Carnival of Venice 2024: Business Aviation Planning Guide

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The Carnival of Venice is an annual celebration of music, culture, and costumes. In 2024, it takes place January 27 – February 13 on Venice Island. If you’re attending via general aviation (GA), it’s best to make parking, aircraft support, and crew accommodations arrangements as soon as the schedule is known. This is a one-of-a-kind winter venue to enjoy parades, music in the streets, and masked regattas.

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


Dates and venue

The Venice Carnival takes place on the island of Venice, with the opening show taking place on January 27 and ending on February 13. This year’s theme is “To the East. The Extraordinary Journey of Marco Polo.” It marks the 700th anniversary of Marco Polo’s death and pays homage to his legendary journey to China and the Indies.

We anticipate strong international attendance throughout, but GA movements will likely be most robust during the beginning and closing events. Expect a higher than average volume of GA departures out of Venice (LIPZ) throughout the day on Tuesday, February 13th, called “Martedì Grasso.”


Preferred airport

LIPZ is located just across the water from Venice Island and is the primary airport for this event. This is a 24/7 airport of entry (AOE) with no published curfews. A general aviation terminal (GAT) is open daily from 0600-2200 local with overtime available upon request. Full GA support services, fuel, and credit are available at this location. Note that LIPZ has become a much busier airport over the past couple of years. Peak times of scheduled commercial activity to avoid here are 1100-1400 local daily.

Our Venice Destination Guide has more information.


Slots and PPRs

LIPZ has no airport slot requirements, but prior permission required (PPR) is needed, with the minimum recommended lead time of 24-48 hours. As prior permissions required (PPRs) are always needed for Venice (LIPZ), it’s best to request this as soon as the schedule is known. PPR specifies your parking approval and duration. While parking approvals and length of stay can be revised upon arrival, it’s always best to limit changes during this busy time in Venice. PPR requests should specify operator name, aircraft registration, crew and passenger details, intended length of stay, and value-added tax (VAT) number if applicable.


Parking availability

We do not anticipate GA parking availability to be an issue during the Carnival of Venice 2024. In recent years, LIPZ was busier than normal during the event, but all aircraft were accommodated. Note: From January 1 to March 30, 2024: You can park for a maximum of 72 hours. The airport authority will provide approval or denial based on what’s available. LIPZ has five GA-designated stands, with the possibility to use commercial flight-designated stands if needed. The local airport authority is supportive of GA and GA parking needs.


 

Larger aircraft

Be mindful that parking for larger aircraft, including Gulfstream G650, ACJs, and BBJs is limited at LIPZ. Currently, there are only two large aircraft GA parking stands available. There may be options to park on the commercial side of the field at the discretion of the airport authority. Treviso (LIPH) has some limited ability to accommodate large GA aircraft, but another option where there are no real issues is at Milan (LIML).


Alternate airports

We recommend LIPH and Trieste (LIPQ) as parking alternates if you’re not able to organize parking at LIPZ. Both are 24-hour AOEs with parking, fuel, full GA support services, and adequate ground support equipment (GSE). Slots are not needed for these locations, but PPRs are mandated, with a suggested lead time of 24-48 hours. LIPQ has no GAT, but LIPH has a dedicated GA entrance to the main terminal. Although these are smaller airfields, GA parking has never been much of an issue. Some operators may wish to consider LIML as a parking alternate. Drive times from LIPH, LIPQ, and LIML to Venice are about 30 minutes, 60-90 minutes, and 2.5 hours, respectively.


CIQ clearance

Customs, immigration, and quarantine (CIQ) is cleared at LIPZ within the general aviation terminal (GAT), during operating hours (0600-2200 local daily) or when GAT overtime has been confirmed. This process typically takes about 10 minutes. For clearance outside GAT hours, when overtime has not been arranged, you’ll clear CIQ within the main terminal. Ground handlers will escort you through the process. No prior notice is needed for clearance at LIPZ or Milan (LIML), but 24 hours’ notice is recommended for CIQ arrangements at both Treviso (LIPH) and Trieste (LIPQ).


Fuel uplifts

Fuel deliveries are usually on time at LIPZ, although there can be delays during busy periods. Note that a private non-revenue flight may only uplift fuel within four hours of departure. However, charter (non-scheduled commercial) operations may uplift upon arrival or at any time up until departure.


ACDM procedures

Airport collaborative decision making (ACDM) procedures have been fully implemented at LIPZ, having been introduced back in Jan 2015. This process works smoothly and improves operational efficiency and traffic flows. The goal is to facilitate the aircraft turnaround process.


Crew accommodations

While certain preferred hotels will sell out during the Carnival period, we can always source good quality crew accommodations on the island or the mainland. For 4-star crew, accommodations, expect to pay 300-450 USD/night on the island and about 200 USD/night on the mainland. It’s best to book accommodations at least three or four weeks in advance.


Conclusion

LIPZ is a straightforward operating destination with efficient services, and we anticipate sufficient parking to accommodate all GA traffic to this year’s Carnival. However, this year, the airport is only allowing a maximum stay of 72 hours from January 1 to March 30, 2024. Confirm your PPR as soon as possible, notify your handler of all service requirements, and take the time to enjoy the city, lifestyle, and architecture.

While we do not anticipate a shortage of good quality crew accommodation over the Carnival period, be aware that some popular hotels will sell out. Expect private water taxi services to be in high demand throughout the entire event. Ensure that all charter flights have appropriate landing permits when traveling to Italy. Last, it is recommended that you arrange overtime for the use of the GAT for CIQ clearance when it’s outside of its normal operating hours.


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