Certificate of Agreement for UK landing sites
Do you want international arrivals/departures from your landing site?
As of January 2024, helicopter landing sites require a CoA with Border Force to allow international movements.
A Border Force Certificate of Agreement is a formal document issued by the UK Border Force that permits the designated site to be used for international flights. This certificate is crucial for any helipad that intends to serve as a point of entry or exit from the United Kingdom for passengers or goods.
The certification process involves an assessment of the helipad and its facilities to ensure they meet the specific security and immigration control standards as required by the UK Border Force. This encompasses a range of measures, including the ability to secure the site, handle passengers’ documentation checks, and carry out customs procedures if necessary.
To obtain a Certificate of Agreement, the operator of the helipad must apply to the Border Force and demonstrate that their operations are in full compliance with border security regulations.
How does an approval look?
Further to your application dated 13th May XXXX and as permitted by Section 21 of the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979, the Secretary of State and the Director of Border Revenue for the Border Force hereby permits XXXX Helipad to handle aircraft arriving from or departing for a place outside of the customs and fiscal territory of the United Kingdom subject to the requirements detailed in the enclosed Customs Certificate of Agreement. The agreement is valid for a 5 year period subject to the Secretary of State and the Director of Border Revenue right to revisit the terms and conditions attached to such permission as set out in the Certificate of Agreement at any time.
How helipads fit into HMRC’s designation of aerodromes
UK aerodromes are thought of by HMRC as falling into four main categories:
- National Designated Aerodromes: Aerodromes that serve as important hubs for domestic and international air travel, providing a wide range of facilities and services for passengers, cargo, and general aviation.
- Regional Designated Aerodromes: Aerodromes that provide essential connectivity and services for a specific region within the UK, often serving smaller cities and towns.
- Local Designated Aerodromes: Aerodromes that provide local connectivity and services, primarily catering to general aviation, flight training, and leisure activities.
- Non-designated C&E aerodromes (and helipads): Aerodromes (and helipads) that handle a limited range of flights subject to a Certificate of Agreement (CoA) with UK Customs Authorities.
Designated Aerodromes can handle flights to and from any location, while Non-Designated Customs and Excise Aerodromes handle a limited range of flights subject to a Certificate of Agreement (CoA) with UK Customs Authorities.
See also our article on Consultation – Advanced Information for International Flights.