Mandelieu Airport (LFMD) - Jet Charter Services
The French Riviera is synonymous with luxury and Cannes-Mandelieu Airport is the place to land the luxurious private charter business jets that carry elite travelers to the Côte d’Azur.
Unlike the Nice-Côte d’Azur Airport, which handles the hoi polloi traveling on commercial airliners, the Cannes-Mandelieu Airport, once the main commercial airport in the region, is now a strictly private jet airport using its two runways -- one over 5,200 feet long; the other, just under 2,500 feet long.
Cannes-Mandelieu Airport, located in the heart of the French Riviera, is respected in the world of business aviation. It has a reputation for top-of-the-line service and discreetness for its elite private charter jet passengers.
Both airports, by the way, are controlled by the same company, Aéroports de la Côte d’Azur (ACA), which also operates the La Môle – Saint-Tropez Airport.
Airport Information for Mandelieu Airport (LFMD, CEQ)
|Runway||Length (ft)||Width (ft)||Surface Type||Elevation (ft)|
Why is the French Riviera also called the Cote d'Azur?
The literal translation of the French Côte d’Azur is Azure Coast.
Meanwhile, riviera is an Italian word meaning coastline.
There are many reasons proffered as to why the Côte d’Azur region became popularly known as the French Riviera but the one that seems to make the most sense is that it is, in essence, an extension of the Italian Riviera.
What is Cannes-Mandelieu’s airport code?
Cannes-Mandelieu Airport’s ICAO code is LFMD; its IATA code is CEQ.
Why hire a private jet to Cannes-Mandelieu?
Cannes-Mandelieu Airport is one of the gateways into the French Riviera, the vacationland of the rich and famous along the southeast coast of France that lies on the Mediterranean Sea.
The French Riviera is not only a beautiful place, it’s a place where the sun almost always shines – more than 300 days a year.
The largest city in the region, Nice, with a population of about 350,000, also has the region’s largest airport, the third busiest in France. But, even an airport that big can’t sufficiently handle all the needs of private business and charter jet passengers that flock to the southern tip of France during busy times of the year.
The French Riviera becomes one of Europe’s most popular destination for private charter jets in the summer and during VIP events like the Cannes Festival and the Monaco Grand Prix.
And, without a doubt, the most luxurious way to get there is on a private charter jet, rented through brokers like Paramount Business Jets whose job is to get you there in style.
A luxury destination requires a luxury airport for its inhabitants and visitors – and that would be Cannes-Mandelieu Airport, which is exclusively for business aviation.
Located just 3 miles west of Cannes in the Alpes-Maritimes department, is able to devote all its energies into handling small and medium private jets. The result is faster service provided with more discretion than a private charter jet passenger would get at the larger Nice Airport. (Nice is also farther -- 15 miles from Cannes – away than Cannes-Mandelieu Airport is.)
Quick departures and arrivals are almost guaranteed. It’s easy to get to the airport by car and those cars can park just feet from the doors. Passengers can arrive just a few minutes before takeoff.
The airport also handles helicopter transfers to get its passengers directly to their destination. It provides “edge to edge” service, which means a helicopter can be waiting for you when you step off your jet to take you to places like Monaco or Saint Tropez.
A couple things to keep in mind: helicopters are in very high demand during busy times – like the Cannes Festival and the Monaco Grand Prix – so it’s important to book them early. Also, Cannes airport is not open 24 hours a day. The hours are available on its website.
What makes Cannes-Mandelieu such a good airport?
The Cannes-Mandelieu Airport is located between the Estérel Massif coastal mountain range and the shimmering and yacht-filled Bay of Cannes. It prides itself in being the second most important general aviation airport in France with “a dynamic platform that is highly attentive to customer needs and offers every convenience: high safety standards, rapid passenger handling, free parking in the immediate vicinity of the terminal, tailored services, and a polished welcome that is both friendly and professional.”
The airport lists its strengths as being:
- Very close to the Mediterranean Sea, easy to reach by road (by all vehicles, including buses and trucks), train (Cannes TGV station) and able to handle the biggest private jets as well as twin-engine aircraft.
- Within easy access to legendary spots in and around Cannes, including the Croisette, the Lérins Islands, traditional villages in the hinterland and golf courses.
- 15 miles to Nice Côte d’Azur Airport (that has over 100 scheduled destinations) and 45 minutes to Monaco along the A8 motorway.
And, as having:
- A restaurant overlooking the runways as well as a catering service.
- Two hotels.
- A photography/video studio.
- Vintage planes that can be rented out from an aeronautical antique specialist.
- Security companies and fire-fighting teams on site.
When did the airport open?
The airport has an interesting history.
It was built by private individuals in 1930 but, like many European airports, was taken over by the government before World War II. In 1937, it was the only airport in the French Riviera. It was partially destroyed during the war but was rebuilt.
As commercial aviation grew, larger and larger commercial planes needed a spot to land. The hills around Cannes made it an almost impossible landing site for big jets. That’s when the Nice Airport was built, taking the large scheduled commercial flights and leaving Cannes-Mandelieu to handle smaller business jets and private charter jets as well as providing a hub for business and tourism on the French Riviera.
Where exactly is the French Riviera?
The French Riviera, also known as the Côte d’Azur, extends east along the southern coast of France, from Toulon on the southern tip of France, up the east coast to the Italian border. The Riviera has more than 70 miles of coastline, many cities, Roman ruins and some 14 parks. Visitors can go whale-watching or stroll through medieval villages.
What cities are on the same latitude as the French Riviera?
Cannes is located on the 43rd parallel north, the same latitude as other big cities around the world, including, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Boise, Idaho, United States; Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina; Takikawa, Japan; and Florence, Italy.
Some facts about Cannes
It’s not hard to believe that Cannes, a playground for the rich and famous on the Mediterranean Sea, started out centuries ago as a little fishing village.
Cannes has a dry summer climate with low rainfall in the winter and dry, hot weather in the summer. In the summer, there is 11 hours of sunshine a day and an average temperature of 77 degrees (although mid-day highs can reach almost 90 degrees. It is warm there from June to September, which makes it the busiest time of the year. However, winter remains a best-kept secret with temperatures only dropping into the 50’s.
With a current population of about 75,000, Cannes is located in the Alpes-Maritimes department, and probably best known as the host city for the annual Cannes Festival, with 2018 marking its 71st appearance.
City officials came up with the idea of hosting a film festival shortly before World War II. It wanted to hold an impartial contest and it thought other film festivals at the time did not. The first Cannes Film Festival was held in 1946.
In 2011, Cannes hosted the G20 summit.
Eight miles north, in the hills above Cannes, is Sophia Antipolis Park, which is called the Silicon Valley of Europe. The technology complex, founded in 1969 by French Senator Pierre Laffitte, brings together researchers, professors and companies for innovation. According to figures provided by the city of Sophia Antipolis in 2016, the tech park is the workplace of 4,500 researchers, 5,500 students and 2,230 companies that employ almost 40,000 people from 63 countries.
Sophia Antipolis Park turned the area from just a tourist destination to a destination for business, trade and aviation conferences.
Things to do and see
- There are many things to do and see on the French Riviera and its most popular cities, including Cannes, Marseille, Monaco, Nice, Saint-Paul-de-Vence and Saint-Tropez.
- The Promenade de la Croisette is a two-mile long, palm-tree lined waterfront road in Cannes that is known for its beautiful beaches, restaurants and shops.
- For a less modern but equally as chic area to explore, old town, Le Suquet, is where restaurants and shops line steep and winding cobbled streets. Located in the oldest parts of Le Suquet, is the Chateau de la Castre castle, which was built by monks in the 12th century. The city gradually grew up around the castle and a watch tower that sit high in the city overlooking the Bay of Cannes. When Cannes was little more than a fishing village, the fishermen lived up on Le Suquet, which is only a short walk to the beach, so the houses and many of the streets there are more than 400 years old. The Russian Orthodox St. Michael the Archangel Church, commissioned by the Russian empress Maria Alexandrovna, wife of the Czar Alexander II and designed by the architect Louis Nouveau in the 19th century, is designed like a Greek cross (all four arms are of equal length) and has a tile roof.
- The Cannes Film Festival, which has in recent years changed its name to just the Cannes Festival, brings glitz and glamour and celebrities and tourists to Cannes every May. Considered the most prestigious film festival in the world, it lasts 12 days.
- Visitors can take a ferry to the Lérins Islands, which include Ile Sainte-Marguerite, the island where the Man in the Iron Mask was held. His cell in Fort Royal is there as is a museum with artifacts from a Roman shipwreck. A bonus of the 15-minute ferry ride is an amazing view of Cannes. On the smaller island of Saint Honorat, you can go to wine tastings given by the monks at Lérins Abbey. Six grape varieties are grown on the island’s 20-acre vineyard. There are seven chapels at the abbey which was built in the 5th century.
- Go to the morning market at the bottom of Le Suquet. Strolling through a market is such a French thing to do. There is much to see and buy, including vegetables and locally caught fish. One day a week, it is more of an antiques or flea market.
- Not all beaches in Cannes are public. There are as many private beaches as there are public beaches but you should find a place to put your feet in the sand if you walk down the Croisette and Boulevard du Midi. A popular beach is the Plage du Palais des Festivals. Many of the hotels also allow visitors who are not staying there to pay to get on the beach. Many private beaches are not open in the winter but there are dozens along the French Riviera that are open year round.
- Vacation like a celebrity. Check out the Hotel du Cap Eden Roc, a celebrity favorite hangout. Shop at the Rue d'Antibes, which is called the Rodeo Drive of Cannes.
By the way
The region in France in which the French Riviera was changed in 2017. The Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region (nicknamed PACA) was deemed by officials as being too hard to pronounce and also not quite cool enough for the area it described -- the region that stretches from the French Riviera up into the high Alps.
So, now it is called simply “Region Sud (South).”
“Our territory is the sun, the sea, the mountains, the good living. It was essential to give our region a name that values all our assets: the south,” the president of the region, Renaud Muselier, tweeted after the regional council unanimously voted to change the name.
FBOs at Mandelieu Airport, LFMD, CEQ
|Aeroports De La Cote D'Azur||(334) 939-4110||www.cannes.aeroport.fr|
|Cannes Airport Handling||Cannes Airport||+33493904110|
|Aeroports De La Coted'Azur Sky Valet||+33-493-904110|
|Sky Valet||245 avenue Francis Tonner, Cannes-La-Bocca, 06150 France||33-493-904110|
METAR Weather Data at Mandelieu Airport, LFMD, CEQ
|OBSERVED||Sun Aug 19, 04:00 EDT|
|NOW||Sun Aug 19, 04:08 EDT|
|AGE||8 min ago|
|WIND||varies at 1 mph|
|VISIBILITY||greater than 7 miles|
|HEAT INDEX||84°F (29°C)|
|BAROMETER||1017 hPa (30.03 in Hg)|
|METAR||LFMD 190800Z AUTO VRB01KT CAVOK 29/16 Q1017 NOSIG|