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Rules for flying cross border to UK private strips

My wife and I have recently become UK citizens and passport holders.

Could I please ask what UK pilots do for international GA flights to private airstrips in the UK?

In the past, with our old Australian passports, we used to file/send 1) Flight Plan, 2) GAR and 3) Immigration Preclearance form by email to Border Force (in our case to Bristol Airport which is nearby).

Now with UK passports do we still need to do no 3?

Also, I have never contacted Special Branch for such flights, and no one has ever told me to. I assume they picked up the info if they cared from Border Force or from the GAR. Are we supposed to contact SB?

Lastly, my first such flight with the new UK passports will be from Ireland (Dublin). Any special rules for that trip?

Upper Harford private strip UK, near EGBJ, United Kingdom

See the GAR guidance here

You shouldn’t need to do 3) as a British passport holder. As a flight from the Republic of Ireland, you’ll need to send your GAR to the police as explained in the guidance note – at least 12 hours before your ETA. Police (“special branch”) notification in addition to Border Force is only required for flights to/from the common travel area.

Also remember the passenger locator form and Covid testing requirements (but I don’t think you’ll need these for a flight from Ireland, because it’s within the common travel area).

EGTF, United Kingdom

I doubt you need 3) if you are UK passport holder…

Anyone know if the “remote UKBF clearance form” applies when EU pob are onboard the aircraft after Oct21?

I recall when flying to L2K with non-EU pax (e.g. Russian, American, Lebanese…) getting a call & email that I forwarded to them to fill up and send to Stansted/Southend units

Paris/Essex, France/UK, United Kingdom

Never heard of " Immigration Preclearance form".

A flight to/from non EU, or one carrying non EU passport holders, did require a 24hr PN via the GAR. More here. I have a feeling the 24hrs bit for non UK passport holders may have gone away – see the searches linked – but not relevant now to you anyway.

The problem is likely to be a “private strip”. I suggest contacting your local police and ask. I know some strips have a deal sorted, but it isn’t the normal 4hrs for returning to the UK from the EU (or 12hrs either way if non-EU / CTA / IOM). IIRC, based on a small sample, it tends to be a 24hr PN via the GAR.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

I go into my strip from the EU regularly with the usual 4hr GAR under the current universal deal which gives us, I believe, until June 2022. After that the strip needs to be registered with HMRC so it seems to be more of a customs gig than a boarder force one. BF visited and got me all the paperwork to do etc., but the application went to HMRC. Nine months ago and still heard nothing back but I understand this is not unusual.

If only I’d known that….
EGSH. Norwich. , United Kingdom

@Pig where do you get the paperwork from to do this please?

We're glad you're here
Oxford EGTK

Hi Charlie. Ask Oxford who their BF contact is and start there. They will defo have one as they do a lot of international stuff. I’ve found BF to be v helpful.

If only I’d known that….
EGSH. Norwich. , United Kingdom

Peter wrote:

Never heard of " Immigration Preclearance form".

Peter, below is the form I used to send to Border Force before we had UK citizenship.

Regarding getting a private strip designated as a CoA Airport, ie a Customs and Immigration Airport, I stared this process at the end of last year with a visit from BF and “Counterterrorism and Border Police”, who inspected my strip, hangar fences and gates. As instructed, I then sent off the required forms, map of there airfield etc to the National Frontier Approvals Unit sat Birmingham Airport and haven’t heard a peep since.

Indochine, thanks very much for the GAR link.

Upper Harford private strip UK, near EGBJ, United Kingdom
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Like @Pig and @Buckerfan I started this process over a year ago and heard nothing for quite a while.

Just recently, I’ve had a visit from the National Frontiers Approval Unit and they have also asked me to create and provide an EORI number (required because a CoA application is, in effect, a request for a “customs decision”). So things are moving along nicely.

Have other private aerodrome operators seen similar progress?

Incidentally, the freedom to create and operate nationally and internationally from an aerodrome in one’s back yard is one of the (progressively fewer?) reasons for living in the British Isles.

Glenswinton, SW Scotland, United Kingdom
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