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Landing after closing time...

What happens if you land on a uncontrolled airport after closing time in The Netherlands (or Germany)?
Most uncontrolled airports close at 19:00. I have had several times that I had to rush in order to get back before airport closing time.

If you can’t make it, you need to divert to a large airport (like Schiphol/Rotterdam or Groningen), resulting in a large bill for landing/handling and hotel/transport costs.

or Germany?

Depends on how it is handled. If you depart again in the morning before they open and nobody finds out, nothing will happen If they find out, they will either have a quiet chat with you or report you to the authority right away, probably depending on how noise sensitive their environment is. If they let you land outside their operating hours (or look away and pretend they did not notice) the neighbors will go after them and they can’t let this happen. If you get reported, then it will be treated as a felony (“Straftat”). Not funny and much more expensive than landing at Frankfurt instead…

Last Edited by what_next at 24 Jun 09:47
EDDS - Stuttgart

Do they then put you against a wall and shoot you in the normal tradition?
I return to my home base in the uk after operating hours virtually every time without any drama or official action. I have of course pre notified by gar my arrival time but often am not arriving at this time. Why does Germany have to have such different processes? Integrated European policies – you must be joking!

EGBW, United Kingdom

I think the converse question would be “why does the UK bother with rules if no one follows them”.

I return to my home base in the uk after operating hours virtually every time without any drama or official action. I havent yet done that from abroad though so I dont know if this makes a difference.

Me too, I fly from an uncontrolled airport. I got me thinking though as the operating hours are listed as “0830 – 1900 or SS”. It doesnt say “1900 or SS (whichever is earlier)” and that would imply I couldnt land after 1900. So long as I dont start doing circuits, or someone doesnt do Aero’s at 2200, neither the airfield management or local residents seem to have an issue.

What rules are there in Germany that there arent in the UK that would require someone to be reported to an authority? For clarity, I am still on the theme of uncontrolled airports. I can understand why at controlled airports that it would be an issue.

The question you pose is quite wrong. In the uk the problem is often that we follow the rules imposed by other countries far too much. We need a more practical risk based approach to rules. If I have filed a gar and a flight plan the relevant authorities know who I am and have already prescreened me so what is the problem with arriving out of hours provided that I adhere to the relevant noise sensitive procedures at my local airport? They can always turn up to check if they wish. Although they may have to wait if I am late! I did have an interesting issue once when flying out of the Scillies isles on a Sunday afternoon. There is a one hour window for departures and a police car turned up and parked near the airplane to monitor my departure time. As soon as I had taxied to the runway it left !

EGBW, United Kingdom

Actually I believe the question is quite right. Why bother with a rule at all if no one plans to abide by it? People need to have a meeting, discuss on a rule, rule needs to be approved, publicised et caetera ad nauseam. Waste of money.

Suppose for instance the opening hours are integral part of the “noise sensitive procedures” – which in fact is the case in most instances… and especially so in Germany.

Last Edited by Shorrick_Mk2 at 24 Jun 10:30

All such arguments are mainly about local rules, i.e. particular to the given aerodrome. National ruling has little to do with it, let alone Europe.
Here in Belgium, the operating hours are often part of the field’s “exploitation permit” (“uitbatingsvergunning”) so that if there are complaints, the a/d risks loosing the permit and having to close.

EBZH Kiewit, Belgium

National ruling has little to do with it, let alone Europe

In Germany, it does. One basic rule is that an aerodrome has to be attended by a competent person on the ground (radio operator or whatever you want to call him) in order to be useable (the German legal term is “Flugleiterpflicht”). No radio operator, no takeoff and landing. Landing outside official aerodromes is not permitted with powered aeroplanes at all.
The opening hours are a function of the working time of these guys – they have to observe duty and rest time limitations – and the noise sensitive environment. At many airfields the opening hours can be extended, but often for an expensive fee because they have to send their “second shift” to the tower.

EDDS - Stuttgart

I think the converse question would be “why does the UK bother with rules if no one follows them”.

There are no laws in the UK about when you can land. When you can use the airport is a matter between you and the airport operator.

If they are happy for you to land outside their official opening hours, then that’s fine.

Many small airports don’t have any opening hours…they are just a field!

It’s not like Germany where someone has to be present on the ground, “manning” the airport, while you land.

EIWT Weston
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