Business Aircraft Operations to Greece: Customs, Immigration, and Quarantine
This is a post by author Dimitra Kiriakopoulou. Dimitra is the operations and customer care director for Universal Aviation Greece – Athens, which has an aircraft ground-handling facility in Athens. Dimitra is an expert on business aircraft operations in Greece and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This business aviation blog post is part of a series on operating in Greece and continues from our last article: "Business Aircraft Operations to Greece: Ground Handling."
The Customs, Immigration, and Quarantine (CIQ) experience in Greece is relatively quick, professional, and user-friendly. If you’re arriving from outside the European Union (EU), however, it’s important to confirm you have all documentation and required visas in order prior to arrival.
1. What are CIQ procedures in Greece?
At Athens (LGAV) customs clearance for crew members/passengers is located in the General Aviation Terminal (GAT). For international arrivals from outside the EU, your ground handler will transport crew members/passengers and luggage to clear at the GAT, and this usually takes only a few minutes. For arrivals from within the EU, CIQ and security screening are not required unless customs or police decide to do a random check. For departure to non-EU destinations, CIQ clearance is necessary. For intra-EU departures the only requirement is to show passport or other passenger identification to airport police. However, with arrivals and departures, all luggage is X-rayed. At airports other than LGAV, both CIQ and security screening are done in the main terminal. In this case CIQ will need to confirm IDs for every arriving/departing crew member/passenger. Your ground handler will normally arrange for expedited crew/passenger clearance – either through a separate line or with priority over scheduled commercial passengers in a regular clearance line. For all departures regardless of destination, crew/passengers go through security screening.
2. What are documentation requirements?
Passengers arriving from outside the EU need to have valid passports. If passengers require Schengen visas, such visas must be obtained prior to arrival. If a visa is not required, then passports will only need to be valid for intended length of stay in Greece. Crew members may enter the country with valid International Air Transport Association crew IDs. Alternatively, a valid passport – and a visa in certain cases – will be required.
3. Are there other CIQ considerations?
CIQ clearance cannot be done onboard an aircraft in Greece – only at LGAV’s GAT or via main terminals at other locations. No CIQ fees are applicable at LGAV, Thessaloniki (LGTS), or Iraklion (LGIR), but there may be fees involved at some airports where CIQ is available only with prior notice. CIQ requires presentation of a general declaration which your ground handler can arrange in advance. No arrival/departure cards are required in Greece.
4. Are there agricultural, pet, or gun restrictions to be aware of?
At this time there are no agricultural restrictions to note – in terms of bringing catering into the country – but always confirm requirements with your ground handler. Pets are permitted into Greece with a pet passport, microchip, and a valid vet health certificate. Bringing hunting weapons into Greece requires licensing, proper documentation, and advance notification to make needed arrangements.
5. Additional reading: "Business Aircraft Operations in Greece" series index
Links will be added as new articles are published.
- Part 1 – Airports Ops
- Part 2 – Ground handling
- Part 3 – CIQ
- Part 4 – Fuel, Security, and Other Services
- Part 5 – Permits and PPRs
- Part 6 – Flight Planning and Weather
- Part 7 – Hotels and Local Area
While you’ll be faced with clearing CIQ in the main terminal – with exception of GAT clearance at LGAV – this procedure usually takes only minutes, and priority clearance is normally arranged for GA arrivals.
If you have any questions about this article or would like assistance planning your next trip to Greece, contact me at email@example.com.
Later, we’ll discuss fuel, security, and additional services for Greece and their impact on your trip.