Ops to Paris for the Olympics

By David Mumford

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Key Points
  • Paris will be busy from July 22 to Aug 11 (Olympics) and Aug 26 to Sep 8 (Paralympics).
  • LFPB/Paris Le Bourget will likely be the airport you want to go to, but expect quick turns only with reposition elsewhere for parking (options below).
  • There’s a procedure to know about (slots, PPR, no late changes).
  • Paris will be a no-fly zone on July 26 for the opening ceremony.

France has published an AIC with procedures for operators to follow if they want to fly to a Paris airport during the Olympics, but it’s mostly a load of old nonsense. At least, that’s what the handling agents at LFPB/Paris Le Bourget airport are saying.

The Dreaded AIC

You can read it here.

It says that if you want to go to any of the Paris airports from July 22 to Aug 11 (Olympics) and Aug 26 to Sep 8 (Paralympics), you need to do three things in order:

  1. Request pilot approval (two months before the Olympics start!)
  2. File a “flight intention” for each flight (send this to your handler/FBO no later than 2 hours before take-off for flights to LFPB/LFPG/LFPO, or 4 hours for other airports).
  3. Get a flight authorisation number and include it in Field 18 of your filed flight plan.

What the LFPB Handlers say

Really only #2 from that list actually applies. Here’s what you actually have to do:

  • There’s no accreditation for pilots or operators during the Olympics, and everything will proceed pretty much as normal. The AIC only applies to VFR flights.
  • The airport authorities will implement slots/PPR from July 12 to Sep 16 (these are obtained by the handler and sent to the operator), so you just need to fill out the FPL with the airport slot ID in Field 18.
  • LFPB airport authorities will not allow any updates with two hours prior arrival or departure – no change of timing, no change of crew or pax. The handler will send this info to the authorities prior to the flight, and if they don’t reply then the flight is approved. If there is any issue with the pax or crew, the handler will be notified, and the flight will be refused.
  • It’s going to be busy, so LFPB will only be accepting quick turns with parking elsewhere.
  • If you get a slot, you best keep it – if you cancel it there’s no guarantee you’re going to get another one.
  • Check with your handler of choice about their fees cancellation policy, as some of these will be non-refundable.

The Opening Ceremony

France has published a SUP showing the closed airspace for the opening ceremony of the Olympics in Paris on July 26.

On that day, between 1630-2200z, Paris will basically become a no-fly zone – no flights will be able to enter the airspace or go to/from the airports. Watch out for overflights too – these won’t be allowed either!

Flight plans to Paris airports will be rejected starting 1530z. Departures from LFPG/Charles De Gaulle might be allowed starting 2130z with special approval.

Where to go?

LFPB/Paris Le Bourget, LFPT/Pontoise, LFAQ/Albert, and LFOK/Vatry seem like the best bets. LPFM/Villaroche-Melun might be an option too, but this one will only be available for flights between EU/Schengen airports only (i.e. not direct from the US).

Ones to cross off your list:

  • LFPO/Orly and LFPG/Charles De Gaulle as they will be dedicated to airline flights
  • LFOB/Beauvais and LFOP/Rouen as they have no support for bizav flights.

At LFPB you have a few options for handling:

Astonskywebsite
lfpb@astonsky.com

Dassault Falcon Servicewebsite
handling@dassault-falcon.com

Jetexwebsite
fbo-lbg@jetex.com

Signaturewebsite
lbgt1@signatureflight.fr

For more info on facilities available at these airports, check here.

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