Understanding Beijing Aircraft Parking: Part 2 – Permits, Airport Slots, and Services

PT 3 M minute read
Understanding Beijing Aircraft Parking: Part 2 – Permits, Airport Slots, and Services

This is a post by author Jimmy Young. Jimmy serves as country manager for Universal Aviation China, which has aircraft ground handling facilities in Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou. Jimmy is an expert on business aircraft operations in China and can be contacted at jimmyyoung@universalaviation.aero.

This business aviation blog post continues from our article last week, titled "Understanding Beijing Aircraft Parking: Part 1 – Changes to GA Parking Rules."

For business aircraft operators traveling to China, it’s important to plan on sufficient lead time to obtain overflight and landing permits, as well as secure any required airport slots. Planning a trip to Beijing (ZBAA) is more involved than at most airports in China as airport slots are always required, and daily General Aviation (GA) operating curfews are in effect.

The following is an overview of what you need to know when planning a trip to Beijing:

1. Airport slots, permits, and PPRs

Airport slots and landing permits are necessary for all operations to ZBAA. While there’s no formal Prior Permission Required (PPR) mandate for ZBAA, it’s important to be mindful that aircraft parking is restricted to a maximum of 48 consecutive hours. Keep in mind that even though you have a permit and airport slots approved for your scheduled flight to ZBAA, the airport authority will not permit you to stay longer than 48 hours.

2. Landing permit requirements for China

For more information on landing permit requirements for China, please see our blog articles entitled:

3. Approval processes

Airport slots for ZBAA are approved by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), but no confirmation numbers are provided. Keep in mind that your requested arrival/departure time may not always be approved. CAAC may ask you to revise these times or deny your request. It’s important to work with a 3rd-party provider who’s very familiar with permit, airport slot, and aircraft parking requests for ZBAA. They’ll coordinate with CAAC to obtain the best available times for your permit approvals and airport slots. Keep in mind that CAAC allows only two permit revisions. After two revisions any further permit changes will be denied.

4. CIQ clearance

At ZBAA the Customs, Immigration, and Quarantine (CIQ) clearance takes place within the GA terminal. This is usually a quick process as this facility only processes GA arrivals/departures. Be mindful that CIQ reserves the right to come onboard and check your aircraft at any location in China. It’s important to keep aircraft doors closed until authorities arrive and give you permission to open them.

5. Parking stand service limitations

Be aware that not all GA parking stands at ZBAA can be used to obtain aircraft services and fuel uplifts. Due to limited space between aircraft, at certain parking stands, airport authorities do not permit service vehicles to service aircraft there. For any required services or fuel uplifts, you’ll need to reposition to a different parking position. Be mindful that, when you operate to ZBAA, your ground handler will only be advised of your assigned parking stand one or two hours prior to your estimated time of arrival.

6. ZBAA fuel uplifts

Be mindful that delays of up to a few hours are possible when obtaining fuel at ZBAA. This is particularly true if you’re assigned a parking stand that service vehicles are not permitted to access. It’s recommended to uplift fuel on departure, when possible.

7. ZBTJ considerations

Compared to ZBAA, Tianjin (ZBTJ) is an easier operating environment as no airport slots are required, and there are currently no GA curfews. CIQ clearance is accomplished in the main terminal at ZBTJ, but GA passengers/crew use a different/separate line from commercial passengers.

Later, in part 3 in this series, we’ll cover ZBTJ in more depth. In the meantime, reference these articles:

8. Additional reading: "Understanding Beijing Aircraft Parking" series index

Links will be added as new articles are published.


Be aware of the operating requirements when operating to ZBAA. It’s also important to understand that airport slot confirmations from CAAC don’t approve or confirm aircraft parking at ZBAA. Many operators who wish to maintain maximum operating and schedule flexibility may opt to use ZBTJ rather than ZBAA for trips to the Beijing area.


If you have any questions about this article or would like assistance planning your next trip to China, contact Christine Vamvakas christinevamvakas@univ-wea.com.

Stay tuned for Part 3, which covers information on operations to Tianjin as an alternate for Beijing.