New Procedure for UK Flights

By David Mumford


Key Points

Effective April 6, there are some big changes to the UK’s General Aviation Report (GAR) submission for international GA flights. The main changes:

  • The GAR form is now required for departures (not just arrivals).
  • If you get it wrong, you can now get fined up to £10,000 (there were no fines before).
  • You have to submit it via an online portal, or through a third-party app (no longer directly to UK Border Force via email).
  • OPSGROUP member report: Once you file it, don’t change it if you depart early/late – it’s apparently UK Customs’s responsibility to keep up to date with the ETA.

These new rules apply to all international GA flights arriving/departing the UK (including within the Common Travel Area: Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands).

How to submit the GAR

You need to submit info online about the flight and crew/pax, no earlier than 48 hours and no later than 2 hours prior to the expected time of arrival/departure. There are 3 ways to do this:

1. The government’s free-to-use online portal.
Alternatively, you can download this GAR template (Excel doc), complete it electronically and upload it to the portal.

2. Approved third-party applications
– Rocket Route
– OnlineGAR

3. Direct connections
– FB01
– Streamlane
– Mobile-Edge

More info on the UK government site here.

After you submit the GAR, you should get a response telling you whether that crew/pax is allowed to travel. It will be one of the following (thanks to our friends at FlyingInIreland for this table):

Response Message Action
Valid permission to travel The Home Office can find a valid permission to travel for the person. Pilots, operators and agents are not required to check visas, but Passport or Travel Document checks still apply. They must check that the passport or travel document presented is genuine and valid, and that the person is the rightful holder.

For more information on checking passports and travel documents click here Guidance on examining identity documents (

Authority to carry granted Pilots, operators and agents are required to check visas for Visa Nationals. Passport or Travel Document checks apply for all passengers. They must check that the passport or travel document presented is genuine and valid and that the person is the rightful holder.

For more information on checking passports and travel documents click here Guidance on examining identity documents ( Follow this link to check visa requirements Check if you need a UK visa – GOV.UK (

Authority to carry refused. DO NOT BOARD. This response message will not be displayed on the screen. Pilots, operators and agents will be instructed not to board an individual (NO BOARD) via a call and email when Authority to Carry (ATC) has been refused.

Given the new fines now in place for getting it wrong, you may find that your local handling agent is no longer able/willing to submit the GAR for you.

So if you’re not already using a third-party application to submit the GAR for you, it looks like the best option is to sign up for an online account and file it yourself direct!

OPSGROUP member report

We had a flight to UK that departed 45 mins early, so we thought it wise to update the GAR to correct ETA. This resulted in a UK Customs warning for ‘submitting’ a GAR once flight airborne (8hr leg). We’ve been told that we should not have updated the ETA and it is UK Customs’ responsibility to keep up to date with the ETA.


More on the topic:

More reading:


  • John says:

    Hey, we have not received any penalties yet, hopefully we do comply. So far we’ve been using manual UK GAR submission but we’re looking to switch to some PNR/API company to upload these for us. Does anyone have an experience with company they can recommend? Has someone already been fined and for what reason specifically? Thanks!

    • David Mumford says:

      Hi John. The UK lists Rocket Route and OnlineGAR as “approved third-party applications” but I guess there are others?

      • John says:

        Yes, we are currently sorting PNRGO or Streamlane, the listed options are not really convenient for our solution.

  • peter edwards says:

    I submitted an arrival GAR but found the online portal refused to allow a departure report from the same airport EGSS.
    It was less than 24 hours so is there guidance on transits or short layovers?

    • David Mumford says:

      Hi Peter. No, there doesn’t seem to be any official guidance on this – not anywhere I can see. Worrying that the portal didn’t let you file one for departure! What did you do in the end??

  • Ernst says:

    Hi David,

    thanks for your article! A couple of hours before it was posted we were violated for arriving in the UK with a passenger that was using a different passport than the one used on the GAR. We had sent the new passport information to our company but the GAR wasn’t updated. Even if it had been updated, it can be done latest 2 hours before arrival, which meant we should have delayed our flight if we had been aware.

    I had seen the Daily Brief with the heads up about the new GAR requirements, read it, and concluded that as an AOC holder, these rules didn’t apply to us:
    “ Captains, owners or agents of GA aircraft making international journeys (including within the Common Travel Area (CTA)) 1 are required to report or provide notification of their expected journey to the Border Force, the police and His Majesty’s Revenue and Customs.”

    General Aviation is a much abused term but there is a clear ICAO definition:
    “ General aviation (GA) activities. All civil aviation operations other than scheduled air services and non-scheduled air transport operations for remuneration or hire (Annex 6, Part II). For ICAO statistical purposes the general aviation activities are classified into noncommercial business flights, aerial work, instructional and pleasure flying, and other flying.”

    Before this happened I had never questioned my companies habit of providing GAR’s for our commercial (business jet) flights to the UK. From what I hear from our handler, and the Border Force officer, it seems like all commercial operators are doing it. My question now is: “Why?”. I have not been able to find any definition of “General Aviation” in the GAR regulations, let alone one that includes non-scheduled commercial operations. Is everyone doing it because everyone is doing it?

    I can imagine I am not the only one who thinks these GAR requirement are not applicable to their non-scheduled commercial flights. As the fines are steep, maybe your article can be updated with a paragraph on who exactly these regulations apply to.

    Keep up the good work, it is very much appreciated!!

    • David Mumford says:

      Hi Ernst, thanks for the report! Good point on the whole non-sked commercial vs private flight thing. “General Aviation” is indeed extremely vague! I’ll try to check with some local agents to see what they say about non-sked commercial flights…

    • Andrew Wood says:

      Hello Ernst,

      The regulation states that it applies to an aircraft which is expected to arrive in or depart from the United Kingdom. Other than in the title, it makes no mention of commercial, non-commercial, scheduled, non-scheduled, GA or any other such term.

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