BizAv Planning Tips: London Fashion Week, Fall 2017– Part 2: Permits, Slots & CIQ

BizAv Planning Tips: London Fashion Week, Fall 2017– Part 2: Permits, Slots & CIQ

This is a post by author Jason Hayward. Jason is General Manager for Universal Aviation U.K. – London-Stansted. Jason is an expert on business aircraft operations in the UK and can be contacted at

This business aviation blog post continues from our article last week entitled “BizAv Planning Tips: London Fashion Week, Fall 2017 – Part 1: Airports, Parking & Ground Services.

This season’s London Fashion Weeks runs Sept 15-19 at assorted venues in the London area, primarily West London and the Strand district.

To avoid operating delays or issues it’s important to be aware of all permit, airport slot and customs, immigration and quarantine (CIQ) clearance considerations.

If you are operating your business aircraft in the area during this time (even if not specifically for this event), the following is an overview of what you need to know:

1. Airport slots

Airport slots are mandated for arrivals/departures at Stansted (EGSS), Luton (EGGW) and London City (EGLC). Best practice is to forward your schedule to your fixed base operator (FBO) or handler, and they’ll arrange slots based on your requirements. EGSS is usually very accommodating in providing slots at preferred times while EGGW occasionally runs out of airport slot availability, particularly on Sundays. For other area airports, including Biggin Hill (EGKB) and Farnborough (EGLF), there are no airport slot requirements.

2. EGWU PPR considerations

Prior permission required (PPR) is needed for operation into Northolt (EGWU). Three business days lead time is usually sufficient to organize PPR. It’s important to be aware that EGWU declares no parking availability, due to full capacity, from time to time. Be mindful also that EGWU is very stringent on numbers of passengers onboard for arrival and departure as access to this airbase is restricted. It’s not an issue to delete a passenger or crew member from the manifest, but don’t arrive with an additional passenger or have an extra passenger show up for departure. Preplanning is key when operating to EGWU, and an unexpected bump in passenger count will cause issues.

3. Permit requirements

While private non-revenue operations do not require permits, charter (non-scheduled commercial) operators do. Permit request lead times of 48-72 hours are recommended although charter permits may be processed on shorter notice. Note that permits are processed by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) only Monday-Friday 0900-1700 local, and it’s important to supply all required documentation with the first request. Once a permit is approved validity is quite generous with a 48-hour window for arrival/departure. Schedule changes are not really an issue. However, if you need to change origin or destination airports this must be re-approved by CAA before you conduct that leg, and it’s something that occasionally trips up some operators.

4. Clearing CIQ

CIQ procedures are relatively similar and straight-forward at London area airports. All airports have contracts and service level agreements in place with the UK Border Force. Passport validity is only needed for length of stay. Visas may or may not be needed, based on nationality and purpose of visit. For example, U.S. nationals may arrive for tourism and most business purposes with no visa and stay UK up to six months. But if you’re arriving to do any work that will be paid for by a UK entity – a fashion model, actor or photographer for example – you may require a work visa. As visas on arrival are not possible in the UK, it’s imperative that passengers have any required visas prior to arrival.

5. Pets and guns onboard

If traveling with a pet, the only airports in the London that will accept temporary pet importation are EGSS, EGKB and EGLF. However, it’s important not to just bring in any random species of pet as only a cat, dog or ferret will be accepted. We recommend leaving more exotic pets at home.

If bringing a pet onboard, note the following:

  • DEFRA must pre approve you as an operator to that particular airport before travel.
  • Getting approval from DEFRA can take up to two weeks.
  • You must pre-notify your handler of the arriving pet
  • You must ensure that full health documentation is available for the animal.

For more in this, read our previous article on Pet Travel at EGSS.

And, if you plan to do a little hunting in the UK before or after Fashion Week additional pre-planning steps are necessary and your ground handler can help facilitate the process. The Grouse season runs from August 12 to December 10 and the pheasant hunting season starts on Oct 1 in this part of the world.

6. Noise considerations

Be mindful that EGLF is a Stage 4 airport. Stage 3 operators, who satisfy local noise mandates may also operate here. When flying to the London area it’s important to observe all noise abatement procedures and routing requirements. For example, at EGGW if you veer off your track you could face a noise bust, involving substantial operator fines.


Depending on the airfield you choose for your operation to this event, it’s important to consider airport slots, parking, and PPR requirements. Additionally, be aware of noise requirements in the area.


If you have any questions about this article or would like assistance planning your next trip to the U.K., contact me at