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Which countries have a law requiring you to actively seek out the police, at airports?

Implied from the discussion but not stated in subject: for cross-border flights.

Switzerland:
- no need to proactively contact police upon arrival, but if arriving at an airfield with customs PNR then one needs to stay at the aircraft until PN arrival time has passed.
- no need to proactively contact police prior departure, but if departing from an airfield with customs PNR then one may not depart before PN departure time.
PNR regulations/procedure for airfields not AoE documented in VFR AIP; PNR usually done via airfield website instructions.

Last Edited by chflyer at 21 Aug 12:12
LSZK, Switzerland

For Germany regarding passport control / immigration (NOT customs) there seem to be those cases:

  • You fly from/to an official airport of entry. German police is on site all the time and as long as you use the GAT doing the checks seems to be the problem of the police. A grey area nobody ever could answer me what about fuel stops. Do all people have to enter the GAT, what happens if they stay at the plane only and watch the refueling? But in general using such an airport of entry you are on the safe side and I never heard of major problems. Usually there is no fee for the check but obviously other fees of a big airport.
  • If you are based at an airport of entry or use the airport not through the GAT but through some side entrance, through a maintenance company with separate entrance etc. the situation is unclear and there might be local regulations to call up border police. I would simply call up the GAT if in doubt.
  • Some medium size airports are also designed border crossing point but they have no X-ray for your luggage and not police on site. There are two scenarios. First some AFIS operator got a training and acts as a border police agent. He/she will take your passport and call up the proper police (as they have no border police computer system). They say ok and you are good to go. I even saw them making entry stamps into US passports that way. This procedure usually requires no prior notice BUT you have to step up to the AFIS guy and say you want a border police check. The airport does not have full security, many gates etc. so there is not way the AFIS guy could reliably do the checks without your help. Usually a fee is charged but at our airport it is less than 10 Euro per flight.
  • Second some of those medium size airport might have a deal with local police which comes by car to see you. Obviously those airports will usually require prior notice for a border police check. Also ask about prices as this can be expensive if two police guys drive half a day with their car. And contrary to similar deals with customs border police will come for every flight while customs just does random checks.
  • Finally you can apparently sign up for an authorization with border police to enter or leave the Schengen area from your backyard. But there will be strings attached apparently written down in the authorization. The details apparently depend on the area where is federal Germany this happens etc. But this case seems to be the exception. Very few pilots ever went this way.

Finally please follow the regulations but experience seems to show that the financial burden of messing up with customs is worse than messing up with border police…

Peter wrote:

He now has a problem whether he can ever go back to Germany.

This needs to be sorted. Not going back to Germany is not the solution. German civil worker are sometimes slow but many mistake that for not doing anything. They might go after you when you already forgot about all that and who knows if one day it will not only be Germany but all of the EU… Comminicate with them in a reasonable way. DO NOT go full attack like this Swiss guy did with customsbut in a nice reasonable way, admit you might have made a mistake if you might have done so and say you did learn from it and you will act differently in the future. The fine will most likely be pocket money for a plane owner, if any at all will be issued in the end. Pay and and have no trouble in the future.

www.ing-golze.de
EDAZ

Peter wrote:

Please keep this on topic

It would be really useful for people here to contribute whether their country mandates one to seek out a police check.

My previous post was indeed on topic IMO. It may not have been all that accurate perhaps. Anyway, the whole process for GA is to be found here (“VFR Norway” published yearly by the CAA)

No such “seeking” can be found. Key points are:

  • Schengen, non Schengen
  • MTOM less or larger than 5700 kg
  • International airports vs small airfields (Schengen, non Schengen, MTOM, customs, 1 h vs 4 h)
  • Advice customs up front (international airports vs small airports)
  • Flight plan
  • Flight plan
  • Flight plan

In essence: Proper flight plan will do the trick (forget about filing through moving map apps though, be sure to get your FP positively acknowledged)

ENVA ENOP ENMO, Norway

Austria has such an obligation in the Grenzkontrollgesetz:

  • Every airport of entry is an area subject to border controls (Grenzkontrollbereich) in its entirety [Art 7 (3)]
  • Everybody entering or leaving Austria via any airport must present him/herself to border control [Art 11 (1)]
  • He has to do that without unnecessary delay and using any designated routes / channels at the designated place [Art 11 (3) 2]

Flights from Schengen countries are deemed domestic flights [Art 1 (7) together with (6)]

Clearly intended for major airports, no idea if there is an exemption from flying to non-designated airports available.

Last Edited by Cobalt at 22 Aug 08:24
Biggin Hill

LeSving wrote:

Proper flight plan will do the trick

… unless a policeman ignorant of the law decides otherwise, and forces one to divert from a non-desigated airport to a port of entry, as happened to me in Norway. He actually told me I HAD to present myself to the police to get my passport stamped, and when I pointed out to him that it did not need stamping and indeed he did not stamp it, he just got annoyed and said is could need stamping so I just shut up.

No idea what would have happened if I had ignored the instruction relayed by ATC and just carried on to my planned destination – but it would probably not have been pleasant.

Last Edited by Cobalt at 22 Aug 08:26
Biggin Hill

Cobalt wrote:

unless a policeman ignorant of the law decides otherwise, and forces one to divert from a non-desigated airport to a port of entry, as happened to me in Norway. He actually told me I HAD to present myself to the police to get my passport stamped, and when I pointed out to him that it did not need stamping and indeed he did not stamp it, he just got annoyed and said is could need stamping so I just shut up.

No idea what would have happened if I had ignored the instruction relayed by ATC and just carried on to my planned destination – but it would probably not have been pleasant.

I don’t get it. How did the police contact you? Did you come from a non Schengen country or Schengen country? What was your planned destination and the port of entry?

ENVA ENOP ENMO, Norway
I’m still not 100% sure how to fly correctly to Norway. Last year we entered Norway via ENNA, which is a customs airport. had a brief refueling stop and proceeded to ENHV. After landing at ENHV the captains listed in flightplan received phonecall from customs, demanding e-mail with list of persons on board. We were also met by customs at Vadso when we departed Norway. They went through all our luggage, informed us that next time we will be fined if we enter Norway without e-mailing them first ,and that was that. I’m not sure what exactly we violated- the regulations can be understood that e-mail is necessary when entering country via an airport at the alternate non-customs airport list, but either the fuel-stop was not enough or e-mail is necessary for all flights. They definitely had our flightplans.

Anyway, in the future I’ll just send them an e-mail to be sure.

https://www.toll.no/en/services/regulations/law-and-regulations/regulations-concerning-relief-in-the-duty-to-notify-customs-about-small-aircraft-etc-in-traffic-between-norway-and-other-schengen-countries/

EETU, Estonia

Customs can be a PITA. That’s probably the best explanation

Yes, you must notify customs. This is one of the reasons just sending a FP from whatever app will not work. If you use IPPC this is almost automatic, but you do have to hook off as shown below:

The customs office must have this 1 hour up front on international airports, and 4 hours on all the smaller fields.

Also, it is important to differentiate between customs and immigration. Immigration only apply to non Schengen, but customs apply to everyone. Customs is not immigration. They are two completely separate departments. Immigration will get the FP regardless (I think), but customs will only get it if you send it to them explicitely.

Note: The preview in “dark mode” is all white. White text on white background. Impossible to see. The only thing showing is pictures and smileys.

ENVA ENOP ENMO, Norway

BerlinFlyer wrote:

You have to delay your flight until the immigration inspection has been performed. Everything else is illegal. Basis is EU law (https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/HTML/?uri=CELEX:02016R0399-20190611 – Article 8 §2 “Border checks on person”, Details about private flights in ANNEX VI 2.2 ff)

The question is what happens if the pilot is willing to have the inspection but the police/immigration officers are not present.

To my knowledge this is the problem of the police, not of the pilot. As long as you use an official port of entry (and not unduly hide from the police), to my knowledge you have done your duty – in Germany as in any other Schengen country.

If, however, the interpretation is true, that you must ot depart to a destination outside of the Schengen area if police did not show up, then it is obviously a rule in EU law that does not only apply to Germany but to every Schengen member

Germany

BerlinFlyer wrote:

You have to delay your flight until the immigration inspection has been performed. Everything else is illegal. Basis is EU law (https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/HTML/?uri=CELEX:02016R0399-20190611 – Article 8 §2 “Border checks on person”, Details about private flights in ANNEX VI 2.2 ff)

I, and my “lawyer family member”, disagree. National law may have something that puts an obligation on the PIC to “delay flight until the immigration inspection has been performed”, but the linked Annex VI 2.2 and 2.3 do not.

2.2.1 says “It shall be ensured that persons are also checked”. That is an obligation on the Member State to ensure checks are done. Not on the PIC to forcefully organise them in face of a non-cooperative/non-caring border police force.

2.2.3 Is an obligation on the manager of the aerodrome. Not us.

2.3.1 We have to warn border police. Still not wait for them if they don’t show up on time.

2.3.2 Obligation on Member State, not on PIC

ELLX
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