Great Britain is a fairly small island and that’s what you soon discover as a pilot, especially if you live in the South-West. When you realise this you will want to break out across the channel. From the South-West coast you can be in France in 40 minutes. The Channel Islands are 50-70nm SW of the Isle of Wight. 50nm off the West coast lies Ireland and the Isle of Man.
Flying an aircraft abroad is not a problem the aircraft doesn’t care, or know where it is whether it be over water or in a foreign country. Most of the obstacles are purely administrative, and once you’ve cracked the paperwork thats it. This page assumes you fly an EASA certified aircraft with an EASA pilot’s licence.
You can fly to or from any aerodrome in the UK to or from an EU country. Typically that country will also have its own customs & immigration procedures so you would land or depart from an airport that has a customs & immigration presence. For example if you are planning on flying to a private strip in Northern France, flying to Deauville, Le-Touquet or Calais are popular first destinations before continuing to your destination. Similarly if you are planning on flying from this private airstrip in France back to the UK, you must stop at such airports.
If you wish to fly to or from a non-EU country, you must use a UK Designated aerodrome that has a customs & immigration presence, or a UK aerodrome that has a Certificate of Agreement where your destination or origin aerodrome is in the list of aerodromes permitted. This is typically used for flights to countries like the Channel Islands and Switzerland. Simply phone the aerodrome operator to obtain that list.
If you would like to find out more about flying in Europe or information on hiring one of our aircraft please feel free get in contact with us and we will do our best to help.