2023 UEFA Champions League Final in Istanbul: Business Aviation Planning Guide

PT 4 M minute read
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The 2023 Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) Champions League Final will be held on June 10, 2023, in Istanbul. The final was originally scheduled to be played in Istanbul in 2020 and again in 2021 but was moved twice due to the pandemic.

The match is one of the most popular sporting events in the world and is expected to draw a high volume of business aviation traffic to the city. The anticipated number of business jets that will be operating to Istanbul for the match is expected to create congestion at the city’s most popular business airport, Ataturk (LTBA).

If you’re planning on attending the event, or plan to be in Istanbul during this period, it is important to begin planning now as ground services are already booking up fast.

In addition, we strongly suggest you work with an experienced Trip Support Provider and Ground Support Team to mitigate the risks of something going wrong during this high-congestion period.

Here’s what you need to know:

Date and Venue

The final match will take place Saturday, June 10, 2023at 21:00 CET at Istanbul’s Atatürk Olympic Stadium. The stadium is located 16 km from LTBA.

The Teams – and how this impacts your planning

The final two teams will not be determined until closer to the event. As with most major sporting events, there will be a mass rush to arrange services when the final two teams are known—as owners, sponsors, and fans all start making their arrangements. For scheduling purposes, try to get ahead of this as soon as possible.

Similarly, as 2 of the 4 remaining teams drop out while trying to advance to the Final, there will be some cancellations, which will create limited opportunities to snatch up spots for hotels, ground transportation, and more.

Preferred Airport – LTBA

Ataturk Airport is a 24-hour Airport of Entry with 24-hour Customs, Immigration, and Quarantine (CIQ) facilities for General Aviation (GA). Cargo operations are moved to LTFM. Ataturk has an 8,465-foot runway.

Ataturk Airport is located near the city center of Istanbul and is the city’s only airport dedicated exclusively to private jets. In 2019, the new Istanbul Airport (LTFM) opened. As a result, all commercial airline traffic is now diverted from Ataturk Airport to Istanbul Airport. This has made Ataturk Airport the hands-down best option for bizav ops. With no commercial traffic, arrivals, departures, and taxi times are significantly faster. Ataturk Airport is also much more conveniently located to Istanbul’s city center and provides greater operational flexibility in parking, slots, scheduled maintenance options, and customer preference to the airport’s general aviation terminal.

For more details on operating to LTBA, read our Business Jet Destination Guide for Ataturk Airport.

If parking is not available at LTBA, the best alternates are Istanbul Airport (LTFM) and Sabiha Gokcen Airport (LTFJ). You can read more about these airports in our Istanbul Business Aviation Guide.

Parking & Slots

Although there is no official NOTAM or restriction has been published yet, our Universal Aviation Turkey team has been in close contact with the airport authority and were informed that due to the increase in demand during the event, bulk parking will be applied at LTBA. This means that the airport will place aircraft in a parking position with more than one aircraft side-by-side or back-to-back.  Aircraft will be placed in parking positions in a certain order according to their departure dates.

Due to this, it is of utmost importance that operators planning to park at LTBA between 8-13 June comply with the slot hours. The airport authority has said that last-minute slot change requests will likely be denied.

Third-Party Services

Many third-party services such as ground transportation, catering and hotels are already reporting near capacity for this event. Reservations may drop off depending on which teams actually make the Finals, but new ones will be made quickly in their place. Your trip support provider or ground support provider may have open hotel blocks and ground transportation providers reserved already, so it worth asking! 


Universal Aviation TurkeyIf you have experience operating into Istanbul, the environment is going to be more challenging than you are used to because of the congestion. We strongly recommend working with an experienced Trip Support Provider and Ground Support Team to mitigate risks of something going wrong.

Universal Aviation Turkey has the expertise and resource to make your trip to the 2023 UEFA Champions League Final a success. 

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