This is part one of a two-part series on considerations for the Confederations Cup Final in Moscow.
This is a post by author Dmitry Konovalov. Dmitry is general director for Universal Aviation Russia – Khabarovsk, based in Khabarovsk (UHHH), which provides 24/7 coordination of flight permits and ground handling services throughout Russia including supervision services at all Moscow airports. Dmitry is an expert on business aircraft operations in Russia and can be contacted at [email protected]
The 2017 Confederations Cup is a quadrennial international men’s football tournament organized by FIFA. It takes place at four host cities in Russia between June 17 and July 2. Due to expected heavy traffic congestion availability of general aviation (GA) parking, support services and crew accommodations are expected to be in very limited supply.
The following is an overview of what you need to know:
1. Host cities and playoffs
There will be four host cities/venues – Moscow (Spartak Stadium), St. Petersburg (Zenit Arena), Kazan (Kazan Arena) and Sochi (Fisht Stadium). Play-off for third place will be hosted at Moscow Spartak Stadium on July 2 and the final match will take place at 2100 local in St Petersburg.
2. Primary airports
Below you will find the airports to consider if you are traveling to this event:
- Moscow: Vnukovo (UUWW), Sheremetyevo (UUEE) and Domodedovo (UUDD).
- St. Petersburg: Pulkovo (ULLI)
- Kazan: Kazan (UWKD)
- Sochi: Sochi (URSS)
All of the above are 24/7 airports of entry (AOEs).
3. Limitations and restrictions
At these locations parking may be restricted to 30 or 40 minutes on the ground or up to two hours for some larger jets. Note that there’s a good chance you may not have time to obtain all requested services prior to your airport slot expiring. Any catering requests should be submitted at least 24 hour prior. Additionally, you may need to comply with “holding patterns” for high traffic events, as published by NOTAM. Some NOTAMs have been issued, but we expect more to be published over the next few weeks. For the purpose of fuel calculation, crews should take into consideration possible long-term delays in holding patterns during arrival and possible diversions during departure.
4. Parking considerations
Long-term parking, considered anything over two hours, requires approval. Note that parking will likely only be considered if the operator provides a purpose of flight related to the FIFA Confederation Cup, along with passenger details and meeting party contacts. Operators should provide an invitation letter from the International Olympic Committee or FIFA confirming passenger status. Long-term parking is an option for heads of state and diplomatic ops with official delegations onboard.
5. Alternate airports
If long-term parking is not available at primary airports the following may be considered as parking alternates:
- Moscow: Ostafyevo (UUMO) and Zhukovsky (UUBW)
- St. Petersburg: Riga (EVRA) and Helsinki (EFHK)
- Sochi: Anapa (URKA), Krasnodar (URKK), Rostov-on-Don (URRR) and Gelendzhik (URKG)
- Kazan: Kurumoch (UWWW), Ufa (UWUU) and Perm (USPP).
6. CIQ considerations
During the Confederations Cup period Russian host airports are expected to have additional staff and kiosks in place to clear arriving/departing international passengers. Customs, immigration, and quarantine (CIQ) clearance is anticipated to be as quick at 3-4 minutes per person. Note that onboard CIQ clearance is not an option, other than in specifically approved cases of head of state or qualifying diplomatic flights.
7. Visa requirements
For most nationalities of passengers and crew, visas are required for Russia and these must be arranged prior to arrival. There will, however, be visa free stay options available starting 10 days before the first match and ending 10 days after the last match. For overseas fans attending the Confederations Cup event “Fan-ID” will substitute for visa requirements. This is a magnetic card with a photo and general information on the holder and can be applied for online in advance. One bonus of a Fan-ID card is that it gives the holder free city transportation during days of the matches. There is a website to apply for this Fan-ID.
8. Visas on arrival
Crew visas for Russia may be obtained upon arrival, but only at UUWW, UUDD and UUEE. Note, however, that due to heavy traffic during this time period it could take five to six hours to process a visa upon arrival. As this has potential to cause significant arrival delays it’s recommended that crew obtain any required visas in advance. Should you wish to obtain visa upon arrival it’s important contact your local handler prior to travel and provide a completed application form, a color scanned copy of passport, one passport-sized photo and a copy of crew ID. Note that visas on arrival for passengers are not possible at any airport in Russia.
There will be increased traffic at all airports in the host cities for the Confederations Cup. This traffic will create congestion at airports creating delays for operators. Additionally, parking will only be available to official delegations, heads of state, or passengers with invitations from the IOC or FIFA, thus requiring all other aircraft to reposition. Last, as this event comes closer, it’s recommended to review issued NOTAMs.
Stay tuned for Part 2, which covers permit, airport slot, and local area information for the Confederations Cup Final in Moscow.
If you have any questions about this article or would like assistance planning your trip to Russia, contact me at [email protected]
Confederation Cup is a trademark of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (“FIFA”). Universal Aviation is not associated in any way with FIFA.