Olympic Games To Bring More Bizav Traffic to Paris

How to reserve a slot this summer before you head to the City Of Lights.

The Summer Olympic Games, which  start this month in Paris, will provide complications for private aircraft operators heading to the City of Lights. Traffic sparked by the games will further compound what would normally be a busy summer tourism season for the French capital.

Matt Burdette—director of global security with United Health— recently noted that the heightened publicity and crowds around the Olympics will result in a heavy security posture (both police and military) in an attempt to avert acts of terrorism and violent protests. Despite these potential dangers, however, the most common threat remains street crime. He stressed that those heading to Paris should have digital backups of their passports and other identification, along with credit card numbers, to make it easier to replace these items if lost.

Once on the ground, visitors should plan for everything to take much longer than anticipated due to security concerns, starting at the FBO. Public transport will be a preferred option for travel in and around Paris, with some areas blocked to private vehicles entirely, and due to the above-average crowds, maintaining communication between passengers and crew will be crucial.

Burdette added that while France’s major air traffic control unions have agreed not to go on strike during the Olympics, that pledge is not universal, and any such potential work protests could affect service at smaller repositioning airports.

According to Universal Weather and Aviation, Paris Le Bourget (LFPB) represents the best business aviation airport option, with slots required from July 12 through September 16. Because aircraft parking there is already booked to capacity, operators who have not already secured space must plan to reposition to a more distant airport. Pontoise-Cormeilles (LFPT) and Melun Villaroche (LFPM) airports are reserved solely for Schengen-area arriving and departing flights.

Universal noted that another good option is Albert-Picardie Airport (LFAQ). Normally a two-hour drive from central Paris, the airport is an official entry port for the Olympics with 24-hour tower and onsite customs. There are as of yet no PPR or slot requirement during the Olympics. Universal Aviation France is collaborating with a helicopter service to offer quick transfers from downtown Paris to LFAQ.

Whichever airport operators decide to use, their crews may be flying into a situation they are not experienced with. “If you are going to the Olympics, that’s a little out of the comfort zone if you are not used to flying into large hectic areas,” said Gary Webb, strategic partnerships coordinator with AviationManuals .He added that organizations should make sure their emergency response plans are updated as much as possible to handle any circumstances.

The Games will take place from July 26 to August 11. And for the opening ceremonies taking place on July 26, no private aircraft movements will be allowed in Paris airspace from 5:30 p.m. to 11:59 p.m. local time.