Transient general aviation aircraft will need prior permission before landing at Las Vegas area airports ahead of the Formula 1 Heineken Silver Las Vegas Grand Prix 2023.
Harry Reid International Airport (KLAS), Henderson Executive Airport (KHND) and North Las Vegas Airport (KVGT) are all enforcing the prior permission required (PPR) program, which will be in effect Nov. 9 until Nov. 21, 2023.
While the main F1 event isn’t scheduled until Nov. 18, organizers expect an influx of aircraft arrivals, particularly high-end jets, in the coming weeks. “We know what F1 attracts. The kind of visitor. The kind of ticket holder. It’s a higher-end crowd. We’re expecting to be at capacity,” James Chrisley, senior director of aviation for Clark County, told local news station KLAS.
A Nov. 2 notice from the FAA warned that pilots flying in without PPR reservations should expect substantial delays throughout the area in addition to possible denial of service. Operators who land without authorization will not be able to deplane passengers and will only be able to refuel before continuing to another destination. FAA spokesman Rick Breitenfeldt said the PPR is nothing unusual. “Airports often establish prior permission required (PPR) programs during major events to manage the traffic on the ground,” Breitenfeldt told AVweb in an email. “Pilots/operators typically must make reservations with fixed-based operators (FBOs). Harry Reid Las Vegas International Airport has had a targeted PPR in place for months.”
Those who have reserved a spot at the FBOs AVweb contacted at the main Vegas airports are paying dearly for the privilege. Henderson Executive and North Las Vegas Airport are both charging a $3,000 non-refundable special event fee. Harry Reid International (KLAS) Atlantic FBO was charging $3,000 for jets, and $1,500 for piston aircraft. AOPA reported that Signature was charging $7,700 but the company said that it was already full and declined to tell AVweb how much it was charging.
While Las Vegas is no stranger to handling large-scale events, the PPR has extended outside the metro area as far away as St. George Regional Airport (KSGU) in Utah. Ryan Lunde, who keeps his Champ at St. George Airport, said tenants were given a three-day notice stating all operators will be required to ask permission prior to departing or arriving at the airport until at least Jan. 1. Pilots must also ask permission within a 24-hour notice prior to the times of intended use. The letter cited ongoing construction and congestion from the upcoming F1 race for the policy.
“I fly to over a hundred airports a year and I’ve never seen such restrictions at a small airport,” said Lunde. “This restriction is effectively shutting down the two flight schools on the field and making any sort of general aviation difficult if not impossible.”
Regularly scheduled air carrier service is exempt from the PPR.