Tips for Selecting a Business Aviation Tech Stop – Part 2: Permits, Airport Slots & PPRs
This business aviation blog post continues from our article last week, entitled “Tips for Selecting a Business Aviation Tech Stop – Part 1: Key Considerations.”
When planning international tech stops issues such as permits, airport slots, prior permissions required (PPRs), visa requirements and customs, immigration, and quarantine (CIQ) procedures/hours are always top considerations. If you’re missing one or more of the above, this could result in an operational delay, inability to use the chosen tech stop or fines.
The following is an overview of what you need to know:
1. Permit considerations
Landing permits may be required for international tech stops, depending upon the country, your type of flight – private non-revenue or charter (non-scheduled commercial) – and whether crew/passengers will be embarking/disembarking. Permit requirements, in general, are more stringent for charter flights. For example, for stops at Male (VRMM), Novosibirsk (UNNT), Al Maktoum Intol (OMDW) and Cape Verde (GVAC), landing permits are required, for both private non-revenue and charter operations. In the case of Singapore Seletar (WSSL) permits are needed only for charter flights. In other cases, such as Shannon (EINN), charter operators do not require landing permits for tech stops but do need permits for destination stops or to embark/disembark crew/passengers. It’s always recommended to check in advance, on all permit requirements, and consider contingency plans. You may be able to land at a location without a permit, for a planned tech stop, but if a mechanical issue presents itself and you need to stay overnight, permits could be required.
2. Permit lead times and documentation
Each country has its own lead time requirements for permit. Some locations require more lead time than others. A tech stop in Indonesia, for example, may require five business days’ notice whereas you’ll usually be able to arrange a permit for Kuala Lumpur (WMSA) much quicker. Permit lead times may be somewhat extended in the case of charter flights. It’s best to plan, on average, three to five business days to arrange permits for locations that require them, assuming all the information and documentation requirements for those permits are in order.
3. Permit validity and documentation
Permit validity varies by country. It’s best, when possible, to request 72 hour permit windows in case you experience a schedule change or operational delay. Some locations are stricter with permit validity allowances than others. Work with your 3rd-party provider to determine all applicable permit validities as well as permit revision options and procedures. This way, if there’s a delay you’ll know who and when to submit a permit revision to. Standard documentation for most permits includes airworthiness and registration certificates, worldwide insurance, noise certificate, radio licenses and crew licenses/medicals. Some countries, however, request additional information/documentation. In most cases countries that require local sponsor letters for landing permit purposes do not require them for tech stop purposes.
4. Short notice permits
If you’re faced with making a short notice landing or overflight permit request, or a last minute permit revision, it’s helpful if your trip support provider has all your current and latest aircraft documentation and crew/passenger details already on file. This will allow your trip support provider to submit requests immediately and avoid delays until documentation can be furnished. Therefore, it’s important to keep your provider constantly updated on any changes to your aircraft or crew documentation.
5. Overflight permits
Overflight permits are required throughout much of the world and lead times of three to five business days should be allowed to secure these. It’s important to confirm any and all requirements associated with an applicable overflight permit, well in advance of day of operation. We’re seeing more and more countries requiring additional and specific information/documentation for overflight permits. For example, Turkey Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) now wants to see all aircraft documentation with all overflight requests. Previously, this documentation had only been needed for landing permits.
6. Consider overflight permit redundancy
In some cases you may want to obtain additional overflight permits so that you have options on the day of operation, to fly one routing or another that will reduce flight time. For example, when operating between Anchorage (PANC) and Narita (RJAA), there are two routes available – one that overflies Russia and one that avoids Russian airspace. If winds are more favorable over Russia you may decide to fly this routing. Accurate winds aloft will not be known, however, until close to day of flight. It’s standard operating procedure for many flight departments to have a Russian overflight permit available as a backup just in case it’s needed day of operation.
7. Airport slots and PPRs
Be aware that airport slots and PPRs may be needed for tech stops, particularly during peak airport hours and/or during large local event periods. For instance, both OMDW and VRMM require airport slots for all arrivals/departures. Be aware that your selection of available airport slots will diminish the closer you are to day of operation. In cases of short notice tech stop requests you may not receive the slot times you prefer. This may require changing your schedule, to suit slot availability, or using a different airport for tech stops. Some locations require PPRs for all arrivals/departures, and a specific lead time is needed to obtain it. For example, some locations want 24 hours’ notice to approve a PPR. It’s best practice to confirm all airport slot and PPR requirements well in advance, and your trip support provider can assist with this.
“Know before you go” and be aware of any potential issues that could crop up to delay or frustrate your upcoming tech stop experience. What are the landing permit, airport slot, and PPR requirements for your chosen tech stop? Each destination has its own requirements for travel there and lead times needed to make and secure arrangements. Lean on your trip support provider to do this research for you well in advance of your planned trip.
If you have any questions about this article or would like assistance planning your tech stops for your trip, contact me at email@example.com.