Which GA Airport to Pick for Frankfurt: Part 2 – Operating Considerations
This business aviation blog post continues from our article last week, titled "Which GA Airport to Pick for Frankfurt: Part 1 – Landing Options."
There are airport slot, Prior Permission Required (PPR), and documentation requirements to be mindful of when operating your business aircraft to Frankfurt. Plan ahead, be aware of permit requirements, and know the Customs, Immigration, and Quarantine (CIQ) process.
The following is an overview of what you need to know:
1. Slot planning for EDDF
Airport slots for Frankfurt Main (EDDF) should be requested as soon as schedule is known. The airport slot coordinator will assist with alternatives in the case of slot availability issues. Note that airport slots must be requested in general aviation clearance request (GCR) format. EDDF airport slot coordinators operate Monday-Friday, 0800-1700 local, but slot requests may also be processed after hours via the Aeronautical Information Services unit. If you need to revise confirmed airport slots, it’s best to do this at least 24 hours prior to arrival.
2. Landing permits may be needed for Germany
Germany requires landing permits for charter (non-scheduled commercial) and experimental flights. Official charter permit lead time is five business days. Landing permits are processed by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), and specific documentation – including aircraft registration and airworthiness certificates, noise certificate, correctly formatted aircraft insurance, and pre-filled out safety declaration – must be provided for permit consideration. Be aware that if documentation is not correct, revisions will be necessary, and this may lead to delays in the permit process. For more information on these charter permits, please read our article "Demystifying the Charter Flight Permit Process in Germany."
3. Be aware of documentation requirements
Ensure you have correctly formatted European Union (EU) insurance policies onboard. Particularly for charter operations, the insurance policy must be in a format to meet specific German CAA requirements, and coverage must be denominated in Special Drawing Rights. Always ensure you have charter permit confirmation for any charter operation to Germany. When operating to Frankfurt Hahn (EDFH) with a Stage 2 aircraft, submit a noise certificate in advance, and confirm that there will be no issues with planned times of operation. If you land at EDFH with a Stage 2 aircraft during restricted hours, fines may be issued.
4. Know CIQ process
Arrival/departure cards are not required at either EDDF or EDFH. A complete gen dec, however, should be sent to your ground handler in advance to help expedite CIQ clearance. Customs/immigration clearance is accomplished within the General Aviation Terminals (GATs) at both airports. When you arrive from outside the EU, your ground handler will transport passengers and luggage to the GAT for CIQ clearance. Afterwards, the crew will go through the same process. CIQ is not required for intra-Schengen flights. Note that small fees are applicable for CIQ clearance. There’s also a per-passenger security fee and passenger tax – depending on next destination. Ground handlers will extend credit for these charges and invoice the operator later.
While there are no special agriculture regulations in Germany regarding onboard catering, it’s always best to check with your ground handler in advance to ensure there will be no issues in offloading inbound catering. Note that in-flight catering is available at both airports.
5. Be aware of local transport options
Car rental facilities are available at both airports. In most cases, however, you’ll need to pick up the vehicle at a location away from the GAT. At EDDF, for example, car rental facilities are at Terminal 1 – a 15-minute ride from the GAT. In some cases transportation vendors may be permitted to pick up/drop off planeside, but this needs to be pre-authorized by airport authorities. Local taxi services are generally secure, but many operators prefer the additional security of pre-paid transport (car with driver).
Revising your schedule while in Germany, or en route to Frankfurt, has the potential to cause operational delays. If your schedule must be revised, it’s best to coordinate permit, airport slot, or PPR changes with your 3rd-party provider and/or ground handler.
If you have any questions about this article or would like to arrange a trip to Frankfurt, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.