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New IFR charge in Greece

@Petakas

The aircraft is an SR22, operated privately.

The description on the Skyserv invoice reads “FLIGHT OPERATIONS/SLOT MANAGEMENT FSO (Arr) Ttl 1”

Although the description on the invoice mentions ‘slot management’ , it had nothing to do with slots. As far as I know, there was no allocation of a slot. (I certainly did not get one and I don’t think the Skyserv people did either). The way they talked it was just an additional charge on IFR traffic (without any extra service being provided).

TJ
Cambridge EGSC

That is interesting … and your case may open a new can of worms in the usual way, first a query by AOPA Greece with facts (your input comes here), then a clarification from the other party and then the party begins….

Let’s continue via pm to coordinate.

PS. I may be slow to respond as I’m replying you from a beach at Skiathos on a short vacation break ;-) and I hate using those igadgets for comm’s !

LGMG Megara, Greece

Followinq @TJ ’s report, AOPA Hellas is working on the issue to find out exactly what is in effect.

Officially per the coordinator in Greece http://www.hsca.gr/ the SLOT requirement is already in effect for airports requiring SLOTs in Greece.

It looks as if pilots on their own they cannot manage them.

You have to get an ID from OCS (https://www.online-coordination.com) which costs 400 Euro/annum and officially they give it to handlers and related companies i.e. not private individuals.

On the other hand handlers if not via OCS file the requests via other software like one called SCORE.

@TJ got charged by SKYSERV handler 95 Euro (with VAT) for Slot Management.

AOPA is looking in to the fact with the coordinator first of all to check if indeed the the handler did the job or TJ got charged for nothing.

Aside from that, for now – until more info. comes up for AOPA Hellas – it looks like airports who get REALLY busy will be/are requiring IFR GA traffic to also arrive/depart with SLOT. So first comes the PPR number and then this is used in the SLOT request (called GCR) to get the slot.

The state/Eurocontrol via the state via CAA/whoever, charges 3.6 Euro per slot issued in Greece. The rest goes to the handler …

So next task is for AOPA Greece to investigate whether a private individual can manage SLOTs himself and pay the 3.6 via the handler to the CAA same like the parking fee.
Officially noone can force you to use the handler to manage your slot.
The slot communication process though involves some tricky codes and format for the messages sent without which they are automatically rejected.
See top newspost in hsca.gr :
http://www.hsca.gr/index.php/8-mainpagearticles/44-updated-rules-and-guidelines-for-for-slot-allocation-of-general-business-aviation-s16

If anyone “in the know” could advise as to how “any TJ” could avoid getting the handler to manage the slot but rather do it himself, AOPA Hellas would be grateful.

The initial information months ago was that light GA IFR would not be affected but only business/commercial operators.
See para 31 of www.aopa.gr/Info

LGMG Megara, Greece

@achimha is there some magic that you could add to autorouter to manage this?

ESTL

That really looks like Greek jobsworth nonsense, managing parking of empty GA aprons and involving the CAA with every little flight. Too bad, I always enjoyed the convenience of airports like LGIR…

GCR is a standard and used in other places like Germany and Holland. The problem is that you have to request a specific slot and only if your request can be met, you get an automated response. If it cannot be met, the request goes into a manual processing queue and maybe you get a response in a few hours, maybe days, maybe none at all. That’s a very impractical process, you can’t react and adjust your timing and there is no guaranteed processing time. Also no way to cancel a request. We’ve been looking into it as an autorouter feature but our hopes are on another coordination technology that is more modern and dynamic with feedback on available times. So far we have not been able to reach an agreement with the agency in charge.

The Greek implementation requires a parking PPR number prior to sending a GCR. This permission is issued by the CAA who in my experience are rather inefficient and unresponsive. Normally the handler asks the CAA, calls on the phone, walks over etc. and even that can take more than a day. I have landed on numerous occasions without that PPR number and never got any complaints.

So I wonder how a GCR integration in autorouter would help with the Greek situation?

Last Edited by achimha at 10 Jul 19:43

achimha wrote:

That really looks like Greek jobsworth nonsense, managing parking of empty GA aprons and involving the CAA with every little flight. Too bad, I always enjoyed the convenience of airports like LGIR…

It is indeed like this.
In general it seems that the slot management issue is operated in such a way that you cannot avoid the handler handling it exclusively unless you are an airline with dispatch office.

So AOPA Hellas will head towards the direction of agreeing discount also for this service apart from the basic handling already in effect. Slots as it seems now cannot be avoided in the airports they are required and this is not something Greece specific. In Greece they just add the PPR requirement in the slot process as it seems, something which is also managed by handlers as part of their job for which you pay them.

Not that it changes much but,
From above referred “GABA SLOT ALLOCATION RULES July 2016.pdf” of http://www.hsca.gr/

PPR procedure does not apply for GA/BA flights slot requests at Heraklion (LGIR) and Thessaloniki (LGTS) airports, when the requested ground time is up to two hours. For more than two hours ground time a PPR is needed for these airports also.

Last Edited by petakas at 11 Jul 20:44
LGMG Megara, Greece

Im learning the ropes somewhat. Perhaps you can enlighten me by answering a few questions.

Ive had an experience with a German airport that insists on charging me an IFR arrival even though I cancel while still in another country after I determined that the weather became VFR over the airport of destination.

So with that in mind, can I do an IFR to VFR flight plan (I think its called a Z plan) to fly into LGKR and not be charged an IFR slott charge?

Are all IFR slott charges the same or do they vary by airport and or handler?

Thanks for taking the time to inform us.

KHTO, LHTL

The charge of the IFR SLOT is not because we land approaching IFR but because someone BEFORE our flight took care of the SLOT MANAGEMENT.
In @TJ ’s case it was without his knowledge but there is a pending query on this from AOPA just to make sure indeed someone did something for what they charged.

Someone loggs in the system he’s been trained for, looks at the available slots, books it for us, informs us of the slot details and later he is there to coordinate if any changes need to/ happen to take place.
For this the state charges 3.6 Euro and the rest of 95 Euro goes to the someone called handling agent.
In the case of Greece the same someone takes care of issuing a PPR for the flight which is an integral part of the SLOT process.
With PPR someone (CAA) approves the “parking occupancy” and with SLOT someone (ATC) approves the “airspace/runway occupancy”.
The handling agent combines these (having also the privilege of being “on the spot”) and provides the service we pay for.
( @achimha correct me if I write something wrong regarding the process!)

AOPA Hellas investigated if the someone could be the pilot himself. Even though technically it is not forbidden to self manage the slot practically its impossible.

Handling is mandatory anyway “where available” in Greece because they do the first and last most important thing CAA employees deny to; the escort/transport from aircraft to terminal via the apron.
Its not the actual workload which is so much but the legal responsibility for security, safety and other such factors that is passed on the handling agent. This is the whole meaning of the process. They are the ones to blame if something goes wrong. This liability is always translated in to Euro ;-)

As I am informed, AOPA Hellas already initiated communication with handlers for AOPA card holders discount on SLOT management.
No idea yet of when or whether it will materialize.
Also my initial information from AOPA is that SLOTs in practice they are not blanket enforced to all airports in Greece to all GA IFR aircraft.
Some airports do not require them, some do, even though per AIP all IFR flights need nowadays a SLOT.
Kerkyra (Corfu) LGKR seems to be one of those who do require it but again it is unknown if it is day/time/rush hour related or blanket requirement or even if it is up to which handler does the job “by the book” or not. It is still a bit early to say for sure because AOPA does not want to query all airports individually and maybe wake up “sleeping giants”. The whole issue needs some discrete handling which is happening this week following me informing them of this post here in EuroGA.

So to close by answering the @C210_Flyer question. I believe, no, the switching to VFR will not change things because the “someone” did the job already before the flight started or while it was en route. The interaction with “someone” is obligatory so the invoice will pop up anyway.
Its is really up to the handler. When you first contact they shall tell you the story. They shall tell you for example if you need SLOT. If you don’t and they confirm this then they cannot charge you for it on arrival.

I have had similar – in the range of 100 Euro – charges (outside Greece) in the past just because I used the Instrument Approach (as VFR VMC) or because it was a bit hazy and Tower switched on the runway lights in daytime even though I did not ask them to. The former was labeled in the invoice “IFR charge” and the latter “Runway Lights Charge”. One was at the one side of Europe and the other was at the other side of it.

Last Edited by petakas at 12 Jul 14:35
LGMG Megara, Greece

Fine. But there is no consistency there. I was at Corfu six weeks ago and departed IFR as well (at a day/time when it was actually quite busy). There was no talk of airport slots whatsoever. No IFR charge either.

Maybe the trick is, when passing on your flight details to the handling agent, to not disclose that you will be flying IFR?

Frankfurt (EDFZ, EDFE), Germany

I agree and indeed that may help.

In Greece I have realized many times that the CAA or the handling agent has no clue whether I flew in IFR or VFR. Only ATC do and from what I have observed there is no protocol of communication for ATC to airport admin. for charging purposes like its done in many European airports.

As my lawyer says “never say more than you ABSOLUTELY need to” !
Also I do not know how handling agents deal with extra charges issues specifically.

SWISSPORT and GOLDAIR are private companies client oriented with the usual squawks off course as everywhere but in general they do a fine job.

SKYSERV that TJ used is ex sole monopoly handling agent, ex state owned Olympic Handling “we own and rule the airport universe” (within Greece) which were forced to become a private company (with some % state shares I believe) when ex Olympic Airways was dissolved and Olympic Air was created keeping only the Dash 8 fleet.
They are about to get absorbed in to Swissport from what I hear.
90% of their employees are still the same humans, the ex “we are masters of the airports” that since ten or so years now face the reality of a real market economy.
I need not say more.

LGMG Megara, Greece
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