Business Aviation Trip Planning Tips: Operating to Israel Part 1 – Permit Requirements
This business aviation blog post is part of a series on permit requirements for Israel.
Due to security, Israel continues to tighten up the permit requirements for General Aviation (GA). Recent regulatory changes – put in place January 1, 2014 – require additional documentation for aircrew.
The following is an overview of Israel permit requirements:
1. Only one airport is available to GA
Tel-Aviv (LLBG) is the only airport in Israel currently open and available for GA operations. The only exception is for diplomatic flights that have been pre-approved via diplomatic channels to travel to other airports within the country.
2. General permit requirements for Israel
Landing permits are required for all operations, both private non-revenue and charter (non-scheduled commercial). Overflight permits are not available, as GA overflight of Israeli airspace is not permitted. Landing permit requests are processed by the Aviation Security Operations Center (ASOC). While ASOC is closed on the weekend (Friday and Saturday), it may be possible to have short-notice permit requests approved – at the authorities’ discretion.
3. Permit lead times
Lead time for Israel landing permits is 72 hours prior to operation. Permits may be processed more quickly for air ambulance flights; however, the application process still needs to be followed, and all mandated information/documentation is still required. By logging onto a specified secure website, ASOC will provide a permit number, and this confirmation should be added to your International Civil Aviation Organization flight plan.
4. Permit revisions
Permits are valid for the Zulu date. Any changes require a permit revision, and this involves submitting a new permit application. Permit revisions usually require 24-48 hours to process.
5. Information/documentation for landing permits
When submitting a landing permit request for Israel, you’ll need to include aircraft registration and airworthiness certificates, air operator certificate (if you’re a charter), noise certificate, and radio license. Upon landing in Israel, you must have proof of worldwide insurance onboard. Along with your permit request submission, you’ll also provide a full flight schedule, full crew and passenger details, operator name with contact information, departure point prior to Israel, and destination after leaving Israel. This information must be provided on a specific PDF form that can be found and filled out online. It’s best to save a copy of any permit submission in case you need to make a revision later. Keep in mind that this form must be filled out electronically. It will not be accepted if filled out by hand. This form must be signed by the captain. You will need to attach full employment details of the crew (which company they work for or if they are contract crew members, how long they have been working for their employers, their positions, copies of their pilot licenses, and the names of their previous employers). On occasion, ASOC may demand copies of passports of the crew and/or passengers. Israel also requires that you provide contact details for a local sponsor, and ASOC will want to ensure that the passengers onboard know the sponsor. You will need to attach a copy of your sponsor’s ID, passport, and Israeli driver’s license to the landing permit application. Your local sponsor must be knowledgeable regarding your company, operation, and flight schedule. The sponsor will be held accountable, to some extent, for your operation to Israel. Be mindful that ASOC’s security department may randomly request a letter from the captain stating that passengers and crew will undergo a security check prior to operating to Israel.
6. Permit request submission process
Completed permit request forms need to be signed by the captain prior to the request being sent to ASOC. Partially completed forms will not be accepted. Be sure to submit all aircraft and crew documentation/information, as well as complete local sponsor information, with the permit request. ASOC will process the request and provide a temporary login/password to a secured website where the permit request will be completed. While your 3rd-party provider will receive notification that the permit has been confirmed, the permit number itself will not be known until after the captain uses the secured website to provide some necessary information.
7. Local sponsor requirements
It’s important to prove to ASOC that your local sponsor has personal knowledge of all passengers. In this regard, it’s often more complex for charter operators to demonstrate a personal knowledge of the passengers by the sponsor. In order for a landing permit to be processed, you’ll need to provide a copy of the sponsor’s ID, passport, and driver’s license.
8. Passenger and crew documentation
A copy of each passenger passport should be provided. In some cases, the passports may be shown on arrival, rather than forwarded with the landing permit request. It’s recommended, however, that copies of all passports be forwarded 48-72 hours in advance to the ground handler, in order to avoid delays on arrival.
Israel is probably the most complex environment in the Middle East in terms of permit requirements. Operators are advised to work closely with their 3rd-party provider and local ground handler to ensure that all required operational steps are completed.
If you have any questions about this article or would like assistance planning your next trip to Israel, contact Christine Vamvakas at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stay tuned for Part 2, which covers operational requirements for travel to Israel.