We’re planning a trip from Leeds in the UK to something like the following:
Prague (Czech Republic)
We did a big trip last year down through Belgium, Switzerland, Croatia and back via Austria and Germany and found it all pretty easy – this time though the landing and handling demons seem to be out in force. Prague quoted €40 landing, €110 handling and €20/night for parking :-(
Does anyone have any recommendations for airports near our route to use as alternates?
Not totally against handling fees as I do want airports to stay open for GA but some of these prices are a bit silly. €100 for some tarmac, fine. €200, not fine.
We’re in a Cirrus SR20, ideally 800m+ tarmac (there’s not tons of power left when it’s super hot).
Not surprisingly that a UK Pilot found flying in the rest of Europe “pretty easy”…
Rotterdam you have no other choice, since you need immigration coming from the UK. Expect about 70€ for a one night stop, with handling from the Vliegclub.
Hamburg: no 800 meters of tarmac in the vicinity of Hamburg, so need to go to EDDH. Expect about 120€ for a one night stop. Bring a noise certificate.
Prague: Vodochody might be an alternative (check opening times/days though).
Budapest: Toköl might be an alternative. Ferihegy is very expensive (certainly much more than 100€). But do check if you can do immigration at Toköl if leaving towards Bulgaria.
Sofia: no alternative AFAIK to the big airport, since you need immigration. But if you are an AOPA member, their fees are not too bad.
Split: check if you can get PPR for parking. In high season, this is not usually the case. As an alternative, you might have to go to Brac. Fees in the 70€ ballbark at Brac, and 90€ at Split.
Ljubljana: easy airport and not too expensive (50€).
Memmingen: no problem. Not expensive.
Liege: A lot of bad pireps on Liege airport. Plus the city itself is one of the most ugly pieces of urbanisation in western Europe. Avoid.
Thanks for this, really useful. Vodochy is around €80 so that’s perfect! I’ll check out Toköl now. Immigration could definitely be an issue with Bulgaria not being in Schengen.
We did Braç last year, it’s nice but I think we’ve exhausted it for things to do.
I’m an AOPA member so hopefully not too bad at Sofia.
Liege – understood, will pick an alternative!
Liege isn‘t as bad as mentioned above. We have been there last year for a night. The older part of Liege is not big but nice, we found several very good places to eat. And finally it was not the highlight of our trip but a nice stop over.
I would replace Split (LDSP) with Brac (LDSB) which is a port of entry and has AVGAS. You’ll probably have trouble with a slot at Split in the summer anyway. For Budapest I would recommend Tokol (LHTL).
With advance notice you should be able to do immigration at Tokol, but check. The service was suspended then I think renewed.
I’ll be visiting Sofia for the first time this weekend (I hope) and will let you know.
Croatia – really not keen on going back to Braç, it’s lovely and the airport’s great but I think we’ll be bored.
What’s Zadar like? Might also try Tivat as an option.
If you can let me know what you find in Sofia that would be much appreciated, we leave on Thursday =)
BTW if Tokol (LHTL) doesn’t work for departure passport control, you can use Szeged (LHUD) with 72 hours notice. It’s right on the way to Sofia and a pleasant university town with the EU subatomic particle collider, the largest in the world…. excellent restaurants, good for a single overnight, unless you’re a physicist.
If it may be a bit more adventurous, i would consider Skopje and Sarajevo.
Both full of recent and ancient history.
Needs some emailing, but no real hurdles.
Skopje has cheap avgas, too (like Serbia +/-)