Indonesia Landing and Overflight Permit Requirements for General Aviation
Indonesia has one of the world’s highest populations, at over 255 million inhabitants, and the country spreads over 3,275 miles East to West. There are many popular business and leisure destination stops here, and the island chain is so wide that diverting this airspace would be a challenge for many North to South flight operations. As overflight and landing permits for Indonesia have longer than average lead times, it’s important to plan early and take into account all permit requirements. Also, based on new restrictions set in place, travel intra-country are now limited for any foreign general aviation (GA) aircraft.
The following is an overview of what you need to know:
1. Overflight and landing permit requirements
Permits are required for all GA overflights and landings in Indonesia. While the permit process is generally straight-forward, if you do not abide by all mandated requirements Indonesian Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) will deny your request. You cannot obtain a landing permit without providing both arrival and departure times/dates. Permit requests are usually submitted via a ground handler, and receipt of the request will be acknowledged the same day, if received during business hours. If something is missing or incorrect in your permit request CAA will let you know so it can be corrected.
2. New permit restrictions
Effective October 1, 2015, new limitations on landing and overflight permissions went into place, by order of Indonesia’s Director of Air Transportation. As of this date foreign-registered aircraft operating unscheduled flights may only operate to one airport in Indonesia, with the exception of a stop for customs, immigration, and quarantine (CIQ) clearance, technical stops or fuel uplift purposes, and/or an emergency landing. In addition, as of October 1, 2015, it will no longer be possible to obtain short-notice landing permits or to receive any permits on weekends or during holidays.
3. Permit lead times
Obtaining overflight and landing permits for Indonesia officially requires five business days, but they’re often processed within three business days. It’s best to apply for permits during CAA weekday hours for timely turnarounds. CAA operates Monday-Friday 0700-1700 local, is closed weekends and holidays, and abides strictly by published operating hours. Every now and then you may be able to get in contact with someone at CAA just after normal business hours, but normally permit requests will not be acknowledged until the following business day. Note that CAA staff is not available during off duty hours. Short notice permit authorizations are seldom an option other than in cases of flight diversions due to weather or air ambulance landings, but not air ambulance overflights. There have been cases where air ambulance overflight requests, without three days lead time, have been denied, and operators have had to route around Indonesia.
Documentation must be submitted in advance for landing permits, and this includes aircraft airworthiness and registration certificates and worldwide liability insurance. Charter (non-scheduled commercial) operators must also provide an Air Operator Certificate (AOC). Originals of all these documents must be carried onboard the aircraft. While CAA processes all permit requests, there are three different departments within CAA that review requests, and the military also looks at all applications. It’s important to note that operators using 3rd-party providers must provide authorization for the provider to act on their behalf. Overflight and landing permits remain valid for seven days, and confirmation numbers are provided with permit approvals. All permit confirmations must be noted in Remarks section 18 of your ICAO flight plan.
5. Authorization letters
This authorization request must be on company letterhead, indicate the registration number of the aircraft, and request that the Air Transport Director for Indonesia give your provider authorization to manage permit requests on your behalf. While this request must be signed, it does not need to be notarized. Be aware that you must obtain Authorization Letters for every flight, even if you’ve just operated to Indonesia recently. You may have everything submitted for a permit request, but if this authorization letter is missing your permit will not be processed.
6. Permit fees
Nav fees In Indonesia are based on a flat rate for landing and overflight, rather than actual distance. If you fly multi-stops within the country fees will be higher than for single stops. Note that multiple stops are limited to customs and immigration clearance, tech stop (fuel uplift only), or emergency landing. While nav fees are assessed by three different departments within CAA, when you receive the invoice it doesn’t break down each cost separately, but rather only shows one total fee. Be aware that it may take several weeks to receive fee invoicing. If you owe Indonesia for past nav fees your permit request may not be approved. This will depend, however, on the severity of the issue and how much you owe. When applying for a permit CAA will let you know if you owe overdue charges. In cases of unpaid fees you may be denied access to the airspace, but we’ve never seen a case of an operator landing and not being permitted to depart.
7. Permit revisions
Required lead times for permit revisions depend on the type of revision. Note that your permit is only valid for the destination and operating times you provide. Any subsequent change involves a permit revision with an additional charge. If date/time changes within the validity period, or the crew/passenger manifest changes, it’s only necessary to send a revision. However, if you’re making a schedule change outside the seven day validity window, changing destination airports, or skipping a planned stop in Indonesia a new permit is required. If you request a lot of permit changes it will cost you, as revision charges apply in every case. Should you want to revise your permit on a weekend to leave the country early, you won’t be able to do so until CAA opens on Monday.
8. Airport slots and PPRs
Prior Permission Required (PPR) and airport slots are not necessary for operations to any airport in Indonesia.
9. Cabotage considerations
Both private non-revenue or charter flights are not permitted to pick up and move additional passengers within the country as this is considered cabotage.
10. Operating close to Singapore
Be aware of requirements for Indonesian overflight permits when operating on airways M758 and N884 close to Singapore. This airspace is controlled by Singapore CAA, but you’re flying over Indonesian territory, and Indonesian overflight permits are needed which involve standard lead time requirements.
11. Tech stop considerations
Tech stops require the same landing permits and lead times as destination stops. If you want to tech stop in Indonesia within the next 48 hours or so it’s generally not permissible due to strict lead times by CAA. If, however, you make your request a few days in advance, permits will not be an issue, and you’ll be able to land anytime of the day, even at slot controlled airports.
Be mindful of Indonesian permit lead times and the fact that short notice and last minute requests are not likely to happen. Keep up with CAA closure and holiday times, understand the Authorization Letter procedure, be aware of all permit revision requirements, cabotage restrictions, and your flight to the island chain will be a smooth ride.
If you have any questions about this article or would like assistance obtaining permits for your next trip, contact me at email@example.com.