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South European Handling

We all know it but as I currenty deal with it what are your experiences? I try to arrange a simple one week trip to Italy or Greece due to COVID at other southern destinations and it is an incredible pain. Handlers at the same airport contradict themselves, parking problems, multiple page price lists where nobody knows which positions will apply in the end. I always wonder how airport can operate in such a way? The worst so far is LIRI. They are a pure GA airport with no CAT at all but still stand on their own feet all the time. One handler says parking is no problem, the next claims the airport will be closed, the third says parking is impossible all at the same airport…

www.ing-golze.de
EDAZ

I have to agree. Italy, Greece, Spain and Portugal have become a pain in terms of PPR, parking, security and handling fees. In Italy, in some places they treat parking as something weighed in gold.

Salerno is weird indeed. As you say, GA only, but totally officious and complicated. ENAC is the culprit. They are the only GA accessible airport in Campania and they make you feel the monopoly. Parking is officially limited to max 72 hours. Nobody knows why, at least outside of peak season. Hence, some handlers have ways to get around these restrictions, others possibly not. That at least explains some of the differences in replies.

What I can say is that only if you get handled directly by „Aeroporto di Salerno Costa d’Amalfi SpA", the fees will be OK. The other „VIP“ handlers charge crazy money for their lounges which are never used.

But the fees may not even be your problem yet. It‘s just getting clear, non-BS communication with these people that is indeed the first hurdle. Unfortunately, the people working for the various handling companies have zero clue about what a private aircraft needs and doesn‘t need; in short, they have no idea about what private owner-flown GA is all about. It‘s beyond their personal horizon.

All these things reinforce the idea that now and in the future, for pleasurable touring in Europe, one needs a reasonably STOL and rough field capable airplane that makes you independent from the bigger airports/runways. That excludes PA46s, Mooneys, Diamonds (Dimona excepted) and a few other types. Three miles away from Salerno airport, right by the sea, there is a nice, no fuss aviosuperficie. The runway is grass and 420 meters long…

Last Edited by boscomantico at 14 Sep 20:39
Mainz (EDFZ), Germany

boscomantico wrote:

All these things reinforce the idea that now and in the future, for pleasurable touring in Europe, one needs a reasonably STOL and rough field capable airplane that makes you independent from the bigger airports/runways.

What you guys need is this: http://www.katmai-kenai.com/ or moe precisely this one: http://www.katmai-kenai.com/aircraft/kenai.php#specs

Perfect go anywhere tourer. I flew one across Europe once and the short field performance is nothing but amazing.

All these things reinforce the idea that now and in the future, for pleasurable touring in Europe, one needs a reasonably STOL and rough field capable airplane that makes you independent from the bigger airports/runways

@Bosco so true, most Aviasuperfizie will be ok for fixed gear tricycle and 420m is ok for most simple GA types, although Oasi di Peppe (great name btw), may only be around 300m?

Last Edited by RobertL18C at 14 Sep 21:26
Oxford (EGTK)

Many years ago, when I started writing up my trips, I would get viciously attacked whenever I wrote anything negative about Italy It always came from non Italians who “fell in love with Italy” and declared “my heart is in Italy” (and various versions of that). One of them even told me “I can write that but you can’t”. And now I read much worse stuff than I ever wrote…

Also a lot of people simply object to any suggestion that southern Europe is less transparent.

Quite simply, the best way is to get a local language speaker to make a contact with the airport. The staff know they cannot bullsh*t a local (who will probably make his next call to the airport manager) but they can bullsh*t a foreigner all day long, as well as ripping him off after he lands. The further south you go in Europe, the more the subtle aspects of behaviour, gestures, tone, etc, matter, and this is why a local person makes a dramatic difference.

That is how all EuroGA fly-ins were done to “southern Europe”. Spain, Italy, and most recently Montenegro. All organised by a local. Croatia is transparent in comparison, and they don’t expect people to speak Croatian so English works great, and this is one reason why it is so popular.

Greece is relatively easy; they don’t expect anyone to speak Greek, so just phone them up in English. Confirm details agreed with email. But Fraport make sure you make a generous donation to some submarine builders Overall I have found Greece is straightforward. The hardest thing there are airport opening hours (always found in notams) which often make it impossible to travel from one island to the next, on some days, etc… but that stuff is all published clearly.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

boscomantico wrote:

What I can say is that only if you get handled directly by „Aeroporto di Salerno Costa d’Amalfi SpA", the fees will be OK.

We did that in 2017 but unfortunately that no longer works. They wrote me “everything changed”.

boscomantico wrote:

for pleasurable touring in Europe, one needs a reasonably STOL and rough field capable airplane that makes you independent from the bigger airports/runways.

I see a business opportunity here for a “baby PC12”. The existing STOL planes are just too slow to go from Northern Germany to Italy in less than 3 hours over the weather in icing etc.

www.ing-golze.de
EDAZ

I see a business opportunity here for a “baby PC12”.

The Pilatus PC6, so to speak

EBST, Belgium

@Peter it was always a source of amusement at LIML when asking for start clearance how the crew on a Speedbird would get a standby or CTOT delay, and the domestic speakers went to the front of the line. Am sure it may have just been a Heathrow slot problem :) , although some of the Alitalias were also Heathrow bound.

If you were non jet you did the have the ignomy of being announced as a low performance departure when given take off clearance.

Despite having passable fluent Spanish, I would say even language skills might not help navigating local practices in Spain.

Oxford (EGTK)

Speaking the language is not enough.

To get to the bottom of some dodgy local practice one needs to appear as a proper “local” who knows where to take a complaint if they don’t get what they want.

As I said, ask a local pilot. We have many Italians here on EuroGA. For Greece, @petakas is the fount of all knowledge, and the AOPA GR site is the definitive source.

I wonder if @africaneagle is still out there? He helped a lot with the Elba fly-in.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom
9 Posts
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