Operating to Israel – Part 3: Permits and Operating Procedures
This business aviation blog post continues from our article last week, titled “Part 2 – Flight and operating restrictions“
Israel permit procedures are, in many ways, unique and requirements are strictly enforced. It’s recommended that first time operators to this region allow additional permit processing lead time and understand all requirements with regard to providing local sponsor details.
The following is an overview of what you need to know:
1. Permit requirements
Landing permits for needed for all private non-revenue and charter (non-scheduled commercial) operations to Israel. Permit applications must specify a local Israeli national sponsor who’ll be on the ground in Israel during the time of your stay. This sponsor must be someone who personally knows the operator and purpose of the trip. For example, you may not use an Israeli tourism company as your sponsor. The landing permit application is a three page document requiring operators to specify the ground handler, complete information on each crewmember and passenger — along with copies of passports, contact information on all passengers/crew and the sponsor, company information, standard aircraft documents and crew licenses/medicals. This application must be signed by the captain or flight department manager and forwarded to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) via the ground handler. In the case of charter operations it’s also necessary to provide the aircraft operating certificate (AOC) and a copy of the charter contract. Official permit lead time is four business days but seven business days is recommended, unless you’re a frequent operator to Israel.
2. Crew employment information
As part of the permit application process crew must specify if they’re employed as contract or full time pilots. Crew also each need to provide recent employment histories.
3. Sponsors are contacted
Permit applications are reviewed by CAA and Israel’s Internal Aviation Security office. They’ll always contact the sponsor to ensure he/she knows the operator and purpose of mission. If they’re not able to contact the sponsor, or feel there are any issues with the sponsor, they’ll ask the operator to correct this or provide a different sponsor. When there are problems or delays with an Israel permit applications it’s usually due to sponsor verification issues.
4. Entering Israeli airspace
Once a landing permit is issued, CAA provides the captain with a login and password. This is used to log into ASOC’s secure system, create a unique password and answer three security questions. Your password needs to be created at least 24 hours prior to entering the flight information region (FIR). On approach to Israel airspace, your password will be requested and you may also be asked one or more of your security question answers.
5. Permit revisions and CAA hours
For changes to schedule, destination or origin, a permit revision must be sent to CAA and this is normally approved quickly. If you’re adding a new passenger or crewmember you’ll need to re-submit a three page permit application, signed and dated, and with passport details of the new addition. For this sort of revision it’s always best to allow one to two days lead time. Normal CAA permit processing hours are Sunday-Thursday. Note that limited CAA resources are available for permit processing after hours and during weekends.
6. Short notice permits
While official permit application lead time is four business days it may be possible to fast track permit requests in as little as 48 hours. This works best if the aircraft and all onboard have been to Israel before and the sponsor is known to local authorities. If you’re making a first GA trip to Israel it’s highly unlikely that your permit application will be processed/approved within 48 hours.
7. Additional Reading: Israel operations
Note: Links will be updated as articles are published.
- Part 1 – Airports and local area
- Part 2 – Flight and operating restrictions
- Part 3 – Permits and operating procedures
While required procedures for Israel may seem a little daunting for first time operators the process is manageable and becomes easier as frequency of operations increases. However, it is important that all requirements are met when applying for this permit as any information that requires verification will likely cause delays.
If you have any questions about this article or would like assistance planning your next trip to Israel, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.