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Eurocontrol charges

Old 21st Mar 2007, 18:21
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Eurocontrol charges

I have just received an invoice from Eurocontrol for VFR flying. Can anyone explain this to me since I thought VFR was exempt? I was flying VFR from Liverpool to Wellesbourne on 2nd Feb, take off at 1813 and got charged Euro 23.76. I fly an Aztec and realise that if I was flying IFR I would get charged due to the weight. Is it because it was a night flight? Anyone able to help?
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Old 21st Mar 2007, 18:23
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Originally Posted by JohnR
Is it because it was a night flight? Anyone able to help?
UK night = IFR

IFR > 2 tonnes = charges

End of.
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Old 21st Mar 2007, 18:27
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Thats clear , thanks. Only problem is that I have flown many other times at night as well, recently back from Antwerp to Wellesbourne, take off at 1900 and never got charged. Must have been lucky!
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Old 21st Mar 2007, 18:33
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Originally Posted by JohnR View Post
Thats clear , thanks. Only problem is that I have flown many other times at night as well, recently back from Antwerp to Wellesbourne, take off at 1900 and never got charged. Must have been lucky!
If no-one books you out or records your departure as IFR it will never be recorded as chargeable.

You may have struck lucky in departing somewhere they don't record your departure as IFR and no-one else enroute or on arrival (at Wellsbourne) is going to log it as IFR.

Despite rumours to the contrary, if you received an ATC service and declared yourself IFR in your "pass your message" call (or it was night in the UK) you still wouldn't be charged if you departed "VFR" or were logged as departing "VFR" and you were inbound somewhere like Wellsbourne

So, to clarify, Liverpool must have logged you outbound IFR when you did get charged as no-one else would have done enroute or on arrival. They would have done this if it was night or if you had filed an IFR flightplan.
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Old 22nd Mar 2007, 12:38
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Just a minor correction

Errr ....
Well, its not actually Eurocontrol who is charging you - it is the state(s) you fly though.

Eurocontrol collects the charges, in accordance with a scheme and rates defined by the states themselves. Eurocontrol distributes the collected fees back to the states on a distance flown pro-rata basis.

Eurocontrol doesn't set the charges, nor keep them (apart from a very small admin fee).

It won't change you being charged, but you will know who is charging you - the UK CAA!

GB
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Old 22nd Mar 2007, 12:39
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Actually I thought it was NATS doing the charging not the UK CAA.......
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Old 22nd Mar 2007, 12:45
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I stand corrected!
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Old 22nd Mar 2007, 13:04
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Actually I thought it was NATS doing the charging not the UK CAA.......
Would someone explain what service was received from NATS then? And is that NATS En route or NATS Systems Ltd?
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Old 22nd Mar 2007, 18:03
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It was NATS En Route doing the charging, according to the invoice, and yes I would like to know what service they offered me too? It was all night VFR and all I got was a FIS from Birmingham since I routed around their zone
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Old 22nd Mar 2007, 18:30
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John, see above. There is no such things as Night VFR in the UK. If it was night, it was IFR.
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Old 22nd Mar 2007, 18:40
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Yes, but I see where he is coming from, doesnt:

a charge for service = a service has been provided.

Can you charge for something you havent provided?
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Old 22nd Mar 2007, 19:02
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Fuji, yes, I realise he got no service, but just wanted to explain the VFR/IFR thing.

As for can you be charged for something you didn't get; are you being charged for a service though? Or are you being charged for flying a > 2000kg aircraft IFR? I dunno, I'm under 2000kg...
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Old 22nd Mar 2007, 19:53
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pardon my ignorance , but why can you not fly night VFR in the UK? (assuming you have a night rating of course)
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Old 22nd Mar 2007, 21:15
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C'se the rules say you cant.

I am sure you understand the difference between the met conditions and IFR and VFR, but in case not, you can be IFR in VMC (day or night), and in the same way as during the day, you will need an IR or IMCR to declare IFR in IMC at night.

BTW can Eurocontrol render a charge if they havent provided a service?
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Old 22nd Mar 2007, 21:30
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JohnR

I began flying pre-JAR as a PA on both PA23 and PA31 both well over 2000kg as you mentioned. All the flights were AOC light freight (mail etc.) or pax both day and night flight (normally night! when no one else wanted the job!).
We very rarley had to obain an IFR service and as expected were not charged for it day or night!

I would give them a call and get it sorted out, the last incorrect invoice I got came from Edinburgh, they were very polite and got it sorted for me.

Cheers........
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Old 22nd Mar 2007, 21:43
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Originally Posted by drauk
...Or are you being charged for flying a > 2000kg aircraft IFR?
Yes, you are being charged in accordance with the rule that says if you're over 2 tonnes MTOW and flying IFR you incur charges based upon your weight/mass and your route.

The calculation is reasonably complex, with allowances within each crossed FIR for departure-phase and arrival-phase where there may already be a charge (nav charges etc.), and the route used by the calculator is the CFMU-ready route, notwithstanding that may not be the route flown

There is a charges calculator on the Eurocontrol website and if you go HERE and follow some links you can download a calculator and the latest fee schedule for use in that calculator.

For a "typical" >2 tonne GA (say a 310 for example) twin routing IFR from the SE up to Glasgow, the charge would be about 80.
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Old 22nd Mar 2007, 22:10
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In his original post Jonhr said he was "VFR from liverpool" no mention of IMC, so why cannot he fly VFR? (If in VMC of course, which I assume he was)
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Old 23rd Mar 2007, 09:51
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JohnR,

What departure clearance did you receive from Liverpool ?

FF
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Old 23rd Mar 2007, 09:54
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It does not matter what his departure clearance was! The flight was at 18:13 which is after official sunset and so automatically becomes an IFR flight. As a result of weight the aircraft becomes eligible for enroute charging.

Not that I condone a charge being made for no service being provided but that is the way it is.
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Old 23rd Mar 2007, 10:03
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Having read this thread and remembering an article in a UK magazine about this a while back, would it be safe to say the following:

- On a Night VFR flight from mainland Europe to the UK, the flight is logged as VFR (because Night VFR is just that, in mainland Europe) and so no charges would be raised by Eurocontrol
- On a Night VFR flight from the UK to mainland Europe, the flight is logged as IFR (because all flying at night in the UK is automatically under IFR) and so charges WILL be raised by Eurocontrol

If I remember correctly, if the flight is explicitly logged as VFR first, IFR later or the other way around (an Y or Z flightplan), you'll only get charged for the IFR parts. But if you do an implicit transition from IFR (UK) to VFR or the other way around, on what is commonly known as a Night VFR trip, the whole flight gets logged under it's initial status, which is VFR in mainland Europe, and IFR in the UK. Correct?

So - fly out of the UK in daylight, return at night... ! But if you do fly from the UK to mainland Europe, make sure you submit a Y flightplan, changing from IFR to VFR at the FIR boundary.

Maybe somebody in the ATC forum would be able to confirm this?
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