As a matter of interest – and I know Petakas will tell me it’s all in the AOPA document but I’m about to disappear into a very long and boring meeting so it will have to wait – how many airports in Greece actually do not have handling in one form or another? Given what he says about security issues etc, it looks like most of them would need to? (I think Megara is one – but then you have the different hassle of having to get written permission well in advance because of the military presence).
I understand that you don’t have to take handling if it’s not actually offered, but in the (few) cases I’ve been checking out in advance of my trip where there is handling I’m told every time I must have it. Going to the HCAA “presentation” section of a specific airfield in a vain attempt to avoid handling and deal with the airport directly has either yielded email addresses that don’t work, or don’t get answered, or a fax number that in one case (finally) did get answered and in which I was summarily told to contact Skyserv. So back to square one.
Anyway – it is what it is. Peter’s point about the people is 100% true for me too. And I suppose he’s right – if you’re going to splash a ton of money on AVGAS just getting there, you might as well accept the non-Fraport fees you’re going to get slapped with. The Fraport fees – as I think we all agree – are a whole different ball game. That’s just robbery.
how many airports in Greece actually do not have handling in one form or another?
Officially none except Megara LGMG (the only dedicated GA airfield) and provincial municipal ZZZZ strips.
In SOME airports if you happen to arrive in the combination airport still open but daily airline service long gone or still hours to arrive, you may find the handling agent not present therefore you just a walk in the building and do the papers with the CAA. But this is hard to predict. For locals/natives it may be easier.
There are some exceptions but you cannot rely on such “local” procedures because they are subject to change from any kind of reasons.
For example, on last EuroGA FlyIn we had in Astypalea LGPL CAA told us and Handler confirmed that “no, if you do not need handling you can come in without it” and it worked just fine like this.
On the contrary, for the FlyIn to Kastelorizo LGKJ (Greece’s tiniest airport) under preparation, CAA told to Peter “No, handling is mandatory, period”.
One other value of the handler for the “foreign” visitor is the “one stop shop” for all.
All of them are good in English communications via email and you can always ask them for e.g. about taxis to main town, boat rides to nearby islet and other local stuff which they will happily advise you on. Once a visitor had a flat battery and they quickly arranged a 24V truck to come from nearby with cables and feed the battery for start up.
Its minor things like this that you can’t easily arrange as a visitor and handling agents will help you as “locals”. They never charge for such stuff. In larger international airports they might since there they have different attitude.
Getting such services from the local CAA officer (not the ATCO) will be the exception to the rule ..
My advice is ask for handling. Its your “peace of mind” for when you’ll be there for local procedures.
Most of the times the employees are locals who have been trained & employed by the handling company for permanent job (on less than 8hrs/5days work contracts) and they have this as a side job along with the permanent housewife stuff or other job downtown, off airport operation hours.
I actually thought Skyserve at LGIO added value. They gave excellent advice on hotels and restaurants and we’re generally useful on the usual handler things. I paid about 70 EUR total including 3 days parking. Sometimes you don’t want the hassle of figuring it out on your own, especially at the end of a long flight after sunset.
We landed LGIO last night about 9.00 pm local time. Agree with WP above. Skyserv very efficient and helpful. With an AOPA card it’s good value. Considering landing and parking fees I was told was 7 euros per day overall cost is small. Ioannina is a lovely place and well worth a visit and stay. We depart LGIO for Syros LGSO on Friday.
I will fly to Syros Saturday am, followed by an ongoing flight to Skopje.
LGIO RNAV (GNSS) approaches finally published.
Thanks Petakas. Had just printed the AIP versions yesterday in advance of my trip but these Jepp ones are much better! Hoping to fly to LGIO (in stages from the UK) en route to Kithira – VFR if possible because of the views, but it’s good to have the IFR back-up in case the weather doesn’t co-operate.
On my inbound visit to LGIO last week I struggled to lose the height in between the step down fixes. You will note from the RNAV plate above for R32, you have to lose 1000 ft in 2.8 NM as well as trying to slow the plane down to be configured at FAF with 1st stage of flaps…..and this was in the dark about 8.00pm local.
you have to lose 1000 ft in 2.8 NM as well as trying to slow the plane down to be configured at FAF with 1st stage of flaps…..and this was in the dark about 8.00pm local.
Yeap, even in the VORDME approach you have that steep descent.
I have had the same experience in the past, Night IFR descent in to that base turn arc of the VORDME and it ain’t nice !
I was expecting it and extended landing gear and take off flaps before the “dive”.
Its one of those notorious “traps” that IFR examiners/instructors use from time to time (in day vmc).
@petakas Obviously my first time into LGIO, the plate shows an approach frequency but was dumped by Corfu radar with about 15 mile to run to YNN and passed to tower. So with about 5 mns to run to YNN and not knowing which runway was in use was given VORC procedural sevice and report 167 radial outbound. It doesn’t give you much time to load and brief the approach. OK, I.m at FL90 and above MSA so could have flown to YNN and held to allow time to load the approach and brief. I have no gear to drop (SR22T) but did manage to lose the height, there was no way I was going to go missed