For long-distance, international travel, flight technical stops continue to play an integral role in ensuring safe flying. While commercial airlines like British Airways and Ethiopian Airlines have previously operated regular technical stops in Shannon and Dublin,
Ireland, respectively, private aircraft operators can utilise technical stops as well. These stops allow aircraft to be refuelled, serviced and taken care of, so that passengers can once again be on their way to their final destination. Whether travelling across the North Atlantic to or from the US, or across the globe to China, included below are four tips to help you and your team plan an upcoming trip successfully.
Tip #1: Know Your Aircraft Limitations
Before considering the right location to complete a technical stop, it’s important to understand the range of the aircraft you will be operating. While a chartered Boeing 737 may be able to fly over 3,000 nautical miles, a Cessna Citation Mustang may only operate to destinations under 1,200 nautical miles.
This important distinction must be considered during flight planning, as the Citation Mustang may need to seek a different routing, along with several technical stops en-route, if operating a great distance.
Tip #2: Research Fuel Costs
Did you know that fuel prices can differ dramatically from airport to airport, even within the same country? Along with the stated fuel prices, operators must be prepared ahead of time to know what documents are required to be presented to the refueller.
Without proper documentation, it is possible that the airport will charge an additional VAT or mineral oil tax. When contemplating which airport makes the most sense for a technical stop, it’s critical to find a fuel provider that can make the trip as cost-effective as possible.
Tip #3: Determine Best Available Ground Handling Option
Along with fuel, ground handling abilities can also differ from airport to airport. For operators looking for a very-quick turn prior to departing again, airports with less congestion and experienced ground handling may be optimal.
Cities like Oslo and Stockholm are well known for their ground handling partners quickly turning aircraft around. In fact, Oslo offers 24-hour airport access, giving aircraft operators plenty of flexibility for when they decide it is necessary to complete a technical stop.
Tip #4: Understand Passenger Requirements
Even as many EU nations allow passengers to disembark during a technical stop, that is not the case in every nation. In the US, visas are required for nearly all onboard passengers during a technical stop.
In Russia, the requirements are different depending on which airport you arrive in. For those travelling to Brazil, passengers aren’t even supposed to get off the aircraft during a technical stop. With the rules varying from country to country, it’s important that proper research is done to see which technical stop location best meets passenger requirements.
Technical stops play an important role in helping aircraft operators receive the services they need to successfully land at the final destination. While every aircraft is unique, determining the best technical stop location in advance can make all the difference for long-distance trips.
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Flying internationally and want to know the best planning routes for technical stops? Feel free to contact our team here at Flightworx today for advice today.