View Full Version : So What does PPR Really Mean ?
15th Sep 2003, 23:55
I've flown into several strips/fields where although published PPR a radio call inbound has been sufficient to qualify as PPR (as in, I don't just arrive in the circuit with no warning...........)
Recently though I've had PPR quoted at me as Prior Permission Required means a telephone call giving my ETA to ATC/Airfield Operators etc beforehand....
What do other people understand as PPR ?
16th Sep 2003, 00:06
I find it varies from airfield to airfield. Sometimes the flight guides will specify "PPR from ops on telephone number XXX", which leaves no room for doubt, other places are less clear.
However, I'd suggest that it's not really worth worrying about. It's always a good idea to call the airfield before you leave, to check that they're open, there are no special events on, etc, whether it's PPR or not.
I can think of twice within the last year when I've changed my plans after calling my planned destination, both at fields which don't require PPR. Once was a fly-in - the airfield was open, although they preferred not to have arrivals from anyone not connected with the fly-in during the time when I'd planned to arrive. (Would have been better if the event had been NOTAMed, but it wasn't.) The other time, when I called the airfield they told me they were closed because the runway was covered in snow. I went for a local flight instead, and heard at least 4 aircraft on the local LARS frequency reporting that they were heading to the airfield in question. No doubt they all found somewhere else to go for lunch instead.
Once upon a time, when I were a lad, there were two different sets of letters:
PPR - "Required" - radio call will do, phone if you want to be sure the airfield's open today.
PPO - "Only" - if you didn't phone before takeoff, you aren't touching our runway, sir.
I think there's another one called "Strict PPR", but that just made my mind boggle...
High Wing Drifter
16th Sep 2003, 01:01
It seems that oftentimes I phone to check which of the contradicting statements in the AIP and Pooleys I should follow, its like briefest of conversations as the poor old controller struggles to inform me whilst handling six in the circuit and two inbound!
16th Sep 2003, 02:12
As a co-owner of a little strip that is on the map, in the flight guides, but has no radio. PPR means 'please ring us if you want to land here' - you have no automatic right in any way.
When you ring you will be gently probed on aircraft type and experience level. If both are suitable you will be then briefed on local procedures, 'gothas' etc.
We will generally then speed up to the field, put the kettle on and man handle our loudicrous landing 'T' out of the hangar into place in anticipation!
Seriously folks PPR means just that on little strips and we probably turn down 50% of callers. Its not that we are not welcoming.. far from it, it's a difficult field and many types simply just aren't suitable.
16th Sep 2003, 02:29
very simple actually... call them ahead to make sure they're open because they aren't required to be.... or just go there and radio in... they may let you in, but they may not, so be prepared to go to an alternate! It's the airfield owners decision....
16th Sep 2003, 02:50
Always phone. As Kingy said, some strips can be "challenging" others may have severe restrictions on the amount of movements allowed.
16th Sep 2003, 03:55
Always phone. I phoned Deauville at the start of Summer and discovered that they were not open (ie. Licensed) until 1pm local! So I got my french crib sheet (they only speak french when unlicensed) and landed with no trouble at all; many UK pilots were turned away that day because they weren't prepared.
16th Sep 2003, 03:55
...which I haven't told in public yet....
A long time ago, I arranged to meet a friend for lunch, at the nearest airfield to the friend's home - a privately owned field, but quite a large and wellknown one. I phoned for PPR, and got an ansafone. Oh dear, what to do? I asked everyone I could think of, and they all said just go, and call on the radio. So I left a message on the ansafone to say what was happening, and flew there. I called on the radio, no-one there, so I carefully avoided overflying anyone who might be upset, landed, parked my R22, met my friend and went for lunch. A couple of hours later I came back, still no-one there, so I took off and went back to my home airfield. There, I was told the strip owner had called, wanted me to call him back, and: "he's not happy". I called, and that was an understatement. He was furious, said he didn't allow helicopters in, and I'd had no right to go. Some of the conversation went like this:
Owner: If I called your house, and you were at Tesco, how would you like it if I just turned up and parked my helicopter in your garden?
Whirly (thinks she'd be delighted, and also impressed because her garden barely has room for a bicycle let alone a helicopter): Well...I do see what you mean. I'm really sorry.
Owner: And I suppose you left the landing fee in the tower?
Whirly: (panicky) I forgot; give me the address and I'm send you a cheque immediately.
Leaving aside the rights and wrongs of the situation...since then, I call in advance, and make sure I definitely have PPR.
16th Sep 2003, 12:33
I have turned up at several airfields un-announced, without telephone PPR and never yet had any problem......If I remember I'll give 'em a call first, if I forget and they won't let me land I'll take my business elsewhere.
If I'm going to a"big" airfield (the sort that make your orbit for 20 minutes becasue a 737 is on a 10 mile final) then I'll phone and arrange it beforehand, at least then my 90 quid landing fee looks like its been for something worthwhile...
Genghis the Engineer
16th Sep 2003, 15:00
I too fly from a PPR strip. It means basically, we want to have personally told you the rules at the strip and - if you'd been kind enough to phone a couple of days in advance - had the chance to send you the "avoids" briefing sheet. In all likelihood, once you've been once you'll be privately told to come back any time and no need to call. But we, the club who have put a lot of work into getting the permissions we have, want to make that decision. I don't think that we're unusual in that.
But, I don't think it gets airfield operators off the hook from providing adequate information in Pooleys, AIP, etc - there are such things as safety diversions, even into non-radio airfields. Also, it provides no excuse for pilots - PPR means PPR unless you've been clearly been told otherwise by somebody with the authority to do so (like our strip's PPR secretary).
N.B. What does really annoy us is a couple of microlight schools whose QFIs regularly send their students in without PPR or a proper briefing. A solo pilot came in once, flew straight through the biggest noise-avoid, flew a totally incorrect circuit, then got treated to a very public bollocking by yours truly - only later did I discover he was on his QXC - but what can his instructor expect under the circumstances!
16th Sep 2003, 15:02
I think that PPR makes it less hard to get and maintain planning permission.
Obviously one should phone any smaller field prior to departure, anyway, to make sure the runway isn't blocked, etc etc.
16th Sep 2003, 16:09
I thought it stood for 'Please Pop Round'.
That could explain a few things...
I cannot speak from a small airstrip point of view, but certainly from a major airfield PPR is strictly enforced.
PPR at Major airfields is placed on because of various ground handling reasons usually rather than an ATC reason. For example lack of parking, runway and taxiway closures or maybe even the lack of fuel.
Lack of staff in ATC as well can have an impact .
Check your daily PIBs as well as your AIP if it says PPR ring up and check, you may be lucky and get a PPR slot
16th Sep 2003, 16:31
I hope the instructor got a b@<hidden> too. Unbelievable that he could send a student on a QXC without PPR.
Genghis the Engineer
16th Sep 2003, 18:45
I did take the liberty of, er, mentioning it.:}