View Full Version : Flying in France (incl Permits, Private sites and Pictures)

2nd Apr 2003, 00:18
Any body care to pass on any info. about flying a helo around France.(UK REG)
Is there a list of approved helisites/lz`s/, or can one land anywhere with owners permission,etc.
Done a search, and tried the Fr. CAA site ,but no Joy?Syc.:rolleyes:

2nd Apr 2003, 01:08
I remember that Pilot magazine had an article about a group of helos flying round France, but it was several years ago and I can't even remember the date. However, you could try their site I suppose.

2nd Apr 2003, 01:58

My recollection is hazy but I believe that there are considerable restrictions in France about off-airfield landings. One of the French Government Departments issues (after considerable delay) a helisurface permit (or something like that). This authorises you to make off-airfield landings but I think you are supposed to contact the local mayor for each landing.

As you can see, my memory is not perfect, but some years ago I planned a trip similar to yours and was pointed down this route.

I hope someone else can firm up on these issues for you. Perhaps a French pilot/operator could assist?

John Bicker
2nd Apr 2003, 03:37
Prefecture de police

Direction de la Circulation, des Transports et du Commerce.

Delivree conformement aux dispositions du Code de L'Aviation Civile (Art.D. 132-6 et de le l'arrete du Mai 6 1995 relatif aux Aerodromes et autres emplacements utilises par helicopteres.

In a nutshell:

Yes it takes a while to get.

Must be processed in Paris.

You may have to prove you have no criminal record.

Is valid for 10 years.

The basic concept is that you shall inform via fax prior to use of limited or unlicenced helisurfaces in addition to PPR from the owner and/or operator. Then when someone complains they already know who you are! Welcome to France. Do not operate without it unless you enjoy visits from the CRS. ( The questions come later types)

For assistance contact Nigel Watson Heli-Riviera - Brit located at LFMD. http://www.heliriviera.com/ He did offer a service to obtain one for you.

Otherwise France is as helicopter friendly or more so than anywhere else. They have a large helicopter manufacturing industry as well so..........

cyclic flare
2nd Apr 2003, 15:56
I've flown several trips through France and i do hold a Heli Surf Certificate. I have landed at several off airfield locations, Chateau's etc and have never been asked a single question. In my opinion the French are a lot more relaxed than they are made out to be, there are airfields everywhere all much better equiped than English fields. The flying is great just be careful of the military corridors they are difficult to see on the charts.

2nd Apr 2003, 17:35
Thanks guys for the gen,but one last question ,or two. Is the certificate for a named person,and specific reg. a/c, or can it be a company blanket cover for pilots and a/c; and does it cover specific areas or general?
thanks again , Syc.

cyclic flare
2nd Apr 2003, 19:25

My Heli Surf is simply in my name and lasts for ten years. They take about 3 - 6 months to arrive once applied for. I believe you need a miniumun of 250 hours to be granted one

2nd Apr 2003, 22:16
Try www.aero-checkpoint-charlie.com for details about Burgundy.

3rd Apr 2003, 00:43
I am a Brit based in France, where I've done all of my helicopter flying (including the training). Just to say most of the above is correct - although just to be precise, the permit or 'carte' is named and for a physical person (not a company) and you do not need to prove that you have no criminal record (I guess they look for themselves). As far as I am aware, there is no minimum time required to qualify for this permit (I had less than 100hrs). It is obtained from the Préfecture de Police in Paris, and is valid for all French territory.
Again, to be precise, you then fax warning of each landing at an off aerodrome location (before the landing, even 1 hour before) and must have written permission of land owner.
Apparently, this exists to help protect against criminal activity using helicopters (smuggling, prison escapes, etc.).

3rd Apr 2003, 00:59
Thanks all once again for the gen. on the paperwork trail; one last question, ; tel.nos, and addresses would complete the picture, or a copy of the form?

Head Turner
3rd Apr 2003, 22:28
Does anyone know the official direct contact to obtain the heli surface permit? Is it through the French Embassy in London? I would appreciate the details as I am sure others who are contemplating a flight to France would benefit.

4th Apr 2003, 01:50
I must say I've flown around France many times over the last 15 years and landed at private sites (mainly hotels) on I guess 50 occasions over the years. In the past I have never had the landing permit and have never even been asked for one, let alone had a problem. Nevertheless I did think I ought to get one and sent off the forms about 9 months ago. Still haven't heard back!

I may well have just been lucky all the time. Perhaps those who have been asked to produce the permit could let us know!

Head Turner
4th Apr 2003, 16:44
Anyone any news for me? Re my previous enquiry.

4th Apr 2003, 20:55
OK guys, i have got a tel.no in Paris and have just spoken,in Franglais/phonetics,to request un dossier," habilitation de utiliser les helisurfaces". Tel .no 0033-153-71-45-23( or 35-73).I await the post.!;)

Howlin Mad Murdock
7th Apr 2003, 05:06
Just got back from Paris today- We took six ships out to Issy Helliport yesterday which is in the centre of town. two R22s,an R44, a 206, an Allouette and an EC120. spent the night in Paris and took a leisurely flight back this afternoon. The French controllers were all extremely helpful especially at Issy. Total cost for an R22 landing and 24hrs parking about thirty quid- Which, when you compare the service at Al Fayed Field is quite incredible.
Still he's got to pay for his flight to switzerland somehow i suppose....
Would recommend it to anyone.

cyclic flare
7th Apr 2003, 05:42

Prefecture de Police
9 Boulevard du Palais
75195 Paris RP

Tel 01 53 71 53 71 0r 01 53 73 53 73

I think i phoned to get a fax number, then wrote requesting an application form. complete the form and return it. You should get a reply about the time your next ECG is due!!!

Hope this helps

23rd Aug 2003, 06:16
May have to go to the S of France shortly, and was looking at routing via Pontoise,Nevers,Valence,Aix, Nice/Cannes.
Anyone got any helpful hints, Customs, lunch-break,toilets to avoid,poss. stop in case of bad wx.
Iknow there are other direc routes, but this may be with pax. so1/1/2 hrs is probable bladder dep.
Also , are there any heli-routs around Nice/ Cannes ,/ areas to avoid etc. I did know a few of the fried-egg beaches, but it`s a bit more blue -rinse now !!
Any suggestions much appreciated.

23rd Aug 2003, 06:25
I always routed via Troyes - Grenoble and through the mountains. I must have done that 6 or 7 times and never had any weather snags. Very attractive route and not many people you have to talk to.

Troyes is a total sleepy hollow but has Jet A1, the old town is lovely if you need to nightstop.

Grenoble (St George) has a slick little restaurant on site.

Try to find someone with the French section of Bottlang. Every airfield has its routes, especially for helis, and it has quite a good chart for the South Coast and its routes.

23rd Aug 2003, 08:14
I'd agree: Aix isn't really on the way to Nice and the area around Marseille is pretty crowded/busy. Depending on your range, I once did Gatwick to Dijon for refuel then Cannes via Grenoble overhead for another fuel stop. As said, quiet traffic region and spectacular scenary. If range is limiting then stopping at Troyes and Grenoble should make for a pleasant jaunt.

24th Aug 2003, 19:45
I don't know, here we are in the Isle of Man trying to hold things together, and you are swanning around in continental Europe now.

Lifestyles of the rich and famous

25th Aug 2003, 00:33
You should understand,Standto, that everything was fine when I left to help out the English, again!!

Woss goin on..?
25th Aug 2003, 01:30
Try Troyes (LFQB) then Villefranche Tarare (LFHV) which is North West of Lyon. Aparantly a great chateau there with top lunch and bloke called Patrick (I think) who is a heli nut and will sort you out with all the stuff you need.

Other than that Macon, Grenoble or Valence are also considerations.

After there, pick your way through/over the Alps to DGN (loads of gliders at Sisteron) but mind the Natural Park and the bombing range between DGN and Cannes!

Enjoy, its a great trip once you get south of Troyes.

25th Aug 2003, 06:12
Woss goin on is right.

Villefranche a/p is small but very good. The Heli Club de Beaujolais is based there. Chateau Bagnols, where I stayed this weekend, is excellent - but seriously expensive!!

Good luck............

25th Aug 2003, 21:22
Thanks, guys, all very helpful gen.The reason to go round the S. via Aix was to keep nearer to the TGV in case of Wx,etc so the pax can continue.I`m sure you know the story- plan on "X" pax, and "X+2", and of course more baggage, will turn up to go -- so, legs get shorter , more refuels, days are shorter ,etc, etc.
27 yrs ago I ferried a couple of Gazelles to Marseille/rtn from a secret Wilts a/f in just under 5 hrs(flying)each way,with 3 stops for customs/ fuel/lunch at Vichy,which had /has? a superb little restaurant. No GPS, only a roll of maps and TANS.

Head Turner
27th Aug 2003, 00:34
I don't know what your leg times are but here are a few places to visit.
LeTouquet -very quick to refuel/landing fees. Good local hotels
Dijon - same here
Lyon Bron - can be a slow process if you arrive when there are others waiting.
Valance - very quick on fuel/fees. Havent tried hotels. It might not be open, so check.
Chalon sur Seine - can take some time if you are not famil with pumps/flight plan/met computers. Nearby hotel.
Gap - very pleasant, good service

30th Mar 2005, 14:14
Is there a French equivalent of the UK sitefinder book? Preferably in English.

idle stop
30th Mar 2005, 23:41
Landing outside official sites is not easy in France; for one thing, you need a French 'Heli-Surface' permit: which is relatively easy to obtain, but takes time to obtain. Once you have one it's valid for 10 years or so. Other than look in the Guide Delage (French equivalent of Pooleys etc) I too would be interested in the wisdom of others.......

Curtis E Carr
31st Mar 2005, 07:10
Probably not answering your question but there are a number of helipads listed on the French SIA website at http://www.sia.aviation-civile.gouv.fr/html/frameset_aip_fr.htm Drill down through France Metropolitaine and so on.

31st Mar 2005, 17:21
Ask at the HCGB, many have gone before .....

Pat Malone
31st Mar 2005, 18:35
The Helicopter Club certainly provides its members with application forms for the Helisurface Landing Permit, together with an English translation, but I'm not sure about the sitefinder. I'll try to find out.

31st Mar 2005, 19:54
Some usefull info

(from the south of France at this very moment)

Heli-surface permit is valid for 6 years

General info (very useful and lots of references)




In particular official Heli-Paths


High altitude



1st Apr 2005, 09:56
As it is myself who organises most of the events for HCGB I have spent a considerable amount of time researching French hotel sites.and am always pleased to help other members.

There used to be a publication called "Helite". I think it only ran for about five years with the last one being published around 1999.

Several members of HCGB have copies, including myself. Another good reason to join!

The "Relais & Chateau" Guides show helicopter landing facilities as also does the "Johansens" Guide under facilities search criteria.
Otherwise it is word of mouth or trawl through various other hotel guides and call up the likely looking ones. They are not usually too difficult to spot. I look for country location and at least three hectares of clear land. Cross checking guides against hotel websites can also be useful as many contain aerial photographs.

A note of caution however, sometimes the GPS co-ordinates given are not correct. I have seen east/west transposed. I always plot the given positions back on to a map and also buy a copy of the French IGN Series Bleu 1/25,000 to work out the position if none is given. IGN maps are obtainable from [url]www.stanfords.co.uk

Also be careful about assurances from hotel owners who tell you their site is OK for helis, they may forget to tell you about wires, obstacles or the 20 degree slope. I have on occasion spoken to local French commercial operators to ask them about a particular site.

Occasionally I have been asked for a landing fee (£40 once) with some spurious justification. I always refuse and that is usually the end of the matter.

I am always looking for new venues if anyone comes up with any.

Incidentally "delta 3" is not quite correct in saying that the French Helisurface Permit lasts for six years. I think that the way it works is that your first permit is only valid for 2/3 years and if there is no problem reported then on subsequent applications the period of validity is extended. I am on my third permit which was issued in 1997 and is valid until 2007. I can't overstress the importance of having a Helisurface Landing Permit. Last year a friend was being given a hard time by local Gendarmes after making a precationary landing with an engine problem. All was smiles when he produced the permit.

1st Apr 2005, 21:02
to chalmondleigh

I do agree with your post. Especially the relais and chateaux which I also visit frequently, and I agree about the errors in GPS coordinates, which I do tend to notify to the hotels if found incorrect. You also can land at places that do not have registered heli-surfaces. The villages mair has an important say in that.

For the permit I only can state that my permit issued by the departement of Le Var, is valid for 6 years, which is according to my information (see the french AIP) the normal time span.


15th Mar 2006, 08:37
Have been asked by boss to ferry guests between private residence in French countryside and a small motor race happening mid-June......
Whilst I get my head into the books in the sun that is not Cheltenham, has anyone out there done this sort of thing before?
Anyone au-fait re permissions required/regs for running a private shuttle service within France - off airfield site to racetrack?
It's all private work, using private company chopper and company pilot, flying friends of boss, no fees being charged etc.
Does Le Mans run a heliport at the track during the week or do we have to use the airport like those plank-type things?

15th Mar 2006, 09:09
You as a pilot need a permit for off airport landings, to be applied for in Paris, I think with the police and the CAA.
So that´s that and on top of that the landings sites need to be approved.

It´s been quite a while...
I didn´t have that personal off-airport permit since we switched pilot on short notice and was fined about 3800 pounds (in court!):*

So, be prepared.


15th Mar 2006, 10:03

You will need to apply to the Prefecture de Police for a "Habilitation a utiliser les helisurfaces".

Their address is:
9, boulevard du Palais
75195 Paris, Cedex
Ph: +33 1 53715371
email: [email protected]

Remember, this only covers you as the pilot. It will be valid for 10 years. The landing site permits are a different matter.

Hope this helps. ;)

15th Mar 2006, 10:31
EESDL, PM for you ..

cyclic flare
15th Mar 2006, 12:08
Expect anything between 6 - 12 months to get your Helisurface.

Ive had one for almost ten years, flown in france regular lots of off airport landings and never ever been asked for it,

But if you don't have one you know what will happen

15th Mar 2006, 16:11
many thanks,
sycamore - pm didn't get through!

15th Mar 2006, 18:04
I think I sent an e-mail, but it was same info as Oogle; there was a heli company at Le Mans(+33 (2) 4372 0770 who may help.. Syc

15th Mar 2006, 22:13
Do you need a special permit for Aerial Photography in France? With a foreign registered aircraft. (G-reg/N-Reg)

16th Mar 2006, 09:49

I did that 20 years ago in a german registered H 300C, with a french license.
Customs, AoC and license issues having been adressed, you need to apply for a specific authorization with the local Civil Aviation administration - districts.

This is to cover the exemption of the 500 ft mini flight height.

I suggest you to visit the DGAC site.


Southern Cross
16th Mar 2006, 11:30
Just so I don't misunderstand, to make an off-airfield landing with a heli in France I would need a Helisurfaces permit regardless of whether the flight was private or public transport. Secondly, I would need to have any particular landing site approved as well.

Does anyone have contact details to hand for approving landing sites - is this a central function in Paris or is it delegated to the various Departments?


16th Mar 2006, 12:04
Planning to fly to Le Mans this year. Would I need a helisurface permit to land at track or is it licenced?

Max Contingency
16th Mar 2006, 18:42
The boundry fence for the airfield at Le Mans goes right past the main entrance. During the race there is a tourist heliport set up there to give punters a wizz round the track. They certainly have fuel/reception tents etc and they look to have up to 8 machines in the air at once. I dont have their details but if you could get in with that crowd, it might solve your problems.

I will be making my annual pilgrimage (slumming it by road) but I will keep an eye out for you!!

17th Mar 2006, 08:27
Do you still need the permit if you are flying to a hotel that has a helipad?


17th Mar 2006, 10:59
Do you still need the permit if you are flying to a hotel that has a helipad?

in a nutshell yes as you are off airfield

Agaricus bisporus
17th Mar 2006, 11:23
If you can wait the 6 mths or more to get the helisurfaces chit you'll also then need to talk to the local Syndicat d'Initiative to find out about a landing site permit. I don't recall if it is they or the local Prefecture that actually issue them, but they will know.
It makes you realize how lucky we are here in UK!

17th Mar 2006, 16:25
If as a pilot, you have the permit, you are then allowed to land outside of official airfields - that is what the permit is for. This can be at any private location, and all you need is written permission (normally faxed prior) from the owner of the property where you land. Assuming of course that it is not in restricted airspace. The written permission must state the pilot's name, the landing site, and the duration for which landing is allowed.
Hope this helps.

29th Mar 2006, 07:52
Having a bit of a giggle trying to get through to 'Prefecture Police...'

Franglais is not as bad as I thought it was but yet to receive replies to e-mail and letter.
Spoke to some lady on switchboard......and didn't get very far past the "Monsieur Longtemps est dans le chambre......"

Jet-systems are the guys that operate a helipad at the airport - there does not seem to be a site inside the racetrack .......

15th Apr 2006, 10:16
After receiving an application form for aerial photography (!) some headway at last.

Madame Niro is the contact and correct form promptly returned.
Photocpoies of licence(s), last couple of pages of logbook and a form of ID.
Tel: +33 1 53 71 34 13
Fax: +33 1 53 71 57 85

Now, will it be approved in time?

If so, it will be in no small part due to www.freetranslation.com !

15th Apr 2006, 10:56
Could you forward me the Aerial Photography form?
I would be much obliged.

[email protected]

8th Jun 2006, 21:48
Received permission in the post this morning.
Boss confirms that we'll be going Monday to Monday this afternoon.
Now that's what I call timing...............

206 jock
9th Jun 2006, 07:32
They must have done a batch of them: I received mine yesterday too.

Though fortunately, no desperate need on my part!

9th Jun 2006, 08:21
The French seem to take paperwork very seriously. I landed in France once and the checked paperwork, insurance etc, had been removed from the aircraft ! They wouldn't let me leave til they got it ! No one's fault but mine, but had quite a scare being escorted by the local Gendarmarie to the nearest fax machine !:uhoh:

10th Jun 2006, 07:45
I live in France and operate a "G" reg helicopter here. You need an "Attestation" (Permit) to fly around France which I obtained from the Prefecture de Police in Paris in about 3 weeks.

The application simply asks for basic hours flown etc and personal details.

You ned the permission of the landowner to land and take off. The basic rule for landing in more built up areas is that if the village for example is marked by a white circle on the half mil chart you can come and go as you please, if you have the permission of the land owner. If the village is maked on the chart by a yellow dot then you need the permission of the mayor to arrive etc.

email me and let me have a contact phone number and I will call you with the full "SP".

It is currently 34 degrees in the Vendee /Loire region and set to get hotter so make sure you do your power checks.

10th Jun 2006, 11:42
Has anyone got any pictures from France?

'Views from the cockpit'?
Pictures of recommended hotels with helipads / other private sites?

Experience of hotels / helipads etc would be useful to anyone planning a French trip.


Flying Lawyer
11th Jun 2006, 09:00
To start the ball rolling ..........

Burgundy vineyards


C15th Hospice de Beaune

Looking forward to some fine Burgundy

Chateau Saint-Sabine, nr Dijon http://chste-sabine.ifrance.com/gene1.jpg

C17th chateau, rooms from €55, dinner from €30 excl wine. Excellent food, and superb wine list.
The picture (provided by the hotel) is a little misleading because the pad is hidden by tall trees on final approach. The tops are just visible in the bottom of the picture - and they've grown since. High recce reveals all.

11th Jun 2006, 09:17
Just a thought - would not the French equivalent of the BHAB have a guide to private pads? If not, Mr Pooley may find a market for one!

MD900 Explorer
12th Jun 2006, 14:01
Just a few pictures on our way down to Pamplona to run with the bulls.

View of Cap Gris-Nez from Kent side of the channel

Le Touquet Airport

French countryside

Rouen Airport Terminal from the cockpit

Finals to Angouleme

Helipad at Angouleme

French for Helicopter Centre

Countryside between Angouleme and Biaritz

More Central France Countryside

Approach to Biaritz

Biaritz Airport in the distance


Hotel Heliport spotted in Biaritz

Base leg for Biaritz

Biaritz Helipads

Local Heli Firm

Local Heli Firms AS350

MD :ok:

MD900 Explorer
12th Jun 2006, 14:04
I know it isn't France, but just a hop over the border is San Sebastian

Leaving San Sebastian for Biaritz after we ran with the bulls

Departing view of airport at San Sebastian

MD :ok:

MD900 Explorer
12th Jun 2006, 14:05
Sorry, Since i am a computer dummy i don't know how to resize phot's, so if you get a chance can you resize them.



12th Jun 2006, 16:28
Done. :ok:
Phew! :zzz:

I've left a few as links.


MD900 Explorer
13th Jun 2006, 09:15

Thanks for that. :ok:

Could you send me a PM with how to do the resizing and software you used, so i don't have to pester you with this again. :rolleyes:

MD :ok:

13th Jun 2006, 18:09
Mas du Langoustier, Island of Porquerolle, Cote d'Azur

Green gras in front of hotel, very nice but a bit tricky in gusting Mistral.
Picture taken on a windless day...


19th Jun 2006, 19:41
Based out of Jet Systems http://www.TEAMLNT.com
Had a great week. Ferried guests, drivers and team personnel in to Le Mans throughout the week from a great Chateau (des Broittieres) 40nms sw near Champigne (working on pic!)

Dropped off a tired boss and his wife back in sunny Yorkshire, with the sun glinting off the Le Mans 24hr trophy for first place in GT2!!!!
Reckon it's been a while since a 'privateer' has won such a prestigious race........ Chants of 'YORKSHIRE YORKSHIRE' could be heard from the podium!!!! :)

Winning car


21st Jun 2006, 07:15
47:41.3N 000:35.4W
XV111e Vallee de la Loire France
Francois & Hedwige de Valbray
49330 Champigne
Tel: +33 (0) 2 41 42 00 02 Fax: ..........01 55
www.broittieres.com [email protected]

Chateau des Broittieres (South view)

Southern Cross
17th Jul 2006, 20:03
Next week am taking my 206 down to just south of La Rochelle with my freshly minted Helisurface permit on board. Can anyone recommend a good chateau for lunch somewhere between Deauville and La Rochelle that is known to accept helicopter diners? Somewhere in the Loire would be most pleasing...

Thanks in advance.


29th Jul 2006, 14:27
Hi Southern Cross,

Is a HSP difficult to get? I have heard that it is a beaurocratic nightmare.

Any help appreciated.



29th Jul 2006, 19:06
Hi Hairyplane
If you're a member of HCGB, get in touch with the club event secretary - he's an expert on this and has a pre-completed example form to help you fill in the application. I do know the forms have changed lately though and I'm assuming he will have an up to date version.

30th Jul 2006, 09:00
Thanks a lot!

I am a member and will do just that.



28th May 2007, 15:06
Don't get out much but back to Le Mans for pre-qual this weekend in an attempt to defend GT2 title................

Has much changed since last year?

Now that we have a helicopter with 'legs' - looking at flying direct to chateau from LEEDS...
has anyone managed to convince the French customs to permit this or do you always have to enter via an 'airfield'.

206 jock
28th May 2007, 15:49
Are there any height restirctions, for landing in the Alps (as there are in Switzerland)? I'm planning to go down to the Alps this summer in my 206. I have a Heli-surface permit and will land at around 1,100m outside a village.

I need to be a bit careful: the local mayor is bit anti-heli, I need to be bang on with the paperwork!

4th Jun 2007, 14:13
both cars running well for Le mans and all drivers qualified.

not a drop-in for Lunch site but a heli-friendly owner who can provide reasonable accom with a nearby Auberge for grub.
47 53 24.14N
000 12 59.08E
[email protected]
Pierre Monnoyer
72230 Monce-en-Belin

how are pics uploaded again?

5th Jul 2007, 14:56
Notam pasted in below, will maybe affect people flying out of Biggin Hill, Redhill, Headcorn, Damyn's Hall, Rochester etc..

Just one question - has anyone an easy way of getting a graphical picture of this notam? OR do we have to all hunch over our charts and plot them out by hand? Surely there is an easier way?

---------pasted in--------

REF: J2860/07 From: 2007-Jul-08 Sun 10:00 To: 2007-Jul-08 Sun 15:30 ICAO: EGTT

2005 (MIL ACFT SHOULD COMPLY WITH JSP552 201.135.9) -

1. BTN 1000 AND 1130
NO ACFT IS TO FLY BELOW 1500FT AMSL WI THE FOLLOWING AREA - 513122N 0001106E 512510N 0003630E 512125N 0002500E 512539N 0000821E 512628N 0000821E THENCE ANTI-CLOCKWISE BY AN ARC OF A CIRCLE RAD 5NM CENTRED ON 513019N 0000319E 513122N 0001106E

2. BTN 1100 AND 1230
NO ACFT IS TO FLY BELOW 1800 FEET AMSL WI THE FOLLOWING AREA -512125N 0002500E 512510N 0003603E 511445N 003400E 511200N 0002300E 511130N 0001200E 512125N 0002500E.

3. BTN 1200 AND 1330
AMSL WI THE FOLLOWING AREA - 511130N 0001200E 511200N 0002300E 510900N 0003000E 510330N 0003000E 510620N 0001200E 511130N 0001200E

4. BTN 1300 AND 1400
NO ACFT IS TO FLY BELOW 1800FT AMSL WI THE FOLLOWING AREA - 510900N 0003000E 510800N 0003800E 511000N 0004630E 510350N
0004620E 510140N 0004130E 510330N 0003000E 510900N 0003000E.

5. BTN 1330 AND 1450
NO ACFT IS TO FLY BELOW 1800FT AMSL WI THE FOLLOWING AREA - 511000N 0004630E 511220N 0005130E 510930N 0005930E 510350N 0010020E 510350N 0004620E 511000N 0004630E.

6. BTN 1410 AND 1530
NO ACFT IS TO FLY BELOW 1800FT AMSL WI THE FOLLOWING AREA - 511850N 0010100E 511850N 0010920E 510600N 0010640E 510350N 0010020E 510930N 0005930E.


5th Jul 2007, 15:11
Just one question - has anyone an easy way of getting a graphical picture of this notam?

Yep. Download this pdf from flyontrack:


It's on pg 4.

5th Jul 2007, 17:58

Discussed on this thread in private flying, used it a few times and found very easy, well worth a look

7th Jul 2007, 14:59
use the notam map on www.ukga.com

7th Jul 2007, 15:03
The AIC has a very good map of the RA(T), so why should you need to plot it?

flap flap flap
7th Jul 2007, 17:16
I was in Hyde Park today (sat) watching the tour prologue; a police helicopter was constantly overhead. Isn't this a bit of a waste of taxpayers money (what's it cost? about £1,000 per hour?), just having it mooching around, when there isn't an actual incident happening?

Why can't it just stay on the ground until it's needed to attend and incident?

Brilliant Stuff
7th Jul 2007, 21:49
How do you know it wasn't working?

Just because we happen to hover over Big Brother every now and then its does not mean we are just doing it to annoy them though that is always a bonus.

With our Ec135 on average every incident costs £300-£400. Ec145 is just a 135 which had to much weetabix in the morning.:}

8th Jul 2007, 07:44

If you've got an internet connection, you can go to the AIC website (http://www.ais.org.uk) and, under the Mauve section, download the AIC above. It'll show you the route, the sectors and the timings related to each sector.

Lost Again
8th Jul 2007, 19:48
When I was a kid i could get the front wheel up on my push bike - these boys on the Tour need their own airspace - progress i suppose

11th Jul 2007, 13:01
Greetings, and thanks in advance for any advice.

My boss desires that his aircraft (N registered) be shipped to France for his utilization during a several week vacation. He has me running down the details...

Could someone please advise me on regulatory issues relative to the airframe and the aircrew? The helicopter will be dissassembled for transport--will it be subject to inspection/certification by French authorities following reassembly but prior to flight?

Is a FAA commercial certificate with instrument rating sufficient to operate an N registered a/c in France under day and night VFR?

What are the implications of operating in adjoining countries?

All advise is most appreciated.

11th Jul 2007, 16:06

I just sent you a PM:O

11th Jul 2007, 19:51
No problems at all. You don't need anything on the aircrew licencing side of things. Remember that anyone flying or maintaining your aircraft will have to have FAA tickets. Other than that - away you go. The authorities may have to look at it on the customs side of things but not on the aviation side.

If you are going to be flying in Europe in general, read up on the local regs and airports before you go as they have some very specific ways of doing things (Nice airport comes to mind straight away). Nothing too huge but you have to know what you are doing. In France, if you intend on landing at HLS's other than at airports, you will need a Helisurface permit which will cover you as the pilot but does not negate the need to get approvals to use the actual HLS. :=

Spain, France, Italy, Germany & Greece do not need specific approval to operate in their airspace. Greece (for example) requires a written flight plan faxed to them for each flight and you will need ground handler assistance at the airport you are going to.

There are alot of foreign aircraft flying around France (where do you think the Poms fly to when they want to get away?)

There would be alot of people on this forum who could add to this but it is not as hard as it seems.

Have fun :ok:

12th Jul 2007, 16:40
Republique Francaise

Service de L'Information Aeronautique


Probably all you need to know can be found here including airfield charts for download. Look in the AIP section under VAC / VAC Helistation. All the regs are there as well.

The "Helisurface Permit" if you wish to land outside an airport as you are "etranger" will take some time to obtain yet is valid for 10 years.

Keep in mind that you may operate in the EU for only 6 months prior to someone asking you about "tax". And yes they do check!

If you intend to operate throughout Europe the easiest is to get hold of Jeppesen Bottlang Airfield manual and Jepp VFR charts. In Europe there are VFR approaches and departures for every airfield!!! See the Jepp site.

In the Bottlang manual it lists the "particularities" with each country regarding flight planning, NGT VFR etc. NO NGT VFR in Greece for example. Yes in France with conditions etc. etc.

France I find aviation friendly as they do make the odd jet transport aircraft and a few helicopters and GA is pretty big.

12th Jul 2007, 21:04

has anyone had experience of being asked to prove VAT paid on a G reg helicopter in france before, or does this only apply to N reg helicopters, a few stories seem to be emerging of aircraft being impounded etc, but it is hard to find details??

13th Jul 2007, 09:24
Got asked for mine in Issy last week. They seem to ask about once a month. We heard all the horror stories and so carry the VAT receipts for all our machines in the aircraft docs folder (photocopies with a lawyers' signature on them)


13th Jul 2007, 11:58
Part of me wonders if they do this to large fixed wing a/c too.... I can just see BA putting the VAT receipt in for the latest A321???

13th Jul 2007, 12:33
Or the captain putting the assessed VAT on his Visa card:E


scooter boy
13th Jul 2007, 22:34
I was checked in Cannes not long ago - N reg aircraft so a real target, the most important document pour les douaniers - the VAT receipt!


md 600 driver
14th Jul 2007, 07:09
verticalhold what register is yours on? has anyone been asked in a european /jar aircraft

14th Jul 2007, 08:41
I've been checked twice in the last 12 months in a G reg, vat not an issue for them, very pleasant and quick, despite being in a group of three aircraft. No probs, but I did have all docs neatly in a presentation folder.

15th Jul 2007, 14:50
Sadly our registrations vary across the world. Some private owners who don't worry about getting some PT hours on their aircraft have them registered all over the place. Normally I'm there in a UK reg'd aircraft. Trouble is I think the owner may have upset the French tax authorities at some time:eek:

Never any trouble from the customs guys. Just a quick ask and check and then off they go leaving me free for lunch:ok:


15th Aug 2007, 18:05
Hi guys!!

I`m from Norway and do not speak more than five french words. I have a job (r22mariner) coming up flying photo outside st tropez. Heliport is close to the beach. Are they speaking english on the radio there? or FRENCH ONLY!!!!!!!??

I have a JAR-FCL CPL-H license issued in Norway. Do I need anything else to fly in france, or is it just to crank the baby up? (I am thinking about paperwork) Anybody have the website adress to the french caa?

Thanks for answers and comments, boys!!:ok:


15th Aug 2007, 20:03
Hi Lars,
most of the frenchies know how to read, speak and understand English...
... but they hate to do so...
They are smarter than some of us who tend to give up their own language cause it`s more fashionable to speak with some sort of foreign accent and to wear baggy pants :yuk:
French AIP (http://www.sia.aviation-civile.gouv.fr/)

CAA (http://www.aviation-civile.gouv.fr/)

15th Aug 2007, 20:55
Since France implemented the FCL2 in early 2006 and you have a JAR license, there is no problem for you to fly there.

16th Aug 2007, 00:08
1. Language : As far as the language is concerned, English is more and more common, this improved a lot during the last years. Even at small airports people will try to reply in English.

2. Off site landing : helisurface permit needed. Saint Tropez in particular steps up actions against passing quotas (legal/governement interest stepped up again in July, made local head news)

3. Heights: Watch out for minimum heights above aglomerations, and wildlife parks, fines can be hefty.

4. Lots of yachts you can land on...

Nice flying, d3

16th Aug 2007, 10:05
Thanks for help boys. very good:)


18th Aug 2007, 10:36

I live full time in France and operate a G reg helicopter here.

Obtaining a permit to land anywhere is simple and quick. It is valid for ten years for the named pilot.

Please email me if you require assistance.

21st Aug 2007, 08:31

Not saying you're wrong or anything.........:bored: but my helisurface permit's just turned up, and it's valid for 10 years........ahem..........sorry....

ASW fighter
11th Nov 2007, 18:13
You look like a likely candidate to help! I am involved with a superyacht in build and have had problems in the past regarding 'permits' to operate a helicopter in France. We do not own a helicopter nor a pilot but we do have a flight deck aboard and plan chartering both pilot and helicopter. Do we need to obtain a 'helisurface permit'...please help.

11th Nov 2007, 18:28
ASW Fighter,

Welcome to Rotorheads.

According to the post above,

Obtaining a permit to land anywhere is simple and quick. It is valid for ten years for the named pilot.

...the pilot that you charter will require to have the permit in his/her name. I suggest that you make this a condition of their employment.


18th Mar 2009, 19:49
Boys and Girls,

I'm going on a trip to South of France (Cannes) next week from Barton (UK) to South of France in a Jet Ranger. I'm not planning the trip or supposed to be doing much, if any of the flying, but I'll be a passenger and I don't just want to be sat in the back.

As far as I know, we'll only be flying into licensed aerodromes and I believe the plan is to fly around the mountains etc. The machine has a PLB which I know is a requirement and we'll have life vests for the cross chanel bit.

Anyone done the trip, got any hints, tips, etc etc?

Thanks in advance.


18th Mar 2009, 23:51
keep quiet , dont touch anything and dont ask " are we there yet ?" every 10 minutes :=
Oh yes ...and make sure you have a wee wee before you take off .

19th Mar 2009, 00:00
Errr, good advice. sort of
but did I mention it's actually MY Jet Ranger!

19th Mar 2009, 00:05
JT, that's the advice Nigel is given in his own helicopters ;)

19th Mar 2009, 08:02
How come your not flying it?

19th Mar 2009, 08:20
Its an hours building excercise for another pilot.
I'm going along for the ride (and I'll be very jealous)
I'll get some time on stick but I'm doing a similiar trip later on in the year myself

Any tips yet?

19th Mar 2009, 08:28
Best of luck then! Sounds great for the other pilot yeah......

Contact Biggles99 He does EU trips quite often from what I gather.

19th Mar 2009, 08:41
It's worth checking before you go as to whether there are any public holidays during your trip, if there are you might find it difficult to get fuel as the airports are largely state funded and run so no service, on that point also be aware that most of the smaller airfields close for lunch, 2 hrs is quite normal.( 1200 - 1400ish).
Also make sure you have enough cash to pay for fuel as not all of the fields have the smart credit card pay at the pump facility.
And watch out for the low level military routes they can be very active! (There marked on the charts).
And enjoy the wine and cheese!

19th Mar 2009, 09:06
France tend to keep all their public holidays for May (Mai) .....

Carry ALL paperwork for pilot(s) and aircraft esp proof of VAT payment to avoid being impounded

Take any spare specialist lubes you need as France is the home of Eurocopter and asking for Bell certified products may offend and cause you to be impounded

Don't land off field (not even a little bit) unless you have the approved permit else you can get impounded

Make sure the charts are up to date (not usually impoundable)

Avoid military zones (get shot down and they will)

Caution 206 limits at higher altitudes

Get introduced to 'Olivia' ...

File flightplanes well in advance and get the timezone right

The gendarmes at Rodez are hot on paperwork

Avoid France on strike days (usually June but can be earlier in the year)

Speak a little French (usually prefixing all radio calls "Parlez-vous en Anglaise Si Vous Plaiz") and especially on the ground.

Avoid ladies in Cannes asking for lift to Monaco by helicopter (hookers)

Don't get tetchy with ATC (impound)

Don't get tetchy with police/ gendarmes/ army/ airforce/ navy/ customs (shot)

Don't get impounded

Bring back good Bordeaux et le fromage pur moi. Merci, a bientot. HR

19th Mar 2009, 09:06
Make sure your documents are up to date and neatly presented in a folder, all 3 times I have been over my docs have been checked. Presenting them in this way makes a nice impression and gets the task done in a couple of minutes.

How's your French? A lot of the smaller airfields self annouce in French only, so it helps to know the aviation basics, heights, circuit positions, take off, numbers. A Few of these are in the front of Delage (French Pooleys)

Wylie's point about fuel is spot on, unless you have a French Total Card, you will generally have to pay cash all the way. Plus you really need to watch the lunch thing, can easily take 3 hours to get fuelled at the wrong time of day.

Other than that if you are putting into a airport, chooses one with a big river, a big bend and a few hills and it'll generally be quite pretty too, e.g Besancon.

It's generally a doddle, very quite, v good atc, lots of the medium size airports have nice restaurants, so at least you wont starve while you wait for food.

One other thing, stay miles away from nuclear facilities and restricted areas generally, they'll shoot you down and ask questions later.

N joy

19th Mar 2009, 10:28
Just about all French airfields have visual reporting points and ATC expect vistors to use them. I used to use the french 'carte d'approche a vue' which has maps of them plus the procedures to be followed. Vital!

19th Mar 2009, 13:00
You can check on French Notams etc here.....

SIA - La référence en information aéronautique (http://www.sia.aviation-civile.gouv.fr/asp/frameset_uk.asp?m=21)

Have a great trip,


19th Mar 2009, 13:07
dead jealous Joel! sounds like a great trip to test out your new comms - park the 695 in the back with you!!!

catch up soon re: battery etc


19th Mar 2009, 15:26

Did this trip a couple of times and last time went from liverpool to Lydd. then lydd to Troyes LFQB then to Valence LFLU then on to cannes. Very helpful in all airfields and both troyes and valence have self service re-fuel where you just insert a credit card.Hope this may be of help.

Hyds Out
19th Mar 2009, 19:46
Agree with the above posts about documentation - both aircraft and pilot. They are very thorough and strict.

Another route is over to LFPN (Toussus les Nobles) or even Issy Heliport (not as expensive as Battersea and much easier to get into from the West) then down the centre of the country to LFLY Lyon Bron, very efficient and cheapish, then on to Cannes.

For Cannes, if you do not flight plan then you must do an 'Intention de vol', as Cannes is one of 7 airfields which require this (part of the military requirements - phone the local CDC - see AIC 69/03 on the French AIP website). As with the other airfields, make sure you have the VRPs along with required altitudes. At Cannes, they could send you out over the water to join from the SE.

Apart from that, take a comfy cushion.


Once at Cannes, make sure you don't wander around airside, they have recently clamped down on the security and will lock you up if you do not have the correct passes.

19th Mar 2009, 20:05
Have done this trip many times and have not once been asked for documents (8 times in total). So maybe I am just lucky.

That being said, my trip takes in Le Havre (LFOH), Nevers (LFQG) and then Marseille. Le Havre does not have much to see but it has customs, fuel and crap weather. Fog can hang around for days. Nevers is a great little airstrip but the tower is not manned during lunch (12-2) nor on weekends which means no fuel avbl. Also, French only on the radio outside of tower hours.

I use the Jepp VFR charts and they have all the VFR reporting points on them.

Alot of military airspace and restricted areas. Nuclear sites are marked on the chart and you normally have to be a minimum of 1-2 miles clear of them.

I don't know what your plans are but one trip that I can highly recommend is down the west coast via Nantes, Bordeaux, Biarritz then across the Pyrennes (spelling?).

I like the French ATC and I hope you find the same.

Have fun.

19th Mar 2009, 20:30
Thanks everyone,

Keep the tips coming please.
My documents are all in a neat file and always up to date.
Someone mentioned VAT and proof of purchase.
Do I have to take copies of my purchase invoice?
And what about VAT where does that fit into the equation?

Thanks in advance


19th Mar 2009, 20:34
I share your experience Oogle, and have always enjoyed flying in France.

I'll be in Troyes some time this weekend en route to Italy.

If you've got your off airport permit, it is worth taking, just in case the weather goes bad.

I've never had issues with the Gendarmes, and like most places around the world, if you are courteous and pleasant, you'll be treated likewise.

Airfield refueling facilities do have a habit of closing for lunch, but you are on holiday, so go with the flow.

Travel light, wear comfortable clothes, take sensible shoes, hat and waterproof coat. Lugging everything from aircraft across apron to Control to taxi to hotel become a pain.

Take some snacks and some fluid, but don't drink too much, especially if you have a small bladder. Make sure you have snacks for when you cannot get any food. Avoid chocolate - it always gets on the seats and on your trousers.

Have an "aircraft bag" with all the documents, maps, stuff and keep it one place. Take it with you when you leave the aircraft - every time - since the one time you leave it in the aircraft you WILL need just one map, one phone, one bit of info that then involves a 20 minute hassle trek back to the aircraft.

Designate jobs between yourselves, and stick to them.Tasks like DI-ing the aircraft, flightplanning, booking the taxis, sourcing the hotels, chatting up the receptionists and so on. Otherwise the whole journey degenerates into committee rule, and you will take ages to get to/from the airport and back in the air.

Try to stick to a timetable, and in particular don't start winding each other up about the weather. Having said that, avoid AT ALL COSTS "get-there-itus". Remember that after 6 hours in the air, probably with a very early start, you will be tired and not neccessarily at your best.

On my trips, we always have a discussion first as to who is in charge (if you've ever flown a 4 -seat aircraft with 4 qualified pilots you'll know what I mean). Having established this, we also agree that if any one is uncomfortable with the conditions, they are to make this quite clear. We land as soon as safely possible if the Captain is unable to re-assure the person who is uncomfortable.

"French" info have always been really helpful.

There are a lot of military corridors to cross, -- most you can avoid by flying below them, but a quick call to "French" info will tell you if they are active or not (just like our Danger Zones).

Joel, try and get into the Alps for a bit of mountain flying if the weather is Cavok. It is truly stunning this time of year.


Big Ls

20th Mar 2009, 11:17
Thanks again guys,

I'm going to make a list of all the advice and make sure I follow it.
I run a heli blog so I'll put a commentary on there if I can.

Thanks for all the advice and if there's any more, keep it coming as I've a week left before we go.

The heli is having a 50 hour early in readiness.


20th Mar 2009, 13:54
Lots of good advice here, but don't let it become a big deal - flying in France is pretty relaxed and straightforward most of the time.

Particularly if you're stretching fuel, do try and call to confirm the airfield does actually have it - don't rely on the books. A 12.00 - 14.00 lunch for airfield and fuellers is common.

Frankly a lot of French ATC is very casual compared with the UK, but they are usually helpful, partly because there is so little GA traffic compared with the UK. On trying to get a CTA transit clearance don't be surprised to be ignored for a while - and then dismissed with a "leave my frequency" as soon as you're clear of the area! Unlike the UK, the Flight Information Services eg Paris Info seem to have very good radar and will know exactly where you are.

Military zone crossing will keep you concentrating, though these tend to be very much 9-5 Mon-Fri only, with auto-info services out of hours.

I wouldn't worry too much about landing off-airport without a heli-surface permit. I did it for years with no problems before getting one - which is a bit of an epic, btw. Paperwork important though - there are plenty of Douane looking for something to do!

Oh and most importantly, try not to look too astonished when your landing fee is a fiver for landing at somewhere the size of Coventry!

20th Mar 2009, 15:10
Thanks Rotorspeed:ok:

Flying Lawyer
20th Mar 2009, 17:02
Lots of information/advice and some excellent pictures in this thread (http://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/216659-flying-france-incl-landing-private-sites-documents-pictures.html)



Thanks for the reminder! I've merged the threads now, so the link will lead back here ;)


20th Mar 2009, 17:36
Flying Lawyer

Thanks for the link to the thread.
Loads of useful stuff.
Much appreciated


20th Mar 2009, 18:04
France tend to keep all their public holidays for May (Mai) .....

The other months are for strikes :rolleyes:

MD900 Explorer
31st Mar 2009, 10:40
The regulations have changed in regards to this and is as follows.

Article 17 of the decree of 06 May 1995 concerning aerodromes and other locations used by helicopters has been modified by the decree of 27 May 2008.

This states that for the initial application of a Habilitation a Utiliser les Helisurfaces the pilot must prove s/he has a minimum of 70hrs as a helicopter pilot as well as a declaration of post-licence training in a "Zone Exigue" (Controlled Zone.. i am thinking) issued by a flying instructor, indicating that said pilot has undertaken said training.

The following are exempt from the additional training in the "Zone Exigue" if:-

- Holders of a professional helicopter pilots licence
- Holders of a private pilots licence who can prove they have a minimum of 300 hours.

Can any one of you please clarify to me what the term "Zone Exigue" means please, because i am translating this as a cramped zone.... could this mean "confined area" or "CTR"


MD :confused:

31st Mar 2009, 11:03
"Zone exigue" means a small confined area. This new article to the decree is a result of a tragic accident which took place in January 07 near Arles, when a PPL with an Alouette 2 missed his take-off from a restaurant helipad and killed 3 or 4 people on the ground. The pilot had less than 100 hours and media coverage of this accident lead to a reflexion about permits to land on non-airfields/privates places. So now, if you want to land near your friends' house ie. you have to be a PPL with more than 300 hours or be a PPL with a special confined area training (5 hours) issued by an approved DGAC examiner. If you have a CPL, no changes. But I don't know what's about a foreign PPL, but being a french pilot an knowing how our administration is helping us, I would certainly take this 5 hours course if you don't have the 300 hours on your PPL, just in case of...
Hope it helps, cheers,

MD900 Explorer
31st Mar 2009, 11:25

Thanks for the translation, that was all i was after here, my French fails me. here, but i wanted to post this to just update fellow rotorheads on the regs regarding the helisurfaces permit.


MD :ok:

31st Mar 2009, 11:29
Boys and Girls

Just got back from my expedition over the water.
I had a fantastic experience and your hints and tips were particularly useful/
We had no issues whatsoever with red tape etc.

You can read all about it here if you want. http://www.jetbox.wordpress.com

31st Mar 2009, 13:37
Excellent read. During my summer vacation last year i did visit Biarritz via Freiburg (EDTF), Dolé, crossed Lyon Bron, down the Rhone valley to Avignon, heading south to the coast passing Montpellier, Pezenás, Beziers, Narbonne to Carcassone where we stayed for the night (planned stop) and next morning via Lourdes to Biarritz.

Just one week later back via south of Bordeaux to Limogés straight north to the Loire river heading east to Versailles and to Issy for another stop. Next morning then via Reims to Spa in Belgium and after a coffee at Manoir de Lésbioles (http://www.manoirdelebioles.com/) back home.

(The places where we did refuel are underlined - besides the last link of course...)

All in a B206 III (~17 hours of total flight time) and it was really fun and quite helpful to learn about the handling of the helicopter as we were five POB with little extra weight besides fuel.

I always felt comfortable and welcome at every single place and at no times i had any difficulties whatsoever. :ok:

Actually, talking about it brings back some really good memories ;)

31st Mar 2009, 16:45
Glad you enjoyed it.
I have done plenty of flying over the years, but the trip was one of the best things I've ever done.

I guess you have to be a pilot to understand why though.
My wife thinks I'm bonkers.

She always says "Wouldn't it be simpler and cheaper to go sleazy jet?"

I think she's bonkers!!! :ok:

24th Apr 2009, 21:57
Please could somebody advise me where I can get the off airport landing permit for France, that I have seen from this, and previous threads is needed if wanting to land a private sites?

24th Apr 2009, 22:15

Check your PMs

MD900 Explorer
25th Apr 2009, 00:07

Perhaps you should read back through the whole thread....:=:=:=

Also make sure you don't fall into the requirements of needing to prove 5hrs of confined area training, should you have less than 300hrs and be a PPL!

MD :{

25th Apr 2009, 01:53
Everyone on this thread keeps mentioning the Heli-Surfaces Permit, but no one has mentioned from where one can get the necessary form. Please can someone tell me where to get the form so I can fill it in?
Thank you!

25th Apr 2009, 07:32
look at post 16 on this thread...

25th Apr 2009, 16:48
Thanks toptobottom, I see them now.:O My skype was hiding the numbers last time!

17th Sep 2009, 18:04
I'm heading off to France for a week's touring this weekend. Have done the trip before a few years ago and have my helisurface permit tucked away safely in the flight bag. But I was wondering if there has been any change in ATC services as we have seen in the UK this year? I'm likely only to want a basic service or maybe a traffic service, but what are these known as in France today? To be clear, I will be requesting these in English, not French as all the en route controllers speak perfectly good English.

17th Sep 2009, 19:54
I've just got back from France and if anything, our French cousins seem to have improved their service (they even reply to English accents now :})

You need to pretend the new ATSOCAS rules haven't happened yet i.e. ask for a FIS/RIS.

Have a great trip!


20th Sep 2009, 08:58
Thanks TTB. Made it down to the South of France yesterday. Rather hazy across the Channel and a bit claggy in places as we flew down, but you were right. ATC very helpful and those lady controllers do have exceptionally mellifluous voices; all added to the pleasure of the trip!

21st Sep 2009, 19:46
Good stuff - weather's looking good for the 2nd half of this week, so Mrs TTB and I will be scooting over for one of our regular trips to the Red Fox and Restaurant Perard in LT one evening! Helitech first though :ok:

12th Oct 2010, 23:31
Hi Guys, 2 questions if you would be so kind.

Firstly I was wondering if there is a more up to date way of applying for the "Habilitation a Utiliser les Helisurfaces" yet? over the internet etc... or if it still needs to be done by pigeon. yawn.

Secondly I'm planning to make my first proper venture through france soon (Only been to L2K), hoping to fly to Geneva & around Mont Blanc. I've read a fair amount about the military corridors, and planning considerations with regards to fuel and opening hours etc... but where some airspace around Geneva has a lower limit labelled "3500 / 1000 ASFC" am I right in assuming it is which ever value is higher? i.e. TMA base of Alt 3500' until reaching terrain heights of 2500'+after which it follows the terrain at 1000' ASFC?

I'm hoping to land at La Cote (a few miles north east of Geneva) and would like to join from the north - where the terrain drops away very quickly from 6000' on the TMA boundary, which is partly why I want to be completely sure of the understanding in order to build an accurate mental picture of the airspace surrounding Geneva.

Thanks :O

Hyds Out
13th Oct 2010, 11:37
Always worth looking at the french SIA CIVILE website, as they have a good NOTAM section (not just for France) and a good chart showing the activity of the military low fly corridors (AZBA Charts - a picture speaks a thousand words). Plus it is all free and available in English.:ok:

You can also access the AIP and print out any aerodrome charts you might need for the flight if you dont have them.

The lowest point of the Jura is to the north, around the area where La Paz DME used to be. That will bring you out at the north end of Lac Geneve. Just beware of the Nuclear power station / ZITs to the south west of Geneva if you get forced that way due to weather, as busting those will mean the French authorities will bust you, and poss your licence. You are correct about the controlled airspace heights / altitudes. Basically stops you needing to low fly to remain clear of the airspace above. Geneva Info are really helpful, although you may need to telephone the local BRIA(french) to close your flight plan (if you have one and have landed in France) and landing off airfield.

13th Oct 2010, 15:55
Hyds Out - Thanks for the confirmation on airspace limits, and info on the powerstation / ZIT's to the south west, I shall have a look on my chart when I get home to identify these areas, and do my best to avoid them :ok:

I'm familiar with the SIA Civile website but I hadn't seen the AZBA Charts, so thanks again for the heads up. It's a great help.


13th Oct 2010, 17:55

Helisurface Permit

Just renewed my with Paris, all by e-mail. So no, pigeon not longer needed. They have e-mail and accept pdf scans.


13th Oct 2010, 20:45
D-3,got the address please ?

14th Oct 2010, 00:14
Sycamore, see PM

14th Oct 2010, 06:03
For the helisurface permit - start here (http://www.prefecturedepolice.interieur.gouv.fr/Vos-demarches/Autres-demarches/Aviation-civile?&spl_f=#01)

Et violá!

Like between a violin and a cello!

17th Oct 2010, 21:13
Great news that you can apply on line for the permit. Traditionally they can take quite a long time to come by post - the all time record I heard of was almost two years! Not sure how long they take for on line applications and would be interested to find out.

I am on my third permit now and wouldn't be without it having had it inspected three times. The last time by customs officers who flew into the hotel where I was staying. All very friendly as the paperwork was in order but they did say that fines can start at €3,000 going up to €50,000 and the helicopter may also be impounded.

The wording on the application form is still slightly confusing and can lead to the belief that the Permit relates to only one particular helicopter or just one location. This is not the case as the Permit is issued in the name of the person applying and does not mention any particular helicopter, or at least my permit does not.

If you don't own your own helicopter just put down the details of a helicopter that appears in the copy of your log book pages which you send to them.

Under region or area I put Toute de France and under purpose Tourism.

Bon chance.

19th Feb 2011, 21:41
Got the permit through in about 6 weeks... all applied for by email (with a few scanned documents) :ok:

Do many people land heli's at Troyes? I'm hoping to land there en-route to the Alps as I understand the fuel system takes cards there, but in the AIP plate (and Delage) helicopters are not indicated in the 'Activities' section. I know people who have landed there... In which case I assume they are not prohibited. Does anyone know the purpose of the section at the top of the plate, and if I should expect to encounter any difficulties? https://www.sia.aviation-civile.gouv.fr/aip/enligne/PDF_AIPparSSection/VAC/AD/2/1103_AD-2.LFQB.pdf

Also with regards to the providing confirmation of VAT paid on the aircraft, is that a common check? Don't know where to start looking for that... guess I should get onto the accountants, are they looking for a receipt of sorts, or should there be a certificate or something similar? :confused:

19th Feb 2011, 21:52
Have landed at Troyes many times and always found them polite and helpful. They have a nice cafe too. Might be worth taking ground wheels or risk getting a Gallic stare from fixed wing pilots queing up for fuel.

I always carry a copy of the original helicopter purchase invoice with me which shows VAT on it. Only been asked for it once at Le Touquet by a bunch of Douannes who stepped out of a Squirrel and who clearly had me down as a villain.

Need money
29th Mar 2011, 12:25
Can anyone offer guidance on completing the Helisurface permit please ?: I have found / followed the various links to the website:

Site Internet de la Préfecture de Police - Aviation civile (http://www.prefecturedepolice.interieur.gouv.fr/Vos-demarches/Autres-demarches/Aviation-civile?&spl_f=#01)

At the PROPRIETAIRE : As I currently SFH and don't have a particular aircraft I use - do I leave this blank ?

For the SECTEUR GEOGRAPHIQUE CONCERNE : Can I just put "France" ? At this moment I don't have a particular trip in mind, but with friends properties in France, and feeling the need to explore - I want to get the permit in good time to cover as much as possible.

Thanks for any help.

29th Mar 2011, 12:34
You can put down any tail number providing it appears in the last two pages of your log book (the cert is for the driver, not the machine).

For area, you can say 'All of France'.

Need money
29th Mar 2011, 12:41
Thanks TTB :D

29th Mar 2011, 20:45
My application was equally vague as I had no specific trip in mind... The permit took approx 3-4 weeks to arrive. For anyone hoping to make the submission the rather long winded email address to send it to is:

[email protected]

My application included the form
http://www.prefecturedepolice.interieur.gouv.fr/content/download/3089/16591/file/autorisation_helisurfaces.pdf, a scan of my license, passport, and last 2 pages of the log book... no questions asked, et Voila :ok:

I didn't use it in the end on a recent trip to the Alps, but I hope to in the future (now that i've scouted out a few Chateaux's)

21st Jan 2012, 12:06
For an update & clarification on the French Helisurfaces Permit procedure; I recently received mine. Some general info below as they updated their procedure/criteria in recent years:

- Permit requires 300hrs helicopter or CPL license (with exception below)
- for those with more than 70hrs but less than 300hrs helicopter they require a course of 5hrs training on confined areas landing/takeoff
- for the 5hrs confined area training, they accept written confirmation from a JAA Instructor/Examiner.
- Permit is valid for 10 years

Docs required:
- complete Helisurfaces Authorisation Form
- copy of Pilots License
- copy of Medical
- copy of Passport
- copy of Pilot Logbook (last two pages)

download docs: http://www.prefecturedepolice.interieur.gouv.fr/content/download/3089/16591/file/autorisation_helisurfaces.pdf (http://www.prefecturedepolice.interieur.gouv.fr/content/download/3089/16591/file/autorisation_helisurfaces.pdf)

e-mail to:
[email protected] ([email protected])

Re timeframe, mine involved them corresponding with me on two issues, so took a total of 6 months from start to finish. Being fluent (or having a friend help) in French will be a great help.

* I thank Aucky above for originally providing the e-mail address. After two phone calls to Paris and getting it wrong twice due to my poor French, I didn’t have the heart to call the woman back a third time.

27th May 2012, 05:51
hi All,

does anyone have the full email address where to send this completed form,
i have found other threads with an email address in, but part of it is hidden.
thanks in advance

10th May 2013, 09:42
That email address no longer seems to work...

I've checked out Site Internet de la Préfecture de Police - Aviation civile (http://www.prefecturedepolice.interieur.gouv.fr/Vos-demarches/Autres-demarches/Aviation-civile?&spl_f=#01) filled in all forms, got copies of licence etc, but the site doesn't seem to annotate an email address, or even postal address for that matter. The contact us page seems to be a different email altogether to the one previously used as above..

Anybody able to enlighten me?

Hyds Out
11th May 2013, 18:17
Rennes parking - usually on the commercial / freight parking, which is the main ramp to the north of the terminal.

md 600 driver
9th Jun 2014, 07:10
Once cleared French customs Are flight plans required for internal flights in France ?

9th Jun 2014, 08:01
https://www.sia.aviation-civile.gouv.fr/aip/enligne/uk/AIP%20FRANCEProduitPartieframeset.htm (https://www.sia.aviation-civile.gouv.fr/html/frameset_aip_uk.htm)

md 600 driver
9th Jun 2014, 09:50
many thanks goodgrief but unfortunately when i went to the regulations section it was in french and i could not understand

anyone with link in english ?


9th Jun 2014, 10:08
You can always go to the "Home" page and just select "English Version".


One of the best sites of its type anywhere.

md 600 driver
9th Jun 2014, 12:09
yes i tried that but when you go to menu on left hand side aeronautical information then go french regulations its all in french launguage i need it in english or someone to translate if i need a flight plan for a VFR private flight starting in france and ending in france not craossing any internarional boundarys

Clitheroe Kid
9th Jun 2014, 12:38

No requirement to file flight plans for a VFR flight in France. I flew down to the south of France a couple of years ago and everyone was very helpful. Another website which may be useful is Fly in France (http://flyinfrance.free.fr/)

md 600 driver
9th Jun 2014, 21:05

thats a good site loads of good information in english many thanks


12th Jul 2016, 18:57
Stayed at Domain de Vadencourt, Maissemy. Recently while flying over all the Great War sites. Great location in Northen France. They are happy for you to land in large front garden or the walled garden at the side. Great rooms and evening meals available. A Young family run the family house - fluent English, lots of knowledge of the area. Superb.

12th Jul 2016, 19:07
Unfortunately. the strict rules regarding off airport landings in France may not allow this.

whoknows idont
12th Jul 2016, 20:14
Go to Germany and learn about strict rules regarding off airport landings...
On a slightly different note, how difficult is it to get that French O/A rating for a non-French EASA license holder?

12th Jul 2016, 20:26
I saw this (http://helipaddy.com/trips/WW1) the other day - there are quite a few other places to stay in the WW1 historical region

12th Jul 2016, 20:40
Go to Germany and learn about strict rules regarding off airport landings...

Well, I did live and fly there for a living for four years, would you count that?

whoknows idont
12th Jul 2016, 20:41
Well, I did live and fly there for a living for four years, would you count that?

Heavily depends if you flew military or civil... [;

12th Jul 2016, 20:50
Heavily depends if you flew military or civil... [;
They hated those 500 pounders the most.

The Brits, that is... ;-)

whoknows idont
12th Jul 2016, 21:03
They hated those 500 pounders the most.

The Brits, that is... ;-)

I'll just go ahead and take that as a no count... q:

feathering tickles
13th Jul 2016, 17:54
Why are some suggesting that it's not possible to land at a Chateau or similar?

14th Jul 2016, 01:37
Why are some suggesting that it's not possible to land at a Chateau or similar?

Dunno - not a problem if you have all the ducks lined up.

The earlier posts in this thread pretty much cover everything required.

11th May 2018, 08:13
Morning fellow rotorheads. I need to renew my French helisurface permit but both email addresses I have found just bounce back and the prefecture website appears to be unavailable! Does anyone know of a workable email address I can use for this to save having to revert to snail mail in 2018...? The addresses which have failed are: [email protected] and [email protected].

11th May 2018, 17:32
This address worked for me earlier this year:
[email protected]

11th May 2018, 18:42
Here are the details I have for them:

Prefecture de Police
9 Boulevard du Palais
75195 Paris RP
+33 1 49 96 31 02
[email protected]

I've also had an instructor send info to:

and saw a cc to:
Mme TRELLUYER [email protected]

20th Jun 2018, 13:54
Just an update as I received my new permit today. None of the email addresses seemed to work so I sent all of the paperwork by snail mail and it was processed and returned to me within a month. Interestingly, although my last permit was valid for 11 years, this one is only valid for 4 years. Perhaps it's a Brexit-related issue?

Thank you to those who responded to my original post.

21st Jun 2018, 08:35
I just looked into this for a friend getting his permit; they have changed the contact info. The new details are:

Sous-Préfecture de Lannion
Pôle Réglementation Générale
Tél : +33 (0)2 56 57 41 90 ou 88 ou 87

download form: http://www.cotes-darmor.gouv.fr/content/download/16733/113193/file/formulaire%20de%20demande%20hélisurfaces.pdf
email: [email protected]

31st Aug 2019, 02:22
I just looked into this for a friend getting his permit; they have changed the contact info. The new details are:

Sous-Préfecture de Lannion
Pôle Réglementation Générale
Tél : +33 (0)2 56 57 41 90 ou 88 ou 87

download form: http://www.cotes-darmor.gouv.fr/content/download/16733/113193/file/formulaire%20de%20demande%20hélisurfaces.pdf
email: [email protected]

bringing up an old thread. *I don’t suppose there’s an English version of the application? *(I can already hear laughter).

Some operators are asking 1000 + EU to basically fill out a form for me which seems a little wasteful.

N registered EC135, FAA ATP with 3-4000 hours helo time. *Planning on doing some off airport landings in France middle of next year.

Hyds Out
31st Aug 2019, 11:16
Try this:

click on the demande d’authorisation and it contains English.


Taranto Knight
31st Aug 2019, 16:54
Once completed send the paperwork to:

Prefecture de Police -9
Boulevard du Paris

I sent mine there at the end of June and the permit arrived with me 5 weeks later.

1st Sep 2019, 04:28
Thanks guys. Looks like the other form has an email address on it, does that work as opposed to snail mail?

2nd Sep 2019, 10:55
When I renewed mine earlier this year, I found that none of the email addresses worked. Snail mail is the safest bet I would suggest...

206 jock
2nd Sep 2019, 16:14
I emailed my application last week (get it in place before the b-word...)

I received a reply today advising me to send it by post to

Préfecture de Police de Paris
Direction des transports et de la protection du public
Sous-Direction des déplacements et de l'espace public
Bureau de la réglementation de l'espace public
1, rue de Lutèce
Place Louis Lépine
75004 - PARIS

So that's what I have done!

2nd Sep 2019, 21:07
I emailed my application last week (get it in place before the b-word...)

I received a reply today advising me to send it by post to

Préfecture de Police de Paris
Direction des transports et de la protection du public
Sous-Direction des déplacements et de l'espace public
Bureau de la réglementation de l'espace public
1, rue de Lutèce
Place Louis Lépine
75004 - PARIS

So that's what I have done!

great appreciate the heads up

29th Nov 2019, 03:07
So just a quick update for anyone else going through the process. I ended up getting my helisurfaces permit, it took about two months.

I guess things have sped up.

206 jock
30th Nov 2019, 10:49
They must have done a job lot together as I received mine this morning!

25th Oct 2021, 09:41
Have any UK pilots tried to renew a Frenc helisurface permit post-Brexit? Mine expired this summer and I'm pulling together the docs for a renewal submission. Any guidance or updates would be appreciated.

25th Oct 2021, 10:21
Think it can all be done online these days - try here (https://www.demarches-simplifiees.fr/commencer/habilitations-d-utilisation-d-helisurfaces).

25th Oct 2021, 17:18
Thanks RVDT - seems pretty straightforward (famous last words!). Will let you know how I get on..

26th Oct 2021, 15:43
Does anyone have an email or contact for anyone in the French Caribbean to send an application to for the yacht’s heli surface permit?

I had no problem getting my own helisurfaces permit, also the one for the yacht for French med, but haven’t had a response from any French Caribbean contacts at all. Would be greatly appreciated any direction where to send the captains letter/request and supporting docs to for the Caribbean side.

thanks in advance!

28th Oct 2021, 20:24
Never heard of such a thing as a yacht’s heli surface permit. Are you sure you need one? My understanding is that the "habilitation à utiliser les hélisurfaces" is valid everywhere in France

29th Oct 2021, 08:00
Official legislation (https://www.legifrance.gouv.fr/loda/id/JORFTEXT000000553582/)
The usual habilitation hélisurface which is about your ability as a pilot is enough for you.
The operator needs a permit (called autorisation or agrément), which does not depend on the pilot. Below the relevant part of the legislation together with a google translation. Overseas you must send your request to the Prefet of the relevant area (Martinique or Guadeloupe)
I would call or email to
Direction de la Mer de la Martinique (http://www.dm.martinique.developpement-durable.gouv.fr/)
Direction de la Mer de la Guadeloupe (http://www.dm.guadeloupe.developpement-durable.gouv.fr/)

Hélisurfaces en mer.

14.1. Les hélisurfaces en mer doivent être situées dans une zone agréée à cet effet par arrêté du préfet maritime.

14.2. La demande d'agrément de la zone est adressée par l'exploitant en quatre exemplaires au préfet maritime dont dépend l'espace maritime considéré.

Cette demande doit être accompagnée :

a) D'une note précisant l'usage auquel est destinée l'hélisurface ;

b) D'une carte indiquant la zone devant être utilisée et les cheminements envisagés. Il est délivré un récépissé de cette demande.

La décision d'autorisation ou de refus d'agrément de zone du préfet maritime est prise par arrêté motivé après avis du directeur de l'aviation civile, du directeur interrégional du contrôle de l'immigration et de la lutte contre l'emploi des clandestins, du directeur régional des douanes, du directeur des affaires maritimes et du président du comité interarmées de circulation aérienne militaire dans un délai maximal de trente jours à compter de la date du récépissé de la demande.

Cette décision est notifiée au demandeur avec ampliation aux administrations concernées, dans le même délai.

Si le préfet maritime n'a pas pris sa décision dans le délai susvisé, l'autorisation est considérée comme accordée.

14.3. Les dispositions qui précèdent ne font pas obstacle à la possibilité de mettre en oeuvre une procédure simplifiée d'agrément des hélisurfaces en mer en vue d'effectuer certaines opérations non planifiables et urgentes. Une telle procédure est établie d'un commun accord entre le préfet maritime et l'exploitant concerné.
Google translationHelipads at sea.
14.1. Helipads at sea must be located in an area approved for this purpose by order of the maritime prefect (prefet maritime)
14.2. The request for approval of the area is sent by the operator in four copies to the maritime prefect on which the maritime area in question depends.
This request must be accompanied by:
a) A note specifying the use for which the helipad is intended;
b) A map indicating the area to be used and the routes envisaged. A receipt for this request is issued.
The maritime prefect's decision to authorize or refuse zone approval is taken by reasoned decree after consultation with the director of civil aviation, the interregional director of immigration control and the fight against illegal employment, the regional director of customs, the director of maritime affairs and the chairman of the joint military air traffic committee within a maximum period of thirty days from the date of receipt of the request.
This decision is notified to the applicant with amplification to the administrations concerned, within the same time limit.
If the maritime prefect has not made his decision within the aforementioned period, the authorization is considered to be granted.
14.3. The foregoing provisions do not preclude the possibility of implementing a simplified procedure for approving helipads at sea in order to carry out certain unscheduled and urgent operations. Such a procedure is established by mutual agreement between the maritime prefect and the operator concerned.

30th Oct 2021, 17:59
Thanks, appreciate the info and am aware of the pilot permit vs the yacht permit itself.

I managed to get in touch with correct person that is current processing our French carribean permit for the yacht pad itself.

if anyone else needs the contacts I’ve had success with PM me and I’ll pay it forward.

For what it’s worth, there’s a bunch of private companies/handlers contact me saying they will take care of French permits for like $2k per permits. It’s not necessary, it’s all free you just need to know where to send everything to. There’s also the false claims of being able to ‘speed up’ a permit, also false. Just some food for thought for anyone else running their own bird off a yacht.

slowly building a WhatsApp group of yacht pilots to share all this stuff.