France’s DGAC civil aviation authority has imposed slot coordination at Cannes-Mandelieu Airport in the south of France beginning May 23 under a trial period that will run through the end of October. According to Umberto Vallino, the airport’s customer service manager, Cannes is the first dedicated business aviation airport in Europe to be subject to mandatory arrival and departure slots. While slots are commonly required by business aircraft operators using Europe’s busier air transport gateways, they have not previously been imposed at airports like Cannes where there is no airline traffic.
Slot coordination has been introduced at Cannes by the civil aviation authority, which argues that its air traffic controllers cannot handle the volume of traffic around Cannes and nearby Nice-Côte d’Azur Airport (where slots are also now required). Vallino expressed frustration at the move, which he said is caused by inefficiency on the part of air traffic control providers.
Not-for-profit company Cohor (www.cohor.org) is managing the slot coordination process. Operators wanting to use Cannes will have to apply for slots
via e-mail or fax to the Cannes Operations Office(firstname.lastname@example.org; fax: 33 4 93 90 41 30; tel: 33 4 93 90 42 00). If granted a slot, they will be assigned a PPR number, which must be recorded in the flight plan. More information is available from: www.cannes. aeroport.fr/pilotes-compagnies/ EN/procedures/CAT_B-LFMD_ BRIEFING_Web.htm.
Meanwhile, Cannes-Mandelieu Airport has started construction of a fourth hangar to accommodate new based business aircraft operators. It is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2009; three additional hangars are currently being built in a project that will almost double the total hangar capacity from 188,000 to 366,000 sq ft by 2012.