You can do all the paperwork for a trip to France in 10 minutes. Our quick guide to the Flight Planning process can be found here.
Filing Flight Plans
NATS have provided an online AFPEx system, which you can find at https://ts3.flightplanningonline.co.uk/ but you have to pre-register to set up an account. Alternatively, you can try the French site (in English) at http://olivia.aviation-civile.gouv.fr/index.php?lang=en which may people find easier to use. You can still print (download here) and fax your flight plan to Swanwick at 01489 612793 but they might grumble about it. They have a 24-hour help desk on 0845 601 0483 or 01489 612792. Flight plans must be filed a minimum of 60 minutes before the flight commences. If all else fails and you are heading for France, the BNIA on 00-33-05-57-92-60-84 are very helpful and have taken flight plans over the phone for us in the past.
Customs & Excise
A General Aviation Report (GAR) is no longer required for flights within the EU, except for the Channel Islands (although a Flight Plan is necessary). However, even if operators and pilots are not required to provide notification of a flight, it is helpful if they do provide this notification. Outgoing flights to Europe intending to return will need a GAR, which can be downloaded here. Incoming flights will need the Border Force form here. All flights notified for Customs & Immigration purposes should be sent to:
- NCU (National Co-Ordination Unit) – Fax 01708 862521 (overseas; +44 1708 862521) or 0870 240 3738
- eMail email@example.com (please put GAR, registration and airfield in the subject of the email)
- Outbound to EU – no obligation to notify
- Outbound/Inbound Channel Islands – 12 Hours
- Inbound from EU – 4 Hours prior to arrival
- Inbound / Outbound other non-EU – 24 Hours
You can download the forms and instructions you need from the UK Border Agency site at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/general-aviation-operators-and-pilots-notification-of-flights
Tel: 01622 690690
Fax: 01843 222079 Only required for flights to Northern Ireland, Isle of Man and the Channel Islands Forms are available inside the clubhouse for all of these organisations.
Make sure you take with you:
- Certificate of Registration
- C of A or Permit to Fly with its matching Certificate of Validity
- Insurance Certificate
- The licence for the aircraft’s radio installation
- A copy of the interception procedures – available here on the CAA web site.
In addition, as from January 1st 2009 it became a requirement to have an emergency locator beacon on board (either a fitted or portable unit) that works with the Cospas-Sarsat system for flights in France. This is compulsory for light aircraft and recommended for microlights.