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Planned further reduction in French Customs and Immigration airfields

Learned today from a friend of this planned further reduction in customs availability at smaller French airfields. According to the French Airfield Union the following list of 12 airfields will be removed from the list of available airfields published in the official journal of the EU:

Abbeville LFOI, Agen-La Garenne LFBA, Amiens Glisy LFAY, Annemasse LFLI, Besançon-la Vèze LFQM, La Môle – Saint- Tropez LFTZ, Lannion LFRO, Le Castelet LFMQ, Lognes-Emerainville LFPL, Montbéliard-Courcelles LFSM, Nevers-Fourchambault LFQG, Vichy-Charmeil LFLV

Probably the worst case is Lognes, as I don’t think there will any longer be any useful Customs airfield for Paris accessible to GA (other than the ruinously expensvie Le Bourget).

The French government has not yet made this official, nor when it will take effect, but from the tone of the reports, it appears to be a done deal.

TJ
Cambridge EGSC

I won’t be surprise if Lognes lost it.
But La Mole and le Castellet… Lot of Bizjet trafic from outside Shengen…

The head of GA airfield for “Aeroport de Paris” promise that Pontoise will get back Custom and Immigration in less than 2 years… Don’t belived it but will see…

Romain

LFPT Pontoise, LFPB

This just looks more and more like a political finger-up to non Schengen countries, which is basically the UK in this case.

Especially Lognes, which is close to the major Paris airports so getting police there on a PNR is trivial. It isn’t like say St Yan which is in the middle of nowhere.

It would be hilarious if France held a referendum and got the likely 55% OUT vote. You bet they would reinstate customs+immigration overnight

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

It’s such a shame that the pool of airports becomes ever smaller! With closures, reduced hours, long PPR or total withdrawal of customs / immigration.

I really would like the 12 hours for the Channel Islands and IOM rethought it is very restricting for impromptu trips and seems total over kill.

Alex
Shoreham (EGKA) White Waltham (EGLM)

Peter wrote:

This just looks more and more like a political finger-up to non Schengen countries, which is basically the UK in this case.

Not everything is about pissing off the English. Obviously it’s a bonus if it’s a side effect

Police forces in France are under an unbelievable amount of pressure. Sure, some of their missions might be considered (by us) as no more than arm waving to reassure the public; but there’s a lot more than that going on.

Abbeville was a bit of a joke, to be honest.

Last Edited by denopa at 22 Sep 09:05
EGTF, LFTF

Peter wrote:

This just looks more and more like a political finger-up to non Schengen countries, which is basically the UK in this case.

I don’t think that’s the case here. Political stuff usually has public backing, don’t see a lot of the public knowing anything about Pilot’s procedures from non Schengen countries.

However they really should make an agreement that aircraft below a certain MTOW can land anywhere in both UK and France without Immigration check and without GAR. They can then do random checks based on the flight plans if they really want to. How hard is it to reach this agreement?! When I was living in the UK I suggested this on UK’s “Reduce Red tape challenge”. All we got was a reduction in the GAR notice period.

But that would make us Pilot’s life too easy.

I can’t see how refugees would come flooding in on PA28s!

The best thing would be for all of Europe to adopt the UK GAR system. That would deal with all extra Schengen traffic. I don’t think they can go on flight plans because you can file one with a few mins before EOBT. Also they get lost so often that the destination won’t turn the traffic away anyway.

And frankly I think Schengen will die sooner or later, in today’s terrorist climate. Most of Europe’s security forces would like it suspended right now but politically they can’t do it overtly.

France works in strange ways when it comes to their policing. As posted here previously, I saw 15 policemen turn up at Le Touquet recently. 1 was checking passports (very deliberately and very very slowly). The other 14 (I counted them) were standing around doing nothing. But presumably somebody ordered them to go there, and that somebody must have had a reason, which could not have been valid other than a show of force (unless they were expecting some terrorist act… at Le Touquet??). But there is nobody at Le Touquet to do a show of force for. Just a load of visiting (mostly foreign) pilots, and a few airport employees who all know what a French policeman looks like. There is little or no French public; they are on the beach and they mostly come by car from Paris. So it seems totally random. IMHO they are running around like headless chickens, and possibly are concentrating their disorganised resources by withdrawing police from some airports to which they almost never go anyway but might be attending when something bad happens in Paris.

I also think there is a lot of anger over Brexit. It is undeniable. It is all over social media. Anger within the UK among those who voted IN, and anger on the continent (among a similar % – roughly 50%) that the UK has dared to do the unthinkable.

The UK police who go around airfields doing this job are not as headless as the above but still do seem to work on strange intelligence. I have been picked up for the most bizzare reasons.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Peter wrote:

I also think there is a lot of anger over Brexit. It is undeniable. It is all over social media.

It is undeniable and understandable… I don’t want to make this another Brexit thread.

However there are a lot of people who like me got a slap in the face by the Brexit vote. I have lived and worked in the UK for nearly 10 years of my adult life. I even had two children there. I have paid loads of taxes, have not used any of their schools/NHS or any public services before moving there. I’ve always considered UK to be an open, friendly and welcoming country. What do I get with the Brexit vote? “We don’t want you because you weren’t born here. You will now have to go through a point system to come here again”. In the future I will likely be in a situation were my children will be allowed to live/work there (they’re British) however I wont.

Peter wrote:

The best thing would be for all of Europe to adopt the UK GAR system.

I would say a better system than the GAR would be a system with no GAR at all. The GAR would be great only if Schengen fails. Hopefully it doesn’t and the situation improves.

geekyflyer wrote:

I would say a better system than the GAR would be a system with no GAR at all. The GAR would be great only if Schengen fails. Hopefully it doesn’t and the situation improves.

I would agree on that, if you travel regularly (be it commercial or private) the real value of Europe and Schengen shows. Clearly the EU will (and has to in order to protect the European project) negotiate very hard with the UK. You can already see that in the very clear position that if the UK wants access to the single market, it will need to comply with free movement of people and goods. So basically in or out will need to comply with exactly the same rules only now will you have no say in how those are drafted. I can honestly not see much changing any time soon, nor do I see how a real exit from the EU for the UK is still realistic.

LFHN - Bellegarde - Vouvray France

We don’t want you because you weren’t born here

Let me pick up that one small point only… after 5 years in the UK you can get the passport, as I did (born in CZ), so this (currently hypothetical) issue falls away.

I am not getting into the rest We also have a thread on the GAR and Brexit specifically

I would say a better system than the GAR would be a system with no GAR at all.

Well, yes, of course, but the political/security reality is that one isn’t going to get that. Let’s face it – if Schengen was starting today, no major country would vote for it. It would seem totally crazy.

In aviation, only GA is assisted by Schengen. In airline travel, your details are delivered electronically to all the security agencies before the plane lands (even if the flight was from Frankfurt to Cologne) and police at the destination airport are briefed on anyone on board who needs to be looked at via the one-way mirror or the cameras you walk past. In GA this doesn’t happen so predictably the powers want some advance personnel manifest so they can decide whether to intercept you after landing. The UK GAR does this effectively, to enable the “flying squad” to drive to the said airfield if the manifest says there is an Irish citizen (=IRA ) on board.

Of course the separate argument that 12hrs is not needed for the CTA etc is 100% valid; IMHO that is just something the police are holding onto as a bargaining chip against some future proposals. But say a 2hr or 4hr GAR for returning is reasonable in the context of typical GA travel. 12hrs is not reasonable, and it is hard how it can have an operational justification.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom
92 Posts
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