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Le Touquet on a Sunday - first cross channel

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Le Touquet on a Sunday - first cross channel

Old 20th Jul 2018, 10:56
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Le Touquet on a Sunday - first cross channel

Hello all,

Does Le Touquet airport operate full ATC on a Sunday? Iím planning my first trip there this weekend and have read some threads saying that itís only A/G?

I canít see any mention of that on the official website.

Thank you.
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Old 20th Jul 2018, 15:07
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Le Touquet ATC closes Tuesdays (I was there to discover that surprise this week).
Otherwise you canjust e-mail them & you'll get a perfectly nice repy to questions.

mike hallam. - Rans S6-116.
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Old 20th Jul 2018, 17:01
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Thank you Mike!

Is it also still required to email Le Touquet 2hrs before arrival? I can see that stated on their website, however when I called earlier the lady on the phone said no, just flight plan and come?
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Old 20th Jul 2018, 20:34
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There is now a full time Customs Officer at L2k, ensure you bring your PASSPORT and don't be a dick like the ULM Pilots I witnessed recently begging to be let in with nothing more than a driving license "because we thought we just needed id" #fail. (Same pilots who demanded to be let into the airspace despite not having transponders, not knowing the VRP's and refusing to follow ATC instructions... made me real sad to be British that day) ...

The "lady on the phone" is operations, they dont need PPR, like most places in France

However but CUSTOMS DO REQUIRE notice (Their website says 2 hours, and thats kind of acceptable for most purposes) if your flight is to or from France to the UK. You can do this simply via OnlineFAR.com - or direct email - see updated list here https://www.onlinegar.com/support.olg?opt=whereitgoes which says "On Request 2H" - although the customs guy said to me that because of BREXIT they have built this new manned station and will be manned all the time from now on...
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Old 20th Jul 2018, 21:37
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@GBEBZ: there are a certain category of ultralighters like that and they exist everywhere, no need for shame. These chaps at least seem to have come on the radio. There's far worse evolutions in the UK, such as the steep fall of litteracy - as illustrated amply on these same pages - not even to mention certain political frolics. Also the undue use of unexplained and undocumented codes and abbreviations - equally omnipresent, also here.

That said, thanks for the bit of information!

Last edited by Jan Olieslagers; 21st Jul 2018 at 12:12. Reason: corrected my own illiteracy :)
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Old 20th Jul 2018, 21:56
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Originally Posted by Jan Olieslagers View Post
the steep fall of litteracy - as illustrated amply on these same pages
Indeed, Jan - but you are forgiven as you are in Belgium and your spell checker is probably not UK English!
SD
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Old 21st Jul 2018, 14:52
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Thank you for the replies

Am I correct in understanding that submitting the GAR details via the ‘OnlineGAR’ site above will in one step notify everyone that needs to be notified, including LFAT customs?
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Old 21st Jul 2018, 15:26
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Not to my knowlledge,
GAR is just for the GAR people in the UK, inbound really.. Give them a 'phone call once back in Blighty to let them know or (?) e-mail, seems polite as they're very kindly folk.
Def. e-mail customs outbound and a Flight Plan too.
mike hallam.
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Old 22nd Jul 2018, 01:23
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Originally Posted by mikehallam View Post
Not to my knowlledge,
GAR is just for the GAR people in the UK, inbound really.. Give them a 'phone call once back in Blighty to let them know or (?) e-mail, seems polite as they're very kindly folk.
Def. e-mail customs outbound and a Flight Plan too.
mike hallam.
+1

See this thread from May/June 18 for lots more detail: First UK - France flight
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Old 22nd Jul 2018, 07:48
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Or do a cross channel check out....
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Old 22nd Jul 2018, 12:48
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What is this cross channel check out nonsense? Anyone with a PPL should be able to carry out a cross country flight without an extra check out. A cross channel is just that, a cross country with an additional requirement for a passport or equivalent document, and a PLB or ELT for most countries. Water? Oh yes, right. Carry a lifejacket plus whatever other safety equipment you feel is needed. It's probably safer than vast expanses of pine forests, anyway.
There are lakes wider than the English channel, FFS.
Oh I give up truly I do. It's not even as if you need to learn another language if you have a UK licence.
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Old 22nd Jul 2018, 13:22
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Originally Posted by CruiseAttitude View Post
Am I correct in understanding that submitting the GAR details via the ‘OnlineGAR’ site above will in one step notify everyone that needs to be notified, including LFAT customs?


This page shows where the data goes: https://www.onlinegar.com/support.olg?opt=whereitgoes

If you complete the OnlineGAR.com forms correctly they will notify EVERYONE that needs to be notified. UK and french customs will both receive a notice from them. If you are flying lets say to Jersey, then the Jersey Aero Club would also get a copy of your declaration. OnlineGAR.com will work out who needs to know based on your form submission, and will email customs and even your handling agents.

GAR is just for the GAR people in the UK, inbound really
Wrong. French customs require notification as per the French AIP. You don't need to use a system like OnlineGAR.com, but you DO need to give notification which can be as simple as an email. A lot of french airfields are also preparing for brexit by being more harsh on UK arrivals (e.g. L2k building a dedicated customs booth)

OnlineGAR will also prepare a GENDEC declaration PDF for you to print off - which is needed if travelling to places like the channel islands.

an example of the email generated by OnlineGAR.com and emailed to customs is:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Notification of Inbound Flight
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Aircraft Registration: G-BEBZ
Aircraft Type: P28A Piper PA-28-151 Cherokee Warrior
Owner/Operator: P TAYLOR
Contact Number: +447545*******
Email Address: [email protected]*******

Reason for Visit: Short Term Visit

Departure From: EGJJ Jersey Airport (JEY)
Arrival To: LFRC Cherbourg (FRA)
Date: 18/07/2018
Departure Time: 09:00
Estimated Time En-Route: 00:40
Arrival Time: 09:40
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
CREW
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1) Name: Phil Taylor
Gender: Male
Date of Birth: 08/03/78
Passport Number: 5******* Expiry: 29/07/2026
Issuing Country: United Kingdom UK
Nationality: United Kingdom UK
Address: B60*******
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
PASSENGERS
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
None

This email was created by www.onlineGAR.com
If there are no customs on arrival or departure, and you filed everything correctly, then its not your fault and you can leave with no issues. A good example of that is at Lydd flying back from france where I have never seen customs, but Lydd operations had received a call from UKBF saying I was good to go and they would not be attending. Once I forgot and Lydd faxed my GENDEC to UKBF and received a call back while I had lunch.

You will hear some people say "A GAR is not required, except for the return to the UK"... well GAR stands for General Aviation Report, The UK has a specific way for GA Pilots to report, the French are happy with an email notification (which is sometimes still called a GAR) to the customs at the airfield. Some French airports require advance notice (because they only turn up when a plane is coming in) and even worse some require 72 hours notice (CAEN!)

The UK states:
An operator or pilot of a general aviation aircraft is required to report international or Channel Islands journeys to or from the UK, unless they are travelling outbound directly from the UK to a destination in the European Union as specified under sections 35 and 64 of the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979.

Even if pilots and operators are not required to provide notification of a flight, it is helpful if they do provide this notification.

An operator or pilot of a flight between Great Britain and Northern Ireland or between Great Britain or Northern Ireland and Ireland, the Channel Islands or Isle of Man is required, in the circumstances specified in paragraph 12 of schedule 7 to the Terrorism Act 2000, to provide a notification of the flight to the Police.
OnlineGAR.com will also submit your inbound (to the UK) notification to the "UK Border Force CBP System" and you will get a Manifest/Receipt number which you should keep safe "incase" UKBF decide to stop you on your return and you can use that to prove you complied.

Flying across the border is a lot easier than all this makes out. I fly from Jersey to France very often and my process is to give as much notification as I can (a day or two before) via OnlineGAR.com (2 hours for L2K to 72 hours for CAEN!!) and then use Skydemon or AFPEx to file my flight plan before I leave home (1 hour before flight) - job done, really simple and can be done from an iPad.

To recap you need BOTH a Customs notification AND a Filed flight plan - they are two separate things (Ive read on here of pilots saying a flight plan is all they need as that informs customs, which is incorrect).

Be sure you know your VRP near L2K and you will be fine, the controllers there are very good and their english is perfect. Make sure you have an up to date plate with the correct details - unlike my first time ages ago, when I had an old plate and the runway direction numbers had changed!

Once you have done it once you will see its actually easier than you think :-)

P.

Some more official links for you:
https://www.gov.uk/government/public...ion-of-flights

Last edited by GBEBZ; 22nd Jul 2018 at 13:46. Reason: customers -> customs
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Old 22nd Jul 2018, 13:28
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Originally Posted by Piper.Classique View Post
What is this cross channel check out nonsense? Anyone with a PPL should be able to carry out a cross country flight without an extra check out. A cross channel is just that, a cross country with an additional requirement for a passport or equivalent document, and a PLB or ELT for most countries. Water? Oh yes, right. Carry a lifejacket plus whatever other safety equipment you feel is needed. It's probably safer than vast expanses of pine forests, anyway.
There are lakes wider than the English channel, FFS.
Oh I give up truly I do. It's not even as if you need to learn another language if you have a UK licence.
Actually if you are renting someone else's plane then a cross channel checkout is normally part of the conditions of hire (Example A).

Yes flying from Lydd to L2k is easy, quick (20mins chock to chock) and anyone post-ppl should be able to do it, but flying Bournemouth to Jersey (100 miles, with no land in sight for over 30 mins) is a different kettle of fish and having literally no horizon, and misty visibility can be very disorienting for a low-hour ppl with no IR(R) rating.

Most conversations on here about "Cross Channel Checkout" talk about the Lydd to L2K, - that to me is not a cross channel trip (although technically it is). I've done scarier circuits than that trip. You are almost always in view view of both land masses at all times. Its like flying from Jersey to France, I can actually see the french coast from my Kitchen here!

The challenges on a 100mile across open water, with no land mass in sight for significant amount of time (in a single pilot, single engine aircraft) are different than flying from Lydd to L2k. Imagine crossing 100miles of water and getting to Jersey when the fog just appeared from no where, and then having to divert to France... or worse just turning around and going back to the UK again. It happens. Yes a PPL should be able to cope (on paper) with this, but experience is best gained in an environment of learning (i.e where someone is with you) rather than an environment of fear (where you are being hit with new experience after new experience).

I believe (real) cross channel checkouts have their place. Although there has been A LOT of discussion already of this (as well as single engine flight over water, ranging from "hell no - never fly out of gliding range", to "pfff we take off and are over water in seconds") on these forums.

--
It's not even as if you need to learn another language if you have a UK licence
Um, depends on where else you are going to after you hit France. If you are going onto a smaller airport a LOT of french airfields are marked FR ONLY (FR seulement) on the plates/AIP, meaning that all radio calls need to be in french only!

--

and a PLB or ELT for most countries
Since the implementation of Part NCO (Non-Commercial operations with Other-than-complex-powered aircraft), it is a requirement to carry an Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT) or Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) on light aeroplanes and helicopters used privately for ALL (certified CoA planes, not permit) flights - not just ones over water!

Carry a lifejacket
No. Wear a lifejacket.

Last edited by GBEBZ; 22nd Jul 2018 at 14:45.
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Old 22nd Jul 2018, 16:25
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Well, That's turned a simple job into a full Doctorate treatise.
Apart from Safety precautions, did you know that you can fly direct to France (i.e. a Douane a/field) from your U.K. base without Customs and ditto into it on return

a) Just do GAR (one e-mail).
b) A std Flight plan (one A4 sheet).
c) An e-mail to Douane.
P.S. If fuelling from Tesco's etc., into Gerry cans, keep the receipt and claim Duty Drawback (Hmrc form HO60

There's a lot of suitable access means on line for the above as well as prompt bumpf.

mike hallam
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Old 22nd Jul 2018, 16:35
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That's turned a simple job into a full Doctorate treatise.
well there is no point in providing bullet pointed opinions without giving facts and evidence for those facts.

forums should be used for education as well as entertainment;-)

Too much opinion and not enough facts already on this site. These topics have already been discussed to death in other threads :-)


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Old 22nd Jul 2018, 18:55
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That was easy

itís been six years since I got my PPL and five since my IRR but forums like this had led me to always bottle out of the cross channel flight.

not today.

flight plans (two, one for each trip) and gar (return only) taken care of through runway HD, two simple emails (one to Le Touquet customs, the other to uk border control for the return trip) radio work not at all challenging (Iíve had tougher days flying along the south coast). Timings bothered me, the GAR is four hours notice so filed that this morning before departing, flight plan is one hour notice so filed the return as soon as I landed

glad Iím current on instruments as the first stretch of water for me was the bit from Clacton to Kent and there certainly wasnít any land ahead in sight nor a horizon.

Le Touquet ATIS as easy to follow as any others Iíve heard, a short taxi journey Ä10 from the airport to the lovely town centre. Lunch on the beach

Le Touquet reasonably busy but no more than- for example - Shoreham.

I know there is a risk of the donkey stopping at some point but letís face it, if we didnít take calculated risks we wouldnít hold PPLís. Altitude was 5,000 feet which meant I was only out of glide range for a few minutes. Wearing a life jacket and worked on the basis that itís a busy shipping lane...

the first of many trips Iím sure


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Old 22nd Jul 2018, 19:19
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it’s been six years since I got my PPL and five since my IRR but forums like this had led me to always bottle out of the cross channel flight.
Sorry to hear that, forums should encourage people not put them off.

Like I have said before though, there is a difference between Lydd to L2k and a longer crossing (say bournemouth to Jersey direct).

Altitude was 5,000 feet which meant I was only out of glide range for a few minutes.
I honestly cannot remember the last time I hit 5000ft!

Try flying from Jersey ;-) Our standard departure clearance is "not above 1000ft" from Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney and towards french coast (Zone boundary).

You soon get use to looking for (tall) cruise ships to go around, and looking for the next rock or fishing boat to mentally log for which way to head should it all go quiet up front

There is a long running thread about flying over water on PPRuNe which puts a lot of people off I think, a range of feelings from "hell no, not out of gliding range" to "whatever, if the fan stops I dont want thousands of feet to think about what might be" :-)

Clubs like the Jersey Aero Club fly all early PPL lessons 100% over the sea in the local training area, which is all sea, and well out of gliding range.
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Old 22nd Jul 2018, 22:01
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Send Three Web Submissions, Wait an Hour and Fly To France

Associated stuff: www.tinyurl.com/GoingForeign
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Old 22nd Jul 2018, 23:17
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A lot of french airfields are also preparing for brexit by being more harsh on UK arrivals (e.g. L2k building a dedicated customs booth)
Please don't spread false news. The increased french customs presence has nothing whatsoever to do with Brexit.
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Old 23rd Jul 2018, 12:04
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More likely people smuggling last year in light aircraft from Calais.
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