Some advice please. I need to fly from The Isle of Man to Plock (near Lodz) in Poland (EPPT). I need to clear Customs at an Airport of Entry in either Holland or Germany. Initially, I planned to land at Lelystad in Holland which I've done many times before until they quoted me €3 per litre for Avgas.
Can anyone suggest an Airport of Entry in either Holland or Northern Germany where the fuel (100LL) is cheaper, landing fees sensible and a decent lunch.
And finally, am I right in thinking once you clear customs into the Schengen area you are free to fly anywhere you want within that area without any customs/ airport of entry involvement?
Paderborn EDLP is quite cheap in landing fees (depends on your noise certificate, but fees should be around 12 to 25 Euros). The Restaurant at the Quax-Hangar is good and you got a lot for the aviators eye. Unfortunately, we don't refuel there, so I have no Idea about the AVGAS prices. But it's 125 NM from Lelystad, so I don't know if it's an option.
EDDG has expensive fuel (3+ Euros), though landing fees still are sensible.
ETNP has about 2,60 Euro per liter AVGAS, maybe less. Outside of mil. opening hours, IMC approaches are PPR here, as are customs.
If you are okay with non-IFR airfields, EDXE has cheapest fuel in the area (AVGAS for 2,40 Euro per litre) and no landing fee, if you buy more than 100 liters, but it's 600 meters (well, 950 if you count the overruns) grass. Not a problem with a 182 at MTOW, though (the skydivers operate a C182). About customs, I don't know right now, but I can ask, if you like. Restaurant is at the airport, but if closed we can order pizza or something (PPR, though).
EDWN has a concrete runway (grass is for taildraggers only), landing fees are 16,50 or 19 Euros for 1400 kg MTOM, depending - as usual - on the noise certificate. AVGAS is 2,60ish. Take care of ED-R 37A. Not a big issue, but in active hours, it's better to call in advance to know the procedure.
EDWC has a concrete runway, too. AVGAS is €2,49 but I don't know the landing fees.
EDWO has AVGAS around 2,60 Euros, too, and I have no Idea about the landing fees here either (most of my visits are for flight training and the student pays anyway, so...). You have to pay a bit more attention to the traffic circuit in EDWO, as they have some noise issues.
EDWN, EDWO and EDWC have customs PPR and a restaurant at the airport. They also allow Night VFR, although, PPR, too. (But as I understood flying in UK, you are used to PPR anyway, aren't you?)
If you need further assistance in the area, just let me know.
Thanks for your comprehensive reply. My plane has no noise certificate, is that a problem in Germany?
It's not a quiet plane either unfortunately.
I'm based in Holland and suggest you to pick a small regional airport just across the border in Germany. Weeze Niederrhein EDLV springs to mind. There are many IFR fields there, and they have a positive attitude towards GA flying. Prices for landing and fuel are reasonable.
If you want to land in Holland, have a look at Texel EHTX. It has customs (PPR) and AVGAS and a nice restaurant. VFR only, but you can use the ILS at EHKD for a cloud break, and proceed the last few miles north VFR. Give them a call, friendly people over there! If you need a proper IFR field: have a look at Groningen EHGG. It has a ILS. No handling at EHGG. But the landing fee + ATC costs will be around 50EUR.
am I right in thinking once you clear customs into the Schengen area you are free to fly anywhere you want within that area without any customs/ airport of entry involvement?
Yes, except Switzerland and Greece. You have to use "Customs" airports in those.
My plane has no noise certificate, is that a problem in Germany?
I always forget to take mine out of the luggage compartment Usually nothing happens but sometimes I have to pay more money; maybe €30 (hard to tell). I definitely paid an extra 30 quid at Grenchen (Switzerland) some years ago because of this. Otherwise, not a problem for the TB20. The airport offices look up the type in a book of some sort and work out the price from that. It is possible that if your plane is not in that book, you will have problems.
On an N-reg, there is a way to print out your own noise certificate. It is in accordance with ICAO and every member state has to accept it. I can probably dig out the procedure if you need it.
I definitely paid an extra 30 quid at Grenchen (Switzerland) some years ago because of this.
That should have been possible in Switzerland too, the VFR manual has a list of aircraft types and the corresponding noise class. Except if you have something noise-relevant changed, eg. silencer or different prop.
The Grenchen bill needs to be checked carefully, if they don't know or understand something, they don't ask but assume the most expensive option...
Just to avoid any confusion there are two issues: customs and passport control.
In the Schengen area you do not require passport control
In the European tax union you do not need customs
Most countries are in both organisations but there are exemptions. For example Britain is in the tax union but not in the Schengen area. Therefore you require only passport control.
Switzerland is the other way round. They are in the Schengen area but not in the tax union. So you require only customs.
For big airport that does not matter. But some small airports only offer passport control or customs. In Germany usually passport control is easier to get than customs. Passport control is sometimes delegated to the airport employees while customs can only be handled by customs officials.
And yes once you are in Germany you can fly to Poland by just filing a VFR or IFR flight plan.
If you leave Germany to a Schengen but non EU country (i.e. Switzerland or Norway), then you do not have to use a customs airport unless you transport goods that require declaration. Most German pilots do not know this but it is officially written down.
Of course that doesn't help with the UK which is other way around and where only the UK side of things is rather straightforward (GAR).
Firstly, I'd like to thank all contributors for your most useful information. Taking my particular case then it seems to me that I need to do the following:
1) write my own Noise Certificate using FAA suggested appendix 3 form because my plane was built prior to 1980 when no noise certification was required.
2) I must fly from the UK to an Airport of Entry in either holland/ Germany or Poland. I have the range to get to Poland if I want to sit that long.
3) if I decide to land in either Holland or Germany (at an Airport of Entry) then I'm legal and can fly on to EPPT (small VFR field) in Poland?
4) if I fly on to Poland direct from the UK the I must land at an Airport of Entry (Poznan) then fly to EPPT
Have I got that correct?