The prestigious annual World Economic Forum is set to take place from January 15-19, 2024, in the scenic Davos-Klosters, Switzerland. Drawing together global business leaders and heads of state, this event sees a significant influx of business aviation traffic, making advanced planning essential. Here’s your comprehensive guide to navigating the challenges and making the most of your attendance at this exclusive event.
World Economic Forum Davos Primary Airport (LSZR)
Many operators commonly default to Zurich (LSZH) when heading to Davos, assuming it’s the sole option. However, an alternative stands out for those seeking exclusivity and aiming to sidestep potential crowds and parking challenges: St. Gallen-Altenrhein Airport (LSZR / ACH). This concealed gem is an excellent choice for General Aviation (GA) operators bound for Davos, situated approximately a 1-hour and 15-minute drive from the Forum venue or an invigorating helicopter journey away.
St. Gallen-Altenrhein Airport, with its fixed-base operator (FBO) and comprehensive GA support services managed by People’s Air Group in Cooperation with ExecuJet, operates as an airport of entry (AOE) from 0630 to 2100 local time. Unlike its counterpart, LSZH, there are no airport slot requirements, and passengers and their luggage undergo no intrusive security screening. This makes St. Gallen-Altenrhein an attractive and hassle-free choice for operators en route to Davos.
- Grooved RWY 10/28, length: 1455 m, width: 30 m, ILS/DME RWY 10, Cat. I, lighted, PBN Approach, strength: PCN 30/F/C/Y/T ASPH.
- Check-in counters, departure arrival hall, passenger/baggage security screening
- Restaurant, business/pilot lounge
- On-site car parking area, E-Charging Station
- Office and hangar space for short- and long-term rent
- Short notice parking may still be available at the last minute.
- Special last-minute hotels may be available
- Fast turnaround times
- Short check-in times
- No Airport Slot Requirements
- Excellent Punctuality for scheduled / charter and commercial operations
- Jet Al, AVGAS, E Charging Station for E-Planes
- Immigration, Schengen and Non-Schengen
- Customs (on request)
For LSZR, customs and immigration are available. However, it’s important to note that there is no need to request CIQ during WEF, as Border Control will be on-site during opening hours; unlike Zurich, there are no long lines or intrusive screening processes. However, visas for Switzerland are required for certain nationalities and may not be obtained upon arrival. While immigration clears all flights to/from non-Schengen countries, customs clearance is only needed for passengers with anything to declare.
LSZR Parking availability during WEF
It’s worth requesting last-minute parking at LSZR, as smaller and larger business jets may still be able to secure parking. Hangar parking is guaranteed outside upon request, hanger is subject to availability. While popular hotels may be booked, exploring quality 4-star crew accommodation is a viable option.
Flexibility is vital for pilots and flight coordinators planning a short-notice trip to Davos.
Davos short-notice operations
Drop-and-go options at LSZR are available, and parking alternatives can be found.
If Parking in LSZR is not possible, these options are ideal for crew parking after passenger drop-offs at LSZR if needed or required.
- EDDM – Munich Airport, Germany
- LOWW – Vienna Airport, Austria
- LOWS – Salzburg Airport, Austria
- LOWK – Klagenfurt Airport, Austria
There are no slot requirements at LSZR
Private non-revenue GA flights to Switzerland don’t require landing permits. But charter (non-scheduled commercial) operators outside the EU need these permits. Documents required include airworthiness and registration certificates, worldwide insurance, noise certificate, and aircraft operator certificate (AOC). For that, email the authorities directly at [email protected]
Davos local ground transport
We recommend arranging pre-paid (car with driver) transport during the Forum period. The team at St. Gallen would happily support you in arranging a taxi or limousine. But booking this early is essential for the best choice and availability. If you depend on local taxis to transfer you to Davos, it is highly recommended to book in advance. Local taxis for crew hotac are expected to be less of an issue. Be mindful that the drive to Davos is through the mountains in winter conditions and could take much longer, depending on the weather.
Fuel uplifts and ground support equipment
To bypass potential delays on the day of departure amid congestion during the Davos Forum, you can ask for a fuel uplift the day prior but remember that Fuel uplifts are mandated by law to occur on the day of departure. However, please note that ExecuJet’s LSZR does have a special agreement with customs so that all aircraft can be fueled anytime, including the day of arrival. Having patience is key.
If you choose to use Paragon for your fuel request, you won’t be required to present any documents. However, if you opt for other providers, we recommend carrying fuel documents for uplifts. The major cards accepted at the location are Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Diners cards. Services on credit are only offered if a set agreement is in place in advance. It’s worth noting that fuel taxes differ between Switzerland and Germany, with higher rates in Germany due to increased value-added and mineral oil taxes.
Though GSE and tow bars are typically available at LSZR,
In-flight catering is provided at the mentioned airports. For standard/basic orders, giving a minimum of 24 hours’ notice is advisable, while custom orders may require at least 48 hours. We strongly recommend placing catering orders as early as possible to ensure seamless arrangements.
Onboard pets and weapons
When traveling to the mentioned airfields with pets or firearms on board, it’s crucial to review all relevant regulations and restrictions thoroughly. Please note that it is not possible to bring pets when flying from a non-EU country to LSZR. If you are carrying firearms, LSZR should be notified beforehand. Your trip support provider or local ground handler can help you with the necessary documentation and any operational restrictions that apply in such cases.
Hotels and local transport
Hotels in St Gallen/Altenrhein, Zurich, and Davos will be in high demand over this period, with higher costs and extended cancellation policies. Please ask our team about select hotels, as we have agreements with no price increases for the WEF week. Be aware that many hotels will have reward program options blocked during this period. For local transport in the Davos area, requests should be made as soon as the schedule is known.
Helicopter transfers will operate between LSZR and Davos and, if required, should be booked in advance. To set up heli transport, be sure to provide passenger count, luggage, and schedule, and be mindful that these services are weather-dependent.
For additional VIP Ground Transportation support, contact GGT
At LSZR, CIQ procedures are typically completed within the FBO unless your group exceeds 24 passengers. Visa requirements, if needed, must be arranged in advance. Due to high demand, booking hotels and transportation services well ahead of the event is strongly recommended.
Anticipate relatively smooth operations at these airports during the Davos period. Initiate your planning process promptly upon confirming your schedule, prioritize flexibility with available slot times, and ensure timely acquisition of necessary permits.
1. Are slots or PPRs required for operations?
– No, neither slots nor PPR are necessary.
2. Can you confirm parking availability?
– Certainly, we have confirmed availability for outside Parking and can arrange hangar space upon request. Please specify the aircraft type when requesting Parking.
3. Will your team organize car and driver services to Davos?
– Absolutely, we can coordinate this service for you.
4. Is helicopter transport available if needed? What’s the process?
– Yes, we can facilitate helicopter transport. We’d require your preference, whether a single or multi-engine helicopter.
5. Are there any additional considerations for operators?
– Please note that our operating hours are essential to consider.
6. Is there any crucial information for first-time operators attending the event?
– Kindly note our operating hours. We highly appreciate receiving advance information about the aircraft and operator. Payment can be made by credit card or prepayment.
8. How can they send their official handling request?
– Once they have a tentative schedule, they can send their official handling request to our team at [email protected]. Our team will handle all requested services accordingly.