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Border Force bolster security measures in general aviation space

New fines of up to £10,000 for international general aviation flights that do not submit advance passenger information online up to two hours before departure.

Pilots, owners and operators of private aircraft will now be liable for fines of up to £10,000 if they do not provide Border Force with advance passenger information online before they depart to or from the UK, under new regulations to strengthen border security. 

The new regulations – which were laid in Parliament at the end of November 2023 and came into force on 6 April - will mean that Border Force and the police can better identify potential security threats, prevent and detect crime, and monitor immigration status. Previously, advance passenger information could be submitted by email, fax or other manual methods.

They will also ensure that Border Force can prevent people they have security concerns about from travelling to the UK, and that they can deploy resources more effectively. Where notified of a general aviation flight, Border Force clears 100% of flights either in person or remotely, in line with standard protocols.

The changes form part of ongoing work to bolster border security in the general aviation space, such as reducing the number of airfields that general aviation – such as private jets – can use for international flights.

Since 1 January 2024, the number of airfields approved to handle international general aviation flights has been reduced by 84%. There is a penalty regime in place for non-compliance with this requirement.

Minister for Legal Migration and the Border, Tom Pursglove MP said:

Keeping our borders safe and secure is one of my top priorities.

These new regulations that are effective from 6 April will strengthen our border security further by making it easier for Border Force and the police to perform robust security checks on people who fly to and from the UK on a private or unscheduled general aviation flight.

This forms part of wider work to boost security in the general aviation space and keep our borders secure to counter terrorism, prevent and detect crime, and for immigration purposes.

To protect border security, all scheduled airlines and general aviation flights coming into the UK must provide details about the flight and those on board in advance of take-off. This is known as advance passenger information.

Advance passenger information plays a vital role in border security as it helps Border Force and the police to analyse and assess any potential security risks from incoming flights.

From 6 April, pilots, owners and operators of general aviation flights will need to provide advance passenger information online from forty-eight hours to no later than two hours before their departure, otherwise they will be liable for a civil penalty of up to £10,000.

Moving to online only submissions will improve automated security checks and enable Border Force and the police to make more intelligence-led decisions.

Ahead of the regulations coming into force, Border Force has developed a free-to-use online digital service, submit a general aviation report on gov.uk for the general aviation sector to provide advance passenger information. First launched in March 2019, it now has more than 10,000 users.


Channel website: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/home-office

Original article link: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/border-force-bolster-security-measures-in-general-aviation-space

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