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UK GAR form discussion, and UK border police procedures

Hello everyone! I have a question about Biggin hill airport. Has anyone ever received an entry stamp at Biggin Hill? What is the port name on the stamp (does it say Biggin Hill)?


The UK does not stamp passports.

Maybe they can if you ask – at airports with a permanent police presence.

There is a police force at Biggin (it is actually where I email my GARs these days) so probably Yes.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

They always stamp passports for people traveling on a visa with non-European passports. I always get a stamp at every entry point. So I am curious what my stamp will say at Biggin Hill.


Give the police there a call. If google doesn’t turn up their number, call the airport ops; they will deffo have it.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Yes – visa nationals have their passports stamped on arrival in the UK (there are no departure stamps / exit controls like there are in some other countries). At Fairoaks, the Border Force team have a stamp that says “England”. They come from Farnborough. I’m not sure whether the Biggin Hill team (that are based there) have a different stamp.

Last Edited by Indochine at 05 Feb 22:58
EGTF, United Kingdom

Fenland_Flyer wrote:

Buckerfan’s post is certainly food for thought. I have already been visited by 2 very nice people from BF and my quote above is the result! Time will tell if I can make it happen. So maybe I could route via one of the farm strips ( with owners permission of course) and that could satisfy BF???

Hi FF.

My advice; just do the application. It will take max two hours of your time. The EORI was the bit that I found most intimidating, but it was in fact not too burdensome. The application process is designed with mid sized GA airports in mind – imagine Goodwood for example. The kind of places that have “managers”, “plans” and “paperwork”,. but in fact the BF were completely relaxed about my much more agricultural setup – ie no manager, no company, no official plans (just a hand drawing). Go for it, it is invaluable.

Upper Harford private strip UK, near EGBJ, United Kingdom

I attended a presentation from Border Force at our local LAA strut this week. They are happy to visit/present and meet pilots at such events, partly to explain the current regulations and partly to ask for help in spotting/reporting anything unusual. They seemed quite competent and personable to me, and the documentation I’ve read on the GAR website looks pretty clear, proportionate and reasonable. If only other countries adopted a similar approach.

Some key points:
- Average of 275 inbound GA flights per day, where GA is anything civilian and unscheduled (so everything from executive jets to ferry delivery flights to two seater private). Total about 100K per year.
- Over 3,000 possible fixed wing and helicopter landing sites (I’m guessing that helicopters make up a substantial proportion of those).
- From April 2023, GAR forms MUST be submitted online through their portal (sGar at or using one of the four approved applications (Airbox RunwayHD, Onlinegar, or RocketRoute). Email or faxed forms won’t be accepted (so this means Autorouter can’t be used for GAR forms unless it is updated). They had a preference for the tool but others have the advantage of submitting to foreign authorities at the same time. Failure to submit online will be considered an offence.
- Min 2 hours and Max 48 hours before departure (inbound or outbound). 12 hours for Northern Ireland/Ireland/Channel Islands unless Police Designated airport.
- Must arrive/depart from designated (ie manned) or CoA airfield
- Any airfield can apply to become CoA approved as discussed above. There is (currently) no charge.
- Again as before, guns, 10K cash, pets are possible with notification. Import duty for goods can be paid online.
- Some exceptions such as foreigners needing a visa/entry permission, commercial goods, importing aircraft may require arrival at a designated airport.
- They do track flights and match up with the GAR forms and prioritise where to attend/meet aircraft
- A couple of examples of drug and people smuggling were given, with sentences up to 20 years given. Fines of up to 10K can apply for lesser offences.
- Planning to arrive at a non-CoA site is likely to incur a heavy penalty unless it’s really is an emergency (in which case call the number on landing)
- If you spot anything vaguely unusual, give them a call. It used to be shared with the police 101 number but there is now a dedicated one. Their Pegasus scheme remains active with posters available on request. 0300 123 7000 or quote ‘Pegasus’
- A public list of CoA airfields is being updated, but each airfield can opt-out and not be listed publicly.
- Some airfields didn’t tick all the boxes when they applied and so can’t be used for all of the above and may have to re-apply. For example, not all have applied for flights to/from Northern Ireland.

In summary, the two big changes are the requirement to arrive/depart from a CoA airfield from 1st Jan 2024 and to use the online portal submission from April.

Errors and omissions from above are entirely my fault.

FlyerDavidUK, PPL & IR Instructor
EGBJ, United Kingdom

Thanks a lot for the summary.

For example, not all have applied for flights to/from Northern Ireland.

Well, that’s because such flight is not an international flight, and only international flights do require a customs-designated or CoA aerodrome. Right?

Average of 275 inbound GA flights per day

Amazing. I would have thought maybe 50-100 on average, but thinking of it, the bizjet fraction is probably doing 200 per day.

From April 2023, GAR forms MUST be submitted online through their portal (sGar at or using one of the four approved applications (Airbox RunwayHD, Onlinegar, or RocketRoute)

There were rumours that onlinegar would be abandoned soon (which would also rule out Skydemon for GARs). Any news on that?

Max 48 hours before departure

That’s another piece of news.

They do track flights

Did they say how?

Last Edited by boscomantico at 08 Feb 13:23
Mainz (EDFZ) & Egelsbach (EDFE), Germany

DavidC wrote:

Again as before, guns, 10K cash, pets are possible with notification.

I don’t believe it’s possible to bring your own pets in on GA unless your an AOC holder with the correct authorisation and equipment.
I tried to resolve this many years ago but failed.

Forever learning

There was a bit a glitch recently regarding pets at Gloucester, but it was explicitly confirmed by the airport (and at the meeting) that this is now possible.

No mention of an AoC for that.

Someone who does fly with pets might be better placed to say

Re Northern Ireland flights there was a hint at the meeting that this might need a CoA but I can’t see that written in the guidance document. I may have misunderstood or mis-remembered that point.

FlyerDavidUK, PPL & IR Instructor
EGBJ, United Kingdom
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