Does anyone have any experience of flying into Asturias LEAS? We are planning on flying our Sting down to Portugal VFR in the summer and Asturias would be an ideal refuelling/night stop for us. Other stops (Nantes, San Sebastian, Viseu) we have used before and no enough tricks at these to avoid getting suckered into handling and so on; so if anyone has any tips, info or advice on LEAS that would be really appreciated.
In 2013, I had the typical Spanish airport experience with Asturias: called for PPR well in advance (2 or 3 days) and asked to come on day X. The guy responded in that typical voice: “No Sir, not possible on X, er are completely full”. That is on a an airport was decent apron capacity and almost zero traffic.
I ended up going to Santander instead, which was very good. See here.
Asturias is no problem whatsoever, I stop there a few times every year on way to Portugal.
No handling required, no PPR , cheap landings good flight briefing/met office and no stupid security, you may need to check on avgas availability. There is limited accommodation in the area, but the scenery is amazing all along the coast from San Sebastian to La Coruna.
Could I say that in San Sebastian its always better (in my opinion) taking off in the direction of the sea even if its with a slight tail wind.
Also they wouldnt let me land at Nantes last year (I was warned by the Forum) as I didnt have a handling agent pre arranged, better
off stopping at Dinard for fuel/customs.
That’s what the AIP says:
Air taxi, School and GA flights PPR via ARO TEL/Fax or E-Mail with the following data: oper-ator, DEP and DEST AD, date/time of ETA and ETD, ACFT identification, ACFT type, Flight rules VFR/IFR. Flights without prior clearance will be rejected. Stands and overnight stay 48hr PPR
They sure rejected me, with more than 48 hours PN.
Sure one might just ignore this and fly anyway, then you might be lucky and they accept you. But one sure can’t plan a flight based on that assumption – I’m with the PeterH doctrine here.
I went there a few years ago and don’t remember any particular problems,. I may have booked before hand though as we stayed a few days. The most memroable part of the flight was that it was down to minimums in heavy rain. The controller must have asked me at least three times what my intentions were in the event of a missed approach as I am sure she was covinced I wasn’t going to get in:)
I remember the terrain on the approach being very undulating and we kept getting glances of the ground that appeared a long way away one moment and the next minute it seemed we were just skirting the tops of the trees.
Thanks all. We’ll go down the PPR route and hope to get a positive response. We’ve been to a few places in Spain without a problem, but thought I would check on Asturias given they have a lot more commercial traffic than most of the places we have visited. I am also with the PeterH doctrine of not going somewhere if they haven’t confirmed you’ll be welcome!
With regards to Nantes we have never had a problem there and have handled with the AeroClub. It seems to make a good mid-way stop through France and after 3 visits we have yet to see an invoice, so if I have to take handling on the fourth I can probably live with it :)
I am also with the PeterH doctrine of not going somewhere if they haven’t confirmed you’ll be welcome!
Well I am always amazed to have an effect on some people
The downside with my approach is that many airports around Europe simply never respond to any communications (faxed emailed or “free text AFTNd”). And if you phone them up in English some will hang up the instant they hear English; to be fair there is no requirement on an international airport to have English speaking ground personnel, and even the French DGAC switchboard did that to me repeatedly.
It’s difficult to know what to make of this.
In France it’s usually OK – they just don’t like to speak English even if they usually can
In Spain one needs to be a bit more careful. Usually there is no reply. Their AIP is (to me surprisingly) accurate, and English tends to be poorly spoken among ground staff.
Italy would be a bit like Spain (no reply from small airports) but they are usually a lot more friendly face to face
In Greece it almost never happens (English is spoken very well and except LGKR and possibly the LGMK “parking slot marketing manager” they love visitors) but when it does happen it might mean the airport is closed and the notamed opening hours are cocked-up (rare but I have seen it).
In all cases, the handling agent should respond in 100 milliseconds because they want your €€€€ BUT your interests are not corresponding
Another tactic is to contact a nearby big airport. For example for Lucca (which prob99 will never reply) I would contact Pisa (who will have Lucca’s phone #).
Another tactic is to fly to and park at the aeroclub but IME this nearly always needs a local language approach.
However I would be suspicious of any airport which doesn’t respond, and would not fly there if the alternate is a total godforsaken dump (which it often is).
Peter, this is very much my experience too and why this forum is so very useful to share experiences and ‘tricks’. San Sebastian is another of the airports we hope to use on this trip, so the recent thread on that airport has been handy too.
Hopefully we will get a positive response from Asturias as it is really the optimal refuelling/night stop for this trip and route. If push comes to shove we will bite the bullet and pay the handler, simply because the airport is in the right place.
The final destination certainly won’t need a handler
I am of the NW of Spain, and I live on the border of northern portugal. I can help. I can try to find some contact
is your sting with ulm registration or GA?
if it is with ULM, you will have problems at airports. Few years ago, a European pilot, had to disassemble your ulm, and out of the airport in a truck. A ULM has prohibited its entry into airports.
and also a ulm in Spain is prohibited fly above 1,000 feet
Anyway, I also recommend a private airfield, very nice people, Ribadeo / Villaframil [LEVF] http://www.clubaereoribadeo.com/
a few meters from the airfield there is a restaurant you eat really well
the other is Rozas airfield http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aer%C3%B3dromo_de_Rozas
It is mandatory, a route B, from San Sebastian to another point
It is very normal in northern Asturias and Galicia, bad weather, fog, haze, it is very dangerous to fly there, mountains, sea … loss of orientation ….
In many areas of Spain also have to be careful with many areas of flight of vultures, eagles
I can advise also good airfields in portugal…
Celtico thanks for this information. What is the definition of a ULM in Spain? I have tried the Spanish AIP but without success so far… I am aware that we need to ask for permission to fly in Spanish and Portuguese airspace as the aircraft is operating on a Permit to Fly in the UK.
Any information would be most appreciated.