Air Show period. For short notice or last minute operations you may need to consider crew accommodations options much further out.

Local pre-paid (car with driver) transport options should be arranged as soon as schedule is known. You’ll need to ensure that the vehicle receives a sticker to allow it to enter public areas of the airport at LFPB. Your ground handler can assist in obtaining these stickers.

9. Additional arrival considerations

During the period of the Paris Air Show, vehicles with the exception of public taxis, will need to have special stickers in order to access the public side of the airport. Note that private transportation providers will not be able to access the airport without these stickers. Transportation options like Uber will not be given access to the public area of the airport for this event. Additional airport security measures will be evident during the Air Show period with military police stationed throughout the airfield. Additional checks will be done, even for parked GA aircraft, to ensure integrity of security at LFPB.

Be mindful of reporting requirement for currency or currency equivalents of more than 10,000 Euros per family, as well as for importation of any goods greater than 430 Euros in value. Should you exceed this limits, a “Declaration of Valuables” needs to be completed on arrival and/or departure to avoid potential fines and/or delays.

Conclusion

The only special permission needed to travel to LFPB during the Paris period is prior accreditation. There is a deadline that you need to meet regarding the accreditation to avoid delays or denials. However, be mindful that GA parking will be on a first-come first-serve basis and parking options may run out close to and during the event period. It’s recommended that you submit any parking requests as soon as a schedule is known.


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