Venice Film Festival 2019: Best Travel Options for General Aviation
The Venice International Film Festival (VIFF), dating right back to 1932, is one of today’s three major world film festivals and draws significant general aviation (GA) traffic each year. To ensure best possible options in terms of parking, crew accommodation and support services it’s best to begin the trip planning process without delay.
The following is an overview of what you need to know:
1. Venue and dates
VIFF takes place August 28-September 7 this year on the islands of Venice and Lido. Note that September is high tourist season in this area, with accommodations in higher than normal demand. Busiest period for GA movements is expected to be the weekend of September 7-8.
2. Primary airport
Preferred airport for this event is Venice (LIPZ), a 24-hour airport of entry (AOE). A general aviation terminal (GAT) is available with normal operating hours 0600-2200 local and customs, immigration and quarantine (CIQ) is usually cleared within this facility. GAT overtime is possible with prior request. If you arrive/depart outside GAT hours, CIQ clearance is in the main terminal, and this process does not take too much longer.
3. LIPZ parking
LIPZ has 25 parking stands available to GA with overflow parking also possible on the commercial side of the field. Extended parking stays are usually an option here but should be confirmed with your initial handling request. Last year parking filled up, but all GA arrivals were accommodated. Two new parking stands were recently added at LIPZ for larger GA equipment, including the Gulfstream G650, Boeing BBJ, and Airbus ACJ.
4. PPRs, slots and A-CDM
Prior permission required (PPR) is needed for operation to LIPZ, and it’s best to request this as soon as schedule is known. For PPR requests provide aircraft registration, operator name, VAT number (if available) and crew/passenger details. Your PPR approval confirms parking for your stay. No airport slots are needed for LIPZ. Airport Collaborative Decision Making (A-CDM), implemented at LIPZ several years ago, helps ensure more accurate in-block times.
5. Airport alternates
Parking alternates to consider include Treviso (LIPH), Trieste (LIPQ) and Milan Linate (LIML) at drive times of 30 minute, 60 minutes and 150 minutes from Venice respectively. All are 24-hour AOEs. LIPH and LIPQ are less busy locations than LIPZ but have full ground handling support, ground support equipment (GSE) and reasonable parking availability.
6. CIQ clearance
All above locations offer 24-hour CIQ clearance. At LIPZ and LIML you’ll normally clear in the GAT but may need to clear within the main terminal, as determined at landing. LIPH has a dedicated entrance to the terminal for GA CIQ processing while LIPQ is a main terminal clearance. For international arrivals/departures at LIPH and LIPQ it’s best to provide advance notification of CIQ requirements.
7. Fuel and in-flight catering
Fuel trucks normally arrive on time, but there may be delays during peak periods of scheduled commercial activity, which at LIPZ is normally 1100-1400 local. Note that private non-revenue operations to LIPZ may only uplift fuel within four hours of departure. Charter (non-scheduled commercial) operators have the option to fuel upon arrival, if their next flight leg is not outside the EU.
Good in-flight catering options are available at LIPZ and LIML with advance request notification of 24-48 hour recommended. At LIPH or LIPQ operators may consider in-flight catering or catering from local hotels or restaurants.
8. Hotels and local transport
Although some preferred hotels on Venice island and Lido sell out, it’s always possible to source good quality crew accommodations during the VIFF period. Rates for 4-star properties generally run 200 to 300 Euros/night. Water taxis are the preferred method of transport between LIPZ and Venice island and Venice to the Lido area. A water taxi terminal is located just outside the GAT at LIPZ. Note that public water taxi services can be slow and take up to one hour between LIPZ and Venice island. It’s recommended that crew to consider private water taxi options, and ground handlers can assist in coordinating these arrangements.
LIPZ has been growing in terms of GA and scheduled commercial movements each year. For most operators heading to the VIFF parking availability should not be an issue at LIPZ, but in the event that is an issue, there are several alternates to consider. Also, hotels should be obtained in advance and consider that many will sell out for this event.