Central and South Asia BizAv Ops – Part 1: Landing and Overflight Permits
This is part one of a two-article series on business aircraft operations to Central and South Asia.
When you travel to and through Central and South Asia – a.k.a. “the ‘Stans”: Afghanistan, , Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan – there are a number of considerations to be aware of. Many popular destinations exist within this region, but there are permit, lead time, and documentation issues that may challenge the planning process.
The following is an overview of what you need to know:
1. Plan early for operations to this region
When you operate to Central and South Asia, it’s important to plan early. For a first-time operator, it’s best to have three weeks’ lead time to organize documentation and permits. Otherwise, two weeks’ lead time should be sufficient assuming all required documentation is assembled and ready. Always review aeronautical information publications for the particular region you’re traveling to in order to ensure that you’re familiar with regulations/requirements for each location.
2. Be mindful of visa requirements
Depending on nationality, visas may be required for both crew members and passengers when traveling to this region. Several countries in this area may issue visas on arrival, but it’s best to check in advance with your 3rd-party provider to confirm if visas on arrival are possible. For example Uzbekistan does not offer visas on arrival for either passengers or crew members.
3. Be aware of permit requirements
Overflight and landing permits are required for both private non-revenue and charter (non-scheduled commercial) operations to this region. Afghanistan requires four business days to obtain a permit, Pakistan requires six business days, and most other countries in the region require five business days. It’s important to note that permits are route-specific, and no “to be advised” schedules may be submitted in permit requests. Short-notice requests are on a case-by-case basis and at the discretion of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). Note that fees for Kyrgyzstan landing permits vary depending on when they’re requested. The shorter the notice, the more expensive the permit. Be aware that CAAs in this region do not all operate 24 hours, and many close for bank holidays. You’ll also need to submit a complete routing with a permit application. It will generally take at least five days’ lead time to secure landing or overflight permits. While permit validity varies throughout the region, permits are usually good for about 72 hours. Revisions are necessary for any changes to the trip and for schedule changes outside permit validity period.
4. Permit and documentation considerations
Required documentation for Central and South Asian permits includes certificates of registration and airworthiness, pilot licenses and medical certificates, a noise certificate, and worldwide insurance including war risk coverage. Be aware that some countries mandate that your 3rd-party provider obtain a power of attorney in order to process permits for you. Keep in mind that for operations to Turkmenistan no 3rd-party provider may arrange your landing permit. Your local business contact must apply for the landing permit directly with CAA. For Turkmenistan you also must provide a sample flight plan with the route that you’ll use into and out of the country. While your 3rd-party provider may not apply for the landing permit, the provider can help communicate with your local business contacts and advise them as to information that must be provided.
5. Flight and operational restrictions
Check that your aircraft lease agreement and company ops specs do not prohibit overflight or landing at intended destinations/regions within Central and South Asia. Note that Pakistan does not allow any direct operations to/from Israel and, as with many countries in the region, Israeli-made aircraft can’t travel to or over this country. There are certain flight restrictions/limitations in place in terms of operations between Pakistan and India. For travel to or over Pakistan, VT (India)-registered aircraft require special permission. In the case of landing in Pakistan, any VT-registered aircraft must have the same passengers on both arrival and departure, unless special approval is obtained from CAA. Note that certain destinations within the region – such as Kabul (OAKB) – have limited aircraft services available.
As permit lead times in Central and South Asia are longer than average, additional advance planning is suggested when operating to this part of the world.
Later, we’ll discuss airport and local considerations while in Central and South Asia.
If you have any questions about this article or information pertaining to this region, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.