A Pilot may face punishment after landing on the Mont Blanc

Mont Blanc. Photo: The-Ski-Guru. A Pilot may face punishment after landing on the Mont Blanc.

A Pilot may face punishment after landing on the Mont Blanc

From Swissinfo.ch

A Swiss pilot who landed a light aircraft on Mont Blanc in France faces a maximum fine of €38 (CHF42, $43) in France thanks to a legal loophole. However, Swiss aviation authorities could crack down harder, including stripping him of his licence.

The mighty Monte Bianco - seen from Morgex, Aosta Valley. Photo: The-Ski-Guru. A Pilot may face punishment after landing on the Mont Blanc.
The mighty Monte Bianco – seen from Morgex, Aosta Valley. Photo: The-Ski-Guru. A Pilot may face punishment after landing on the Mont Blanc.

The Piper aircraft touched down on Tuesday at an altitude of 4,450 metres (14,600ft), apparently at an unauthorised landing spot on Europe’s highest mountain, according to the Swiss news agency Keystone-SDA. French police intercepted two mountaineers who had flown in to climb the summit.

The Swiss Federal Office of Civil Aviation  (FOCA) said it had yet to be officially informed about the incident and did not know the full facts. But a FOCA spokesperson said it could take action if the pilot is found guilty of offences in France.

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Skiers over New Year prepare for a £450 wipeout at the car-hire rental desk

Skiers Over New Year Prepare for a £450 Wipeout at the Car Hire Rental Desk. Photo by Adrian - Unsplash - taken in Mont Saint Helens, USA.

Skiers over New Year prepare for a £450 wipeout at the car-hire rental desk. The findings of car hire excess insurance leading provider- iCarhireinsurance.com 

  • Sofia the cheapest place for ski car rental, and Geneva the most expensive
  • Excess insurance alone costs on average £170 across the destinations
  • Sat nav hire costs £90, extra driver costs £50, a child’s car seat costs £50 and roof rack £40

Before you’ve even made it to the slopes, prepare to be floored by up to £450 of extra costs when you pick up your hire car this New Year.

iCarhireinsurance.com, the leading provider of car hire excess insurance, researched the costs of five rental companies in six European ski gateways (i.e., Geneva, Grenoble, Innsbruck, Barcelona, Turin and Sofia) for a week’s hire from 27 December 2018 to 3 January 2019.

Photo: ICarhireinsurance.com - Skiers Over New Year Prepare for a £450 Wipeout at the Car Hire Rental Desk.
Photo: ICarhireinsurance.com – Skiers Over New Year Prepare for a £450 Wipeout at the Car Hire Rental Desk.

Extras from Europcar in Grenoble, France, were found to be the most expensive this winter. A medium compact car costs £358 for a week’s New Year hire (27 Dec to 3 Jan), and then at pick-up drivers are faced with an avalanche of extra costs totalling £454 i.e., £212 for excess car hire insurance to protect a customer against the first part of any insurance claim (i.e., £161 for super damage waiver and £51 for tyre and windscreen excess waiver), £71 for an extra driver, £55 for a child’s car seat and £116 for a sat nav.

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Skiers Face Winterisation and Ski Rack Charges Adding up to £179 On Car Hire Bill

Skiers Face Winterisation and Ski Rack Charges Adding up to £179 On Car Hire Bill. Photo: iCarhireinsurance.com

Skiers heading to the slopes this winter face ‘winterisation’ and ‘ski rack’ charges of up to £179 by car rental companies.

The research by iCarhireinsurance.com, the leading provider of stand-alone car hire excess insurance, surveyed the costs of six car hire companies for a week’s car hire, from 27 December 2018 to 3 January 2019, in Barcelona, Geneva, Grenoble, Innsbruck, Sofia and Turin.

The ‘winterisation’ charge, which includes the price of winter tyres and/or snow chains, varies widely and is normally only payable at the rental desk. Hertz in Grenoble, for example, charge £110 to hire a ski rack and £69 for ‘winterisation’ adding £179 to the hire car bill.

A woman with a child on the winter road. emergency sign. Skiers Face Winterisation and Ski Rack Charges Adding up to £179 On Car Hire Bill.  Photo: iCarhireinsurance.com
A woman with a child on the winter road. emergency sign. Skiers Face Winterisation and Ski Rack Charges Adding up to £179 On Car Hire Bill. Photo: iCarhireinsurance.com

The average ‘winterisation’ fee across the six destinations is £37, but travellers could pay up to £74 in Barcelona with Budget.  Winterisation is an optional charge in all destinations except for Turin. Here, travellers pay on average £40, and up to £71 with Sixt for this compulsory charge.

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Winter tyres laws when driving to the mountains in Europe and North America

Driving to the mountains on route nationale through France- Photo: The-Ski-Guru. Self-drive skiers need to plan now for Brexit.

When driving to the mountains, it is important to know the laws about carrying winter tyres and snow chains. Not all countries and states or provinces oblige you to wear them. I would suggest you to check before you travel. Even if there were no law for using snow tyres, I would at least recommend taking snow chains, because if you are caught in a big snowstorm, you will need them. If you can buy at least second hand winter tyres, do so. It is an investment, more if you are going to drive to the mountains each ski season.

Also, if renting a car, don’t assume the car will come with snow tyres, even if going to countries full of mountains everywhere, remember to request them when booking your car rental, and also reserve snow chains.

Driving to the mountains- check if you need to have snow tyres and snow chains. Photo Jeffrey Wegrzyn- Unsplash. Winter tyres, snow chains. Driving to the mountains
Driving to the mountains- check if you need to have winter tyres and snow chains. Photo Jeffrey Wegrzyn- Unsplash.

Here is a summary of where snow tyres are mandatory – please you need to do your own search, as this is not by any means 100% accurate- we cannot be held responsible for you deciding not to take winter tyres! Do your own homework!

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The “Engadin airport”-Samedan Regional Airport and Europe’s highest-to be revamped.

The Samedan Regional Airport, "Engadin Airport" is Europe's highest airport. Photo: Samedan Regional Airport.

The Samedan Regional Airport, known as the “Engadin airport” is preparing for its future as a modern non- Schengen regional airport. The existing buildings will be replaced in several stages and the further infrastructure will be expanded. The winning project came from Hosoya Schaefer Architects / Blarer & Reber Architects, and it is now being developed into a construction project that will be executed in phases, to revamp Europe’s highest airport.

Interior of the hangar at the Engadin airport, Samedan Regional Airport, Europe highest's airport. Photo: Samedan Regional Airport.
Interior of the hangar at the Engadin airport, Samedan Regional Airport, Europe highest’s airport. Photo: Samedan Regional Airport.

A first phase of development includes measures to guarantee the operation in the long term by replacing essential business related infrastructure. The “Landside” operating building with terminal, control tower, office space, food services as well as the entire customs and immigration processes is the focus of this phase. To the southwest, new helicopter hangars are being built for Rega and other regional helicopter companies. The execution of the first phase is planned to start from the year 2021.

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