The Côte d’Azur in the south of France, and glamorous Saint-Tropez in particular, attract many stars and VIPs every summer. The easiest and most direct way to arrive is by PC-12 or PC-24 via Saint-Tropez Airport – which explains why these two business aircraft from Stans enjoy such a high-profile role here. Pilatus Aircraft Ltd
The small but elegant international airport of Saint-Tropez is located between the villages of La Môle and Cogolin, just a short 20-minute drive from the well-known resort of Saint-Tropez with its huge luxury marina. 85 percent of flight movements take place between Easter and the annual October regatta – the “Voiles de Saint-Tropez”. The airport boasts state-of-the-art infrastructure and is open seven days a week, all year round. It registered over 8,000 flight movements last year, most of them by helicopters, light aircraft and training flights.
PC-12: Leader of the Pack
At just 3,520 feet (1,071 metres), the runway at Saint-Tropez is too short for many aircraft. But not for the PC-12 or the PC-24. The PC-12 in particular is frequently seen at La Môle. Of a total of 2,878 business aviation-related flight movements in 2019, 1,532 were performed by Pilatus aircraft (1,476 PC-12s and 56 PC-24s). Pilots need a special authorisation to land at La Môle: at least one training flight with an instructor is required to qualify for this airport.
The airport is the perfect venue for demonstrating some of the most impressive qualities of these two Pilatus aircraft: at maximum weight, the PC-24 requires just under 2,950 feet (900 metres) of runway, and the PC-12 even less (2,490 feet / 760 metres) – and both can operate on grass, gravel and unpaved surfaces – taking Pilatus customers to places thus far inaccessible to business aircraft of this size. End result: Pilatus gets their customers closer to their final destination, saving precious time in the process.
Important Location for Pilatus Operators
Jetfly Aviation, the largest European operator of the PC-24 and PC-12, is frequently seen at La Môle. Sporting liveries created by star designer Philippe Starck, Jetfly Pilatus aircraft have become firm fixtures at the airport. Cédric Lescop, CEO of Jetfly Aviation, says: “The PC-24 is the only jet which can land at this airport with up to eight passengers. We are the largest operator here, with almost 500 movements per year and no fewer than 100 landings with the PC-24 already! Ample proof that the jet from Stans is perfect for landing at La Môle.”
French charter operator Get1Jet has also stationed one of its two PC-12s at La Môle. “We really enjoy working with the team at Saint-Tropez airport. The airport employees are aviation enthusiasts who listen to the operators”, says Jean-Baptiste Paris, CEO of Get1Jet. “The PC-12 is easily the best-suited aircraft for this airport’s specific environment, and we offer over 150 flights per year from or to Saint-Tropez. The PC-12 is the only charter aircraft which can land here in all weather, even when the runway is wet. The airport is perfect for our customers and we hope we can continue to expand our operations here.”