10 Katowice Questions for Marcin Zak
Climate change is one of the most important topics of this century. Preserving it for future generations has been a goal of many nations around the world. The United Nations is set to host one of the most important conferences on this topic – the UN Climate Conference - this December 2-14, 2018. Those in attendance will include heads of state, governmental ministers, and business leaders. The event will be held in Poland’s Center of the Silesian Metropolis in Katowice.
Our next round of 10 questions is for Euro Jet’s Country Manager for Poland, Marcin Zak. As a high amount of flights are expected come into this region for the Summit, we wanted to answer some key questions.
1. Hello Marcin, our first question is quite logical - why was Katowice selected as the host city? There are larger cities with larger airports in Poland.
Katowice is the central city of a large industrial region called Silesia in southern Poland. Since the times of the Industrial revolution, Silesia has maintained its status as the most important Polish region. For the past 30 years, Silesia transformed from a polluted mining region up to a high tech and modern industrial center which uses green energy and makes the environment a priority. Katowice is currently one of the leading cities in terms of Poland’s economic and social growth and transformation, as well as it’s positive impact on the environment. Presenting Silesia’s success of modern effective development to the world was a great idea. Given the size of the region which is comprised of smaller cities not far from each other with Katowice in the center, the organizers of the climate change conference can accommodate all attendees.
2. Since Katowice is not usually the first choice for operators when they fly to your country, can you introduce Katowice airport for us?
Katowice airport (EPKT) is actually the leading airport for business aviation traffic coming to Poland. Local Airport Authorities understand private aviation clients’ needs and work to make their flights into Katowice as smooth as possible. They do not focus on scheduled flights only, they also try to meet the demands for unscheduled traffic. This is also strategic given the fact that such a fast-developing industrial region as Silesia can expect increasing general aviation traffic.
3. How many aircraft are expected to fly in for the first day of the conference?
Katowice Airport expects to have many diplomatic flights ranging from heads of state to diplomatic parties. All types of aircraft can land at EPKT to drop off or pick up passengers. The airport is receiving new requests every day so hard to give an exact number as it is increasing daily.
4. Given the size of the airport, it can be expected that the demand for parking space will exceed the airport’s capacity… What then?
Airport Authorities in cooperation with PANSA Agency (Poland Aviation Authority) issued AIP supplemental information regulating parking issues and also overflight traffic in the Katowice sector. There are VFR traffic restrictions in the whole sector as well. All aircraft should be repositioned after dropping off passengers. Parking time shall be limited as follows:
- Aircraft Code B Max 60 minutes.
- Aircraft Code C and D Max 90 minutes.
- Aircraft Code E Max 120 minutes.
5. Which airports do you recommend for repositioning the aircraft if the Katowice airport is too busy?
I would recommend Wroclaw (EPWR), Rzeszów (EPRZ), Lódź (EPLL), and even Ostrava (LKMT) in the Czech Republic as good choices or repositioning and overnight stay for the crew. Another option is Krakow but our customers should know that parking restrictions may apply there as well and parking space is also limited.
6. How about slots and permission to drop off and pick up passengers?
Slots and parking must be applied for as soon as possible. Our customers should expect there to be limited parking availability. Aircraft that require parking longer than one hour will need airport approval at least 72 hours prior to arrival.
7. What if the operator receives a request later and simply cannot meet the 72 hour limit?
Euro Jet will do everything in our power to obtain landing permission for them.
8. When it comes to fuel and catering, is Katowice airport ready to meet the demand?
Katowice Airport is ready for refueling of all types of aircraft. The services provided at EPKT is quick and always on time. Since EPKT will mostly be used for drop-off and pick-up, catering requests are expected at alternative airports, where aircraft will be repositioned. At all above mentioned airports we can meet any catering request our customers make.
9. This interview cannot do without a question about transport and hotels. Any advice?
Transportation is not a problem. Whether our customers need a car or bus for larger group of passengers, we have very good vendors providing VIP transportation services at EPKT. Crews should also be informed that traffic in the city of Katowice City will be limited. Many roads in the city center will be closed or temporarily blocked. As expected hotel prices will increase and there is limited availability, but in the alternate airport cities, we do not expect any problems with hotel room availability.
10. Is there something special in Katowice our customers should not miss out on while there?
Definitely, the local food! Traditional Silesian cuisine is delicious. My team and I will be in Katowice during the time of the Climate Change conference overseeing our customers’ flights and I cannot wait to taste some Silesian dumplings, or roulade with red cabbage!