La Rochelle Ile du Ré LFBH
La Rochelle Ile du Ré is a significant regional airport with jet traffic from the UK.
The AIP plate for La Rochelle explicitly states that ULM's are prohibited except with agreement from the ATC manager, and getting such authorisation proved to be very difficult when the WFAeC Mini Tour de France called in in 2015. It was a public holiday in France and so no-one was answering any of the published numbers on the AIP plate. Eventually with help from a local parachuting club who called Nantes Information, we managed to get through to the unpublished Tower number (which is 00 33 5 46 00 97 57).
There was initially some doubt as to whether transponders would be needed to gain access but three of us in Skyrangers were allowed to fly in there, in a formation. We were asked to park on a grass area which was very hard and broke one of the spiral tie downs!
Entry landside requires entry through the passenger terminal and pilots licences and ID should be taken for the return journey airside on departure. Taxis are available outside the terminal or there is a regular bus service for just a few Euro's to the centre of town.
The group stayed in different hotels of which there is a good supply in La Rochelle and we were readily able to find somewhere to eat near the harbour. The trip was memorable for the difficulty of getting taxis at the end of the evening to return us to our billets and it would be a good idea to have taxi telephone information in future.
A good destination and the special challenges of being on final approach with Easyjet coming up fast behind!
Landing fees in 2015 were €11 plus €0.18/hour parking fee, hardly exciting and there was no requirement for mandatory handling.