French Bizav airports impose slot system

 - April 30, 2008, 9:07 AM

Slot coordination was imposed at Cannes-Mandelieu Airport in the south of France under a trial period that will run from May 23 through October 25. According to Umberto Vallino, the airport’s customer service manager, Cannes has become the first dedicated business aviation airport in Europe to be subject to mandatory arrival and departure slots. While Europe’s busier air transport gateways often require slots for business aircraft, such restrictions have not previously been imposed at airports such as Cannes where there is no airline traffic.

France’s DGAC civil aviation authority introduced the slot coordination at Cannes, arguing that the airport’s air traffic controllers cannot handle the volume of traffic around Cannes and nearby Nice-Cote d’Azur Airport (where slots are also now required). Vallino expressed frustration at the move, which he said stems from inefficiency on the part of ATC providers.

Not-for-profit company Cohor (www.cohor.org) is managing the slot coordination process. Operators wanting to fly in and out of Cannes will have to apply for slots via e-mail or fax to the Cannes Operations Office (operations-acm@cote-azur.aeroport.fr); fax: 33 493 904130; tel 33 493 904200). If granted a slot, they will be assigned a PPR number, which they must record in the flight plan.

Meanwhile, Cannes-Mandelieu Airport has started construction of a fourth new hangar to accommodate based business aircraft operators. This will be completed by the end of next year, and three other new hangars are already being built in a project that will almost double the total hangar capacity from 188,000 sq ft to 366,000 sq ft by 2012.