Flying Abroad - Information

DISCLAIMER Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information provided, but it remains the pilots responsibility to remain compliant. We take no responsibility for the accuracy of this information; you are the pilot in command!

January 2024 Guidance for flying to/from the UK following the UK leaving the EU is published by the Government at this link.

The following information is provided to assist BMAA pilots in flight planning for flights within the Common Travel Area (CTA) under the Anti Terrorism Act 2000 and to Europe, covering both the General Aviation Report (GAR) and Flight Planning process”

UK Border Force 'Submit a GAR' service: https://www.submit-general-aviation-report.service.gov.uk/welcome/index

1.    GAR Form requirements for flights within the CTA. Read the file.

2.    GAR Form requirements for flights to Europe. Read the file.

3.    Flight Plan completion for flights abroad. Read the file.

4.    Flying Abroad Checklist. Read the file.

The following sites provide useful information in flight planning for flights abroad.

5.    The AOPA site provides comprehensive information.   AOPA Follow the Go Flying link to Flight Planning and Flying Abroad.

6.    The European Microlight Federation (EMF) document provides information on National requirements with links to governing bodies and sources of further information and contacts. European Microlight Federation (EMF)

7.  Homebuilt? Start by reading the ECAC - The European Civil Aviation Conference - recommendation ECAC Recommendation INT.S/11-1 - for homebuilt aircraft. The UK is a member of ECAC.

French Regulations

Assumptions: Your microlight is UK-registered and has a valid permit & Certificate of Validity. You are legally entitled to fly your microlight in the UK, since you have a valid pilot licence and associated medical; this includes a pilot medical declaration where applicable.

PILOT LICENCE

If your UK microlight meets the French ULM definition, (basically, 450kg for flexwing and 500kg for 3-axis and max. 80KW (107HP) engine power but see this table) then you can fly to France with your national (NPPL or equivalent) pilot licence.

If your UK microlight does not meet the definition, you need to apply for permission - see the 'Latest Communication' below.

MEDICAL:

If your UK microlight meets the French ULM definition then you can fly to France with a PMD (pilot medical declaration).

If your UK microlight does not meet the French definition, you will need a LAPL medical (as a mimimum). There is a link below for LAPL information.

AEROPLANE: 

If your UK microlight meets the French ULM definition, then you don't need any further permissions from DGAC.

If your UK microlight is amateur-built, you don't need any further permissions from DGAC.

If your UK microlight is factory-built and does not meet the French ULM definition, you need to apply for an overflight exemption (which the French sometimes refer to as a 'pass'). Fill in this form and there is a fee of €50. 

If your UK microlight is SSDR, you may not fly it to France (or anywhere outside the UK). This is as per the CAA policy, read it here

Other information: Your flight in France must be recreational and not commercial. It cannot be used for transport, trial flights, training or flight testing. You are usually granted a maximum of 10 days at any one time and up to 3 visits in a 12 month period.  If amateur-built, your aeroplane must have at least 15hrs of flight time and 50 landings.

Latest communication from DSAC (Civil Aviation Safety Directorate) as at 03 April 2024: This is for aeroplanes that do NOT meet the ULM definition.

The reference text is the decree of January 7, 2015 on the conditions of circulation over French territory of European ultralight motorized aircraft.If the aircraft is not in the scope of the decree a decision must be established by the DSAC/PN/LIC (Licensing) division to validate the title of the pilot who will use the aircraft under the conditions of a Permit to Fly.

Why is this? Because the ULM's weight is above the limits set by article 1 of this decree and article 1.1 of the decree of September 23, 1998 on motorized ultralight aircraft (limits summarized in the table here: https://www.ecologie.gouv.fr/sites/default/files/ULM_nouvelles_limites.pdf), the provisions concerning pilots in article 2 of the aforementioned order of January 07, 2015 cannot be applied and a case-by-case decision must be issued.

Applications  must be sent to licences-navigants@aviation-civile.gouv.fr with the subject DOSSIER-LP-NAV-NOMPILOTE-NATIONALITE, with a copy to nicolas.tecles@aviation-civile.gouv.fr.

Submit the following documents:

•The Permit to Fly application showing the original registration number

•The application form attached, clearly indicating in the section below the number and name of the document authorizing the use of the aircraft concerned in the United Kingdom.

•The pilot's license issued by the UK CAA to operate the aircraft in question in the UK

•The medical certificate associated with this title

•A signed certificate stating the total number of hours flown on the aircraft concerned and the number of hours flown in the last 3 months on the aircraft concerned.

Depending on the titles (license + medical certificate) used to fly the aircraft concerned in the UK:- 

CASE 1: ICAO License + ICAO level medical: possibility of flying in France without a decision- 

CASE 2: EASA LAPL license + EASA LAPL medical (minimum): possibility of flying in France without a decision- 

CASE 3: LAPL UK license + LAPL UK medical (minimum) : Decision required (see file to be sent)- 

CASE 4: National title issued in the UK to fly the aircraft concerned + LAPL UK medical (as a minimum): Decision required (see file to be forwarded)

Note :For all the above procedures, and within the framework of a specific treatment our procedures do not accept a "Medical Declaration" associated with the title submitted.

All these procedures only concerns the Pilot aspects. For any questions relating to airworthiness and the associated documents, please contact the Airworthiness Division here: ulm@aviation-civile.gouv.fr


Source material:
Foreign aircraft - https://www.ecologie.gouv.fr/en/foreign-aircraft
Microlights - https://www.legifrance.gouv.fr/loda/id/JORFTEXT000030109795/
Courtesy translation of above link - https://www.ecologie.gouv.fr/sites/default/files/Arrete_7_Jan_2015_European_Ultra_Lights_EN.pdf
Amateur-built - https://www.legifrance.gouv.fr/loda/id/JORFTEXT000036437808
French regulations - https://www.bmaa.org/files/french_regulations_2019.pdf

Useful page for French radio: https://www.francoflyers.org/french-radio-calls.html

Information regarding the LAPL medical available on this page: https://www.caa.co.uk/aeromedical-examiners/medical-standards/medical/

Direct link to LAPL information pdf: https://www.caa.co.uk/our-work/publications/documents/content/cap1127p/

Belgium

[As of 11/7/23] The UK licence is accepted as part of the application process for an overflight exemption.

Denmark

Sub-475kg microlights require a permit, issued by the Ultralight Flying Association DULFU. Super-475kg microlights are referred to the Danish CAA and the process is less clear. 

Germany

[Latest information as at 25/7/23 from the Luftfahrt-Bundesamt]  "With regard to the application for the entry/overflight of foreign-registered aircraft with restricted certification, we do not require any information or evidence about the pilots. The approval is now only for the aircraft. The submission of licenses, validations, medicals, etc. is no longer necessary. Our website has already been adjusted accordingly."Ultra-light" aeroplanes need no separate permission."

Spain

[As of 11/7/23] One member reports no problems obtaining an overflight exemption with his NPPL licence and PMD (pilot medical declaration).


Moving Aircraft Into And Out Of The UK

Taking your aircraft abroad by trailer

Your aircraft *SHOULD* be treated as a private vehicle and therefore not subject to customs charges, as per the UK government list which is here. You make a ‘declaration by conduct’ and the UK government believes other EU states should accept this in the way the UK does. This may, however, only count for exit from, and re-entry into, the UK

This information comes from the British Gliding Association and should also apply to other aircraft.

Temporarily moving an aircraft across the UK border eg for expeditions, competitions, etc.

The British Gliding Association worked with Government to reach a proportionate approach to border crossing with gliders. The situation briefed to the BGA by Government in a meeting on the 6th May 2021 is that where a privately owned glider is moved across the UK border in a trailer towed by a private vehicle and the intent is to return the glider across the UK border (for example visiting the EU for a holiday, competition, etc), the export and subsequent import should be declared orally on disembarkation as a ‘declaration by conduct’. ‘Declaration by conduct’ is a term recognised by UK border staff. Safety and security requirements do not apply unless the glider is being moved under contract. In due course, the guidance will be published on the .Gov website. The UK government cannot comment on behalf of EU borders. However, it is understood that a similar approach should be taken at the EU border.

Temporarily moving an aircraft across the UK border eg for repair

The UK-EU Trade and Co-operation Agreement (TCA) allows goods to temporarily move between GB and the EU for repair without incurring customs duty on import, regardless of their origin.

Outward Processing is a procedure that allows goods to be temporarily exported from the UK for repair or processing, and then reimported to the UK without payment of UK customs duty or import VAT. Further info on Outward Processing and the conditions that need to be met for the relief can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/using-outward-processing-to-process-or-repair-your-goods

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-to-pay-less-duty-on-goods-you-export-to-process-or-repair