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Tankosh and request for info on Border crossings etc...

We are planning to fly to Tankosk then on to Grenchen in Switzerland..

So have a couple of queries..

UK to Trier in Germany direct. Therefore need customs..etc

Then later intend on flying from Tankosh to St Gallen in Switzerland. Again do we need customs for crossing from Germany into Switzerland. or just a flight plan..

From Grenchen we intend on going to Troyes . Again do we need customs for Switzerland to France.

And then Troyes back to UK... What about departure customs...

rgds trevor s

Southend, United Kingdom

A good free airport database is here

If an airport lists "Customs" it's fine for all international flight, but it might be PNR so you need to contact the airport to check.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Unfortunately in this context "customs" is not specific enough. There is passport control for flights between Schengen and non Schengen airports. And there is customs for flight between EU and non EU airports. Switzerland belongs to Schengen but not to the EU. UK is vica versa belongs to the EU but not to Schengen.

UK to Germany: You need passport control but no customs

Germany to Switzerland: You need only customs but no passport control

Switzerlans to France: Only customs no passport control

France to UK: Only passport control no customs

I agree but in the context of airport data databases/directories, the word is "Customs".

If it has "Customs", it should be good for any flight.

Nobody actually cares about "customs" versus "immigration".

There might be airports which have one and not the other (setting aside the UK "GAR form" case) but there is no database I know of which holds this.

Within Schengen, you don't need a "Customs" airport at all - except the "Swiss complication".

And, ahem, the "Greek complication" where you need a "Customs" airport for any entry or exit

Grenchen and St Gallen both have Customs (I've done both direct to/from UK) so there is no problem whichever way you do the Swiss end.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Germany to Switzerland: You need only customs but no passport control

Generally true, but there is an exception there, as well: as we discussed on the PuF forum a few months ago, when leaving the EU (for example on a flight to Switzerland or Norway) departing from Germany, under certain circumstances you don't even need customs at all and thus you can take off from any aerodrome you like. So much for complications and simplifications of the rules...

However, regarding Trevor's flight, he needn't worry anyway, because Tannheim will have both customs and passport controls personnell on field for the entire duration of the show (unfortunately, this doesn't show up in the NOTAMs).

Frankfurt (EDFZ, EDFE), Germany

Presumably if going from Germany to Switzerland, Germany is happy no matter where you depart from (=Schengen) but Switzerland wants a "Customs" airport (because Schengen is free movement of people but not goods, and an aircraft is "goods").

Is that correct?

Same with Greece, which is in Schengen but disregards it for a "vehicle" so the only way to make use of Schengen is to walk or swim.

I have not heard of a PUF forum and indeed would be careful using that term near where I live (Brighton)

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

PuF (Pilot und Flugzeug) is a high-end German pilot magazine and its web forum is 40% personal attacks, 40% off-topic blabla and 10% useful information. That still makes it the best German speaking resource together with And the acronym PuF doesn't sound much better in German although it has a more heterosexual connotation :)

Regarding the original post: why don't you skip Switzerland? Would make your trip a whole lot easier. It's true that you can depart Germany for Switzerland without customs provided it is a private flight and you have no goods to declare. However, that is not true for arriving from Switzerland, this needs a customs airport. Luckily Germany still has loads of them.

If you want to stick to the plan of visiting Switzerland, the basic rule is that you need a Customs airport for entry/exit into CH. Reason being as someone said that CH has only partially joined Schengen for free passage of people a couple of years ago - goods are still subject to Customs.

In practice you don't need anything in particular but a flightplan and a customs airport. When landing at such airport they (AFIS, c-office, etc) will ask you to fill in a customs form where you basically certify you have no goods to declare, plus the usual name of PIC, arriving/departing from, type of a/c, PAX. Same when leaving. Most likely (> 90 % prob) you will never see a customs officer.

Both Grenchen and St Gallen are Customs airports and can therefore be used as entry and exit. Obviously there are other apts that are 'customs' as well but there are a few particular cases where they are only for entry or exit and/or need a few hours PN. Check docs (jepp/aip etc) for details or actually on the airports webpage - this is normally mentioned under the typical 'pilot info' section.

Sometimes this is a PITA if you want to fly straight to small grassfield (although they may still have either entry or exit customs...) but with the apts you mention this should be no prob at all.

Have a nice flight!


...40% personal attacks, 40% off-topic blabla and 10% useful information.

Frankfurt (EDFZ, EDFE), Germany

Correct in essence but a few notes on how it really is.

Switzerland is a full member of Schengen, but is NOT a member of the EU.

Schengen is the reason that while arriving from / departing to a Schengen country no immigration control is needed.

The fact that Switzerland is not an EU member means however that customs is needed for any cross border flight regardless wether the destination is within or outside the Schengen area. For Non Schengen destinations (UK, Croatia e.t.c.), a full airport of entry is needed, which offers non Schengen immigration.

To/from Schengen states is possible to most airports and airfields in Switzerland, some of them however have prior notice requirements.

In your case, it is a total non event, as all your planned airports are full immigration/customs airports (LSZR/LSZG) which do neither need prior notice nor are they Schengen only. All you need is to file a flight plan for the cross border flights. With Tanheim having full customs as well for the duration of the show (makes sense) you got it all perfectly aligned :)

Have a nice flight!

LSZH, Switzerland
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