Our Whitetracks contact kept us informed and our transfer went without a glitch
Due to new rules imposed in 2013 by the Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA), Geneva Airport is having to again impose heavy restrictions on helicopters this winter 2016-17.
Due to the lateral separation between the helipads and the main runway not meeting the minimum requirements of 760 meters the restrictions is to insure that helicopter flights are not influenced in any way by the turbulences of arriving and departing aircraft on the main runway.
These restrictions have led to the introduction of the VFR-PPR's at Geneva Airport, a procedure in which helicopters now have to respect a time window after the landing or take-off of an aircraft on the main runway; this unfortunately heavily restricts the "free" movements of helicopters that we have enjoyed at Geneva Airport up until now.
PPRs will be obtained by telephone daily from 08h00 - 18h00. If there is availability (please note: there is no guarantee of this) two PPR's will be issued at the same time of the call - one for arrival and one for the departure this will then guarantee you one of the five parking positions available at Geneva Airport.
In case of delay, once the helicopter has landed and cannot respect the specified timeframe of the PPR, for example flight delays, missing bag, complications with the handling company finding you and the other passengers! The air traffic controller will not authorise a movement outside the given PPR's this will mean the helicopter will have to occupy the position at the helipad indefinitely until the air traffic controller gives the pilot permission to take-off.
Unfortunately these restrictions will produce much uncertainty when booking and catching a helicopter from Geneva Airport. There are also a large number of closed slots where helicopters will not be allowed to land or take-off at all, these include all day Saturday throughout the Winter Season along with very few 'open' slots on Sundays both of which are the main transfer days.
The days which helicopters are allowed there is no guarantee the required time slots (PPR's) for your flight will be obtained. If we do manage to get the PPR's the helicopter will be limited as to how long it is able to wait which will then cause problems if planes are delayed or luggage goes missing!
As a company Whitetracks Helicopters will continue to offer helicopter transfers from Geneva Airport but to do this we need to inform our clients and possible future clients of all the facts and potential problems that are involved in catching a helicopter from Geneva Airport. In addition to providing a price to and from Geneva Airport we will be providing prices to and from all of the alternatives to Geneva Airport which should be seriously considered.
The Geneva Helicopters & Whitetracks Helicopters Team