When considering any private jet charter flight, there are a number of areas that need to be considered which some companies are not always aware of.
Pilots are limited to the number of hours they can fly per day and the number of flights they can do. There are a number of different limits placed on pilots depending what regulations their aircraft operate under. Crew duty is very different between the USA and the UK for example. For long haul flights, there may be a requirement to have a “heavy crew” which means they may fly the aircraft with 3 pilots on board to increase the amount of time they can fly.
The number of hours a pilot flies can also depend on what the departure time is. If the flight is very early in the morning it can reduce the amount of flight hours they have for that day. Pilots have two restrictions they have to adhere to. The first is the crew duty day, which is when they ‘sign on’. This is an hour before the flight departs, to when they ‘sign off’. This is 30 minutes after the aircraft lands at its final destination. This means that a flight leaving at 0900 in the morning and landing at 1300 would mean the crew had a duty day from 0800 until 1330 (5.5 hours) with a flight time of 4 hours. This is why it is important that long haul flights are not significantly delayed in departure as it can impact on the duty time the pilots have.
In extreme cases, flights may not be able to proceed if the delays mean that they will breach their maximum duty hours for the day which they are not, under any circumstances, permitted to do. Once a pilot has ‘signed off’, they must have a minimum rest period before they can conduct their next flight. In some circumstances. this is not practical for the client and there is then a requirement to consider a crew change. Depending on where in the world this might be can take a couple of days to position crew to the airport and allow them sufficient rest to then conduct the next flight.
Where there is a day return flight with an early departure, it may restrict the return departure time due to the crew duty day limitations (especially if it is to be late in the evening).
There are a number of very busy airports that operate a slot system, which means aircraft are given arrival and departure times. These airports include, but are not limited to: London Heathrow, London Gatwick, London Northolt, Geneva, Zurich, and Chambery.
Where a slot is required, once the aircraft has been booked by the client, slots are applied for at the requested times. In some cases, these slots may not be available and we are then offered the closest alternative to the required arrival and departure time. Once the slot is given there is a 15 minute window in which the aircraft must depart in. If the aircraft misses this window, it has to wait until another slot becomes available and this may result in a significant delay (depending on how busy the airport actually is at the time).
There are a number of airports, such as Venice, which have limited parking. If a trip to one of these airports is required, overnight parking has to be requested. If this is not granted the aircraft will need to reposition to the nearest airport that will allow parking. Unfortunately, under these circumstances, additional costs will apply to cover this.
Airport Opening Times
Many international airports are not 24 hours, therefore arrival times and departure times may have to be adjusted to reflect this. Paris Le Bourget will allow arrivals 24 hours per day, but will not allow private jet aircraft to depart after 2230 local (only turbo props are permitted for noise restrictions). There are some airports, especially in Germany and Austria, that with not allow any arrival or departures after 2330 local each evening. There are some airports that can be kept open for additional costs and sufficient notice to arrange.
The Jetlogic team are always aware of the above limitations on crew, slots, parking and airport opening hours. We can advise of any potential issues there might be and offer the most appropriate solution. Please contact us with any questions you might have.