The summer season in the top private jet destinations in Europe means one thing for crews and passengers: limited parking availability and the need to find airport alternatives. Private jet trip support companies can help to find the most convenient parking options for those looking to explore the Greek Isles or other private jet magnets in Europe, at a time when parking availability and increased aircraft traffic are the norm in the region.
In order to achieve the previous, only those trip support services that have experience in the region and know about the best alternative terminals will be in a position to provide added value to the support needed by owners, crews, or passengers. While there are locations that do not have availability during summer or very few slots for general aviation, the key is to understand what feasible alternative options might help the purpose of the travel group in terms of distance to the original destination, price of the ferry flight and what amenities do the alternative airport and location have for the crew.
#DidYouKnow you can no longer park at Athens International Airport for over 12 hours?
Private Jet Trip Support Services
Before diving into the parking options in Greece in Europe, the importance of understanding the role of private jet trip support is paramount for the crew’s expectations regarding their next operation. And it all starts with arguably the most important piece of the puzzle in a trip support team – the aircraft dispatcher. An aircraft dispatcher plays a crucial role in the safe and efficient operation of private jet flights, with many key responsibilities and functions, like:
Flight planning: Aircraft dispatchers are responsible for creating flight plans that outline the route, altitude, and estimated fuel consumption for each flight. They consider various factors such as weather conditions, air traffic control restrictions, and aircraft performance to optimize the flight plan.
Weather monitoring: They closely monitor weather conditions along the flight route and at the destination airport. They analyze weather forecasts, radar data, and reports to identify any potential hazards or adverse conditions that may affect the flight. This information is essential for making informed decisions regarding route changes or diversions.
Fuel management: They calculate the fuel requirements for each flight based on factors such as distance, payload, and anticipated weather conditions. They ensure that the aircraft carries enough fuel to complete the journey safely, while also considering fuel reserves for contingencies and regulatory requirements.
Flight monitoring: During the flight, dispatchers continuously monitor the progress of the aircraft. They use various tools and systems to track the flight’s position, altitude, speed, and estimated time of arrival. If any deviations or issues arise, the dispatcher communicates with the flight crew to assess the situation and provide guidance or assistance.
Communication and coordination: They serve as a vital link between the flight crew, ground operations, air traffic control, and other stakeholders. They communicate important information to the crew, such as changes in the flight plan, weather updates, or operational issues. They also coordinate with air traffic control to obtain clearances, slots, or any necessary revisions to the flight plan.
Emergency response: In the event of an emergency or abnormal situation during a flight, dispatchers play a critical role in coordinating the response efforts. They collaborate with the flight crew, maintenance personnel, and relevant authorities to assess the situation, provide support, and assist in making decisions that ensure the safety of passengers and crew.
Regulatory compliance: Dispatchers must ensure compliance with aviation regulations and company policies. They are responsible for ensuring that all necessary permits, clearances, and documentation are obtained before the flight departs. They also keep up to date with regulatory changes and ensure that operational procedures align with the applicable requirements.
Decision-making and problem-solving: Aircraft dispatchers need to make informed decisions promptly, especially when faced with unexpected events or changes in flight conditions. They use their knowledge of aircraft performance, weather patterns, and operational considerations to assess risks, identify alternative options, and determine the best course of action.
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Private Jet Parking Facilities in Greece and Europe
Aligned with the words of Icarus Jet CEO and founder, Kevin Singh, slots in some of the world’s top summer destinations, especially in Greece, are scarce, to say the least. In this opinion piece for Altitudes Magazine, he discusses how reduced slots for general aviation in one of the world’s most coveted destinations are worsening by the minute.
Mykonos Airport charges an extra handling set-up fee of 3,000 USD for private jets.
This is backed up by one of his recent business trip visits to Greece, specifically in Athens, where the situation was worse than expected due to parking sectors under construction during peak season. More importantly, this latest episode explains the need to plan and secure alternative parking options well ahead of departure.
That day the alternative terminal for Kevin and many others was Samos, rather far away from Athens and close to Türkiye, with more expensive fuel than Athens, difficult operational conditions (17-knot crosswinds), and low availability of hospitality options due to peak season. Yet with aircraft parking availability, that was the only option for the traveling group. Furthermore, one of the most popular destinations in the Greek Isles, Mykonos, and Santorini, are a true headache for crews worldwide and require alternatives like the mentioned Samos, Corfu, Paros, or Kavala. Your private jet trip support company will assess which is the best one depending on your needs.
Other popular private jet terminals in Europe that have heavy traffic but with the correct planning will have available parking slots are London Biggin Hill and Farnborough airports in the U.K., Nice Côte d’Azur Airport, situated in the French Riviera, and Paris-Le Bourget Airport in France, and Geneva Airport in Switzerland. They all offer dedicated parking areas, FBO services, and efficient customs and immigration procedures for private jet travelers, although these services must be requested with a lead time of at least 72 hours by your trip support provider for a seamless experience.
#DidYouKnow that Mykonos and Santorini Airport only allow a drop-off with an on-ground time limit of 45 minutes followed by a reposition flight?
4) Factors to Consider When Choosing Private Jet Trip Support and Parking Services
Many trip support companies in the market offer a wide range of services, yet the main data point that crews and owners should request is the tangible experience of a private jet trip support company coordinating flights to Europe and, most importantly, to the main hot spots during summer. Parking availability and alternative airport procedures should be part of the checklist of every reputable company offering these types of services.
Although other factors also play a huge role in deciding whether to choose a specific company, like assessing the range of services offered by the provider. This includes flight planning, permits and clearances, ground handling, passenger and crew services, fuel coordination, and 24/7 support.
Crews will likely pick up a delayed SLOT/CTOT at Athens, Mykonos, and Santorini airports.
Choosing a one-stop shop provider like Icarus Jet will minimize the need for multiple vendors and ensure a comprehensive solution.
Another key ingredient before making a decision is considering the provider’s network and coverage. Do they have a broad network of contacts and partners, including FBOs, airports, and ground service providers? This is important to ensure access to preferred parking facilities, and quality handling services at a wide range of destinations. Also, comparing the pricing structure to ensure you are getting good value for your investment is paramount – look for transparent pricing, including any additional fees or surcharges, that might make or break your decision of partnering with a specific company.
While trip support services comprise a large list of variables that need to align for a seamless experience, when traveling to popular private jet destinations during peak season in Europe, there is probably nothing more important than having the parking situation completely settled. Whether this comes into fruition as an alternative airport close to the destination or by securing two overnights at Paris-Le Bourget, relying on the trustworthy advice of an experienced private jet trip support provider like Icarus Jet will allow the crew, owner, and passengers to only focus on their field of specialization, leaving all the operational support details to the trip support experts.
Led by a team of aircraft dispatchers, fueling needs, ground handling, catering, and ground transportation will also be arranged by the trip support company at any airport, even if an alternative terminal option is far removed from the original destination. Maintaining the standards of the private jet experience at any terminal in the world is the commitment that Icarus Jet provides to all the crews that trust in our services worldwide.
Finally, to secure the best parking option for your upcoming flight to Europe, doing so at least 72 hours in advance will maximize the chances of accommodating the slot to your group’s travel needs. You can do so by contacting us 24/7 at firstname.lastname@example.org to receive a complete quote for all the needed services for your next trip across the pond.