Demystifying the Charter Flight Permit Process in Germany
Germany can be a challenging operating environment for non-European Union (EU) charter (non-scheduled commercial) operators. Due to long permit lead times, together with the volume and scope of documentation requirements, charter permits require significant time to set up and revise. Work with your 3rd-party provider, well in advance of scheduled operations, to confirm and satisfy all permit requirements.
Here is what you need to know:
1. Charter landing permits are required for operations to Germany
Non-EU charter flights require a landing permit for each stop in Germany, and this regulation applies to all EU-registered aircraft arriving from or operating to Germany from a country outside of the EU. The only exception to this requirement is for EU-registered charter (non-scheduled commercial) operators traveling to and from Germany from within the EU. This landing permit process generally requires five business days’ lead time. Permits may be obtainable with three business days’ notice as long as all documentation is furnished and correct. However, they will not be granted with shorter notice. Because of complexities with this permit, the German charter permit previously made our list of 10 Potentially Challenging International Permits for Business Aviation Operators.
2. There is a specific process for submitting a charter landing permit request that must be followed
Landing permit requests may be submitted to an authorized representative with the German Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) for permit processing. Be aware that there’s a specific format that must be used when requesting permits. Required information includes operator details, aircraft information, schedule, and crew/passenger specifics. The most important form to have on file (and this takes the longest for German CAA to approve) is an operator’s security plan. There’s a specific insurance document that must be completed by the operator’s insurance company. Other required forms include an operating questionnaire, declaration of authorized person, and declaration of commitment LBA Germany. Once your permit is issued, a copy of this approval must be onboard on arrival. See www.lba.de for updated information regarding German charter permit requirements.
3. Landing permits can be revised
A landing permit revision must be filed whenever the estimated time of arrival is delayed by 24 hours or more. Lead time for revision is 48 working hours. Your original landing permit, however, remains valid so long as any delay occurs within the approved deviation.
4. Operating restrictions may impact your flight routing to Germany
Flights to/from or over Iraq, Libya, and/or Angola are not permitted to overfly, land, or depart Germany without special clearance.
5. Penalties for not having a landing permit can be severe
Fines are possible and have been issued to charter operators arriving in Germany without landing permits. In one recent case, an operator without a Germany charter permit was fined 5% of the value of the aircraft. In a situation such as this, the operator must deal directly with German CAA in terms of appealing a fine.
6. There are ways to ease the permit application process
It’s best practice to submit your security plan in advance of any flight to Germany (because such plans can take time to be approved). Some operators have been granted permission to operate to Germany without an approved security plan, but this is solely at the discretion of German CAA. Avoid last-minute changes requiring revision to your original permit, due to processing times involved. Short-notice revision requests within three business days will not be accepted. In such cases, it would be best to have an EU charter operator transport your passengers to and from Germany from within the EU where the non-EU charter operator has a permit to depart with the passengers.
Avoid whenever possible last-minute revisions to German charter landing permits, unless delay is within the original Zulu-day permit window. Revising a charter landing permit for Germany can be more challenging than other EU countries. Always work with an experienced 3rd-party provider when contemplating revisions to German charter landing permits.
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