Movie Stars and Racing Cars: Special Flight Ops in Southern France

By Chris Shieff


The sun’s back out in Southern France, and so are the high rollers, race car drivers and movie stars.

That’s right – it’s that time of year again, with two major events stacked back-to-back – the Cannes Film Festival (May 16 – 27) and Monaco Grand Prix. It’s the jewel of the F1 calendar (May 25-28).

This means an influx of business jet traffic to two major airports – LFMD/Cannes and LFMN/Nice, where some of the world’s wealthiest will come out to play.

It’s not all caviar and roulette though – you’ll still need to be able to land there first. Three AIP SUPs have been published to help that happen. Here’s what you need to know about them.


AIP SUP 30/23 has the deets here.

The airport itself isn’t normally co-ordinated, but you’ll need a slot to go there between May 16 – 29. That info is found on this website. The apron is going to be chock-a-block too – a word of warning, you won’t be allocated a slot unless you have confirmed parking too.

If you like to manage things yourself on the ground, you’re out of luck. Handling services will be mandatory during this period, and it seems there’s only port-of-call:

Phone : +33 (0) 4 93 90 41 10

You may not get your requested slot, so a little flexibility may help here. When you get an authorisation number, this will need to go into Item 18 of your flight plan. Without it, EUROCONTROL will likely refuse it.

Don’t be tempted to fly the hop between Cannes and Nice either, in either direction. These flights will be banned between May 26 – 29.


AIP SUP 27/23 is the one to check out here.

Nice is co-ordinated year-round, so there’s less of a surprise. As above, you’ll need to co-ordinate a slot to arrive or depart.

Once again, hiring ground handling services will be mandatory. This time there is a little more choice though. According to the AIP SUP, roll the dice and pick between:

Phone: + 33 (0) 4 93 21 37 37

E-mail :
Phone: +33 4 93 21 58 12


Monaco itself doesn’t have an airport. In fact, it is the second smallest country in the world and is found on France’s Côte d’Azur – its south-eastern coast. Inside Monaco is the district of Monte Carlo, where the F1 race is taking place. Most fans and participants will enter via Nice.

If you’re looking for crew accommodation there, book early. Things fill up, and it becomes astronomically expensive – if it isn’t already.

Restricted Airspace

Info on this is published in yet another SUP – this one: AIP SUP 076/23.

From May 16 – 28, unless you are special traffic you will not be able to overfly the city of Cannes at low level.

Flights over the city of Cannes are restricted throughout the film festival.

Keep an eye out for intensive helicopter traffic. For IFR traffic departing on a SID, it is important to follow published climb gradients and altitude requirements. If you don’t think you’ll make it – let ATC know with your start request. You may get hit with a delay, but it’s better than the alternative..

We’re expecting another AIP SUP to be published closer to the F1 Grand Prix which may be more restrictive, and so we’ll keep this article updated.


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Chris Shieff

Chris Shieff

OPSGROUP team member and Airbus pilot. Based in sunny Auckland, New Zealand. Question for us? Write to

One Comment

  • Lafayette says:

    Don’t forget to mention Air France, which makes special direct flights with brand new A350 between LAX and NCE on the occasion of the Cannes Film Festival

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