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Fly to ski

Restrictions seem to become more severe every year. Last year I can’t remember any limitation on IFR single engine or Y-flight plans for Annecy. For Chambery I’m unsure, but ran into this limitation unprepared a couple of weeks ago when I needed to go there to pick up an instructor for the Courchevel rating. Quite frustrating!

I love flying and love skiing. To combine the two is just perfect. But it becomes harder every year.


@Bosco: well, ok, but if you really must go where everybody wants to go, and at the same time that everybody wants to go there, then you shouldn’t be surprised that it is expensive and/or impractical. Far less should you whine – to each their own! Can’t help thinking of the couple who were mad angry when they found no parking for their motorhome (WoMo, auf Neuhochdeutsch….) in Ostend in mid-summer. Rimini or Brighton or Blackpool likely the same.

Last Edited by at 14 Jan 17:56
EBZH Kiewit, Belgium

Well, you prove that sufficiently with your post.

He’s not so completey off! There are lots of good skiing opportunities in the east. The high Tatra for example, served by Poprad airport. Or Ljubljana, which has quite a few ski resorts within an hours drive.

And maybe I missed them in one of the posts avove, but most airports/airfields in the North of Italy are close to places where you can go skiing: Torino, Cuneo, Aosta, Bergamo, Verona, Biella. But there are really very few airfields that are close enough to ski resorts that no road trip is required.

Or further south there is L’Aquila close to 3000m peaks.

NB: As others already wrote “PPR” does only mean that prior permission is required. In most cases – at least in my experience – it will be granted!

Last Edited by what_next at 14 Jan 18:13
EDDS - Stuttgart

Hi Cirrusflyer,

I understand we are on the same page!

Interesting that you mention the Courchevel authorisation de site. Could you elaborate a bit on that? How many hours (ground and flight) did it take you? Who did you do it with? Was it a good experience?

Mainz (EDFZ) & Egelsbach (EDFE), Germany

In the end this is about the competetion between the tourism industry and individual travel. It requires an airport manager who understands that a GA operation does not necessarily interfere with the cash cow of wide-body handling and the revenue in passenger fees.

I wonder what the typical GA movement means in terms of cost to a regional airport. We land, taxi to “our” apron, and then ask for ground transportation. We buy fuel and that was it. What am I missing? But then GA is not GA. A bizjet may require additional services. With the SEP we are kind of at the discount end of it all.

Actually, I would love to get some insight into these things as business improvement is what I do for a living. :-)

Frequent travels around Europe

most airports/airfields in the North of Italy are close to places where you can go skiing: Torino, Cuneo, Aosta, Bergamo, Verona, Biella. But there are really very few airfields that are close enough to ski resorts that no road trip is required.

I used the ski bus from central Trento to get to Andalo and Madonna d’ Campiglio ski areas a few years ago… and it worked OK. But I have no idea whether the fairly centrally located Trento (LIDT) airport works as a fly-in destination.

Hi Boscomantico,

Well, the rating for Courchevel is not all that difficult. It comes down to a little more precision than normal. Good control of airspeed, ROD and aiming point. I think having an IR helps.

The training is normally split over two days. Theory first, then some landings in a C172 finishing it off in a SR22 in my case.
I planned for two days, but in the end I was ready and rated after a single day. It all depends on circumstances. However, Courchevel does have restrictions over lunchtime on doing approaches.

Plan for two days and you will be fine.

I suggest you contact : Christophe (cchapuis at Jean Baptiste (jb.pennazio at who are both mountain instructors and will be able to help you further.

Currency is another matter. The rating is valid for 6 months after your last landing. For me, I didn’t keep it current over the summer, but renewed with an instructor.

The restrictions for LOWI are not as tight as the Notam suggests, you should contact the airport with your plans and they may be able to accommodate you.


Obviously, it all depends on what would be considered a reasonable driving time from the airport to the ski resort. And also what would be considered a “good” ski resort.

I would say I considered one hour (not more) a reasonable limit. It’s arbitrary, of course.
However, that just to explain why I ruled out many of the named north italian airports. For who is interested:

Turin is more than one hour to, say, Bardonecchia. (Did it). But it gets close.
Cuneo: no “good” ski resorts in the vicinity.
Biella sounds good for Cervinia, but in reality, it takes a lot of time to get to Ivrea from there (from Ivrea, it is then rather quick).
Bergamo: nothing worthwhile within one hour.
Verona: no. Obbereggen is the quickest at 1:20h, did this many times. Thumbs up for Obbereggen by the way! (30 minutes drive from LIPB).

Mainz (EDFZ) & Egelsbach (EDFE), Germany


thanks. Of course, I know it will lapse if one doesn’t go there regularly. But if it is not too much fuss, I might still fancy doing that authorisation just for the flying experience.

I was at Megève a few years back (summertime) and it was unforgettable. Flew (with an instructor) to surreal places like La Rosière and St. Roch-Mayères with one of the club’s D140 Musquetaire. Circled the top of Mont-Blanc. I’ll upload a few photos.

Tell me: was it a requirement to fly the first part on the 172 or was it your choice? I would certainly like to do it all in the SR22, but then I don’t know if that’s possible at all as it is N-reg…

Last Edited by boscomantico at 14 Jan 20:34
Mainz (EDFZ) & Egelsbach (EDFE), Germany



Instrument Panel:


This should be La Rosière:

And this (still slightly in the background)… the top of Europe, at almost 16.000 feet.

Sorry for the mixed quality of the photos…
If you really want to see some good ones, you need to check this gallery.

Mainz (EDFZ) & Egelsbach (EDFE), Germany
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