French customs airfields (border crossing points by air)

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I'm grateful to Carl at Online GAR for trying to keep track of this - I know it is changing all the time.  At the time of writing, there were 72 air border crossing points as provided by the EU in May 2018.  Have a check of and see if that number has moved.  The map above is a reduced set with the airports further South (and unreachable in 3 hours) filtered out.


Popping over to France


British-based Helipaddy users love a weekend trip to France and, for the moment, it is still pretty easy,  No GAR is needed and you can depart from any private site in the UK.  Unfortunately, you are required to comply with the Schengen rules regarding the migration of people.  Many airfields require a "General Declaration" for filled and sent 2 hours or more in advance.  There is a free service to simplify this at or you can use


A typical departure point might be a small airfield in the South where you can refuel, such as Denham, North Weald or perhaps Lydd if you are looking to push on to a more southerly French border.  From Lydd, Paris Issy is in reach or even Troyes. 


Once refuelled, we strongly recommend you pull out Helipaddy and find a nice place to eat within the 1-2hrs flying range.  Fuel is never that far away in France but Air Total cards are pretty useful at weekends or after closing - we never leave for a France trip without the following


Air Total card - now even British people can apply for one of these!  Pretty essential if you want easy access to fuel in France.  Email or 
phone : + (33) 1 41 35 74 09.  Mention Helipaddy please!


Air BP card - not many stations but if you consume Jet-A1 then the card is handy and often means that you can pay the truck man, no need to schlep to the Tower.  Mention Helipaddy please!


Helipaddy Premium (£29.99 per annum) - there is no other app that displays such a comprehensive set of hotels and heli-friendly airfields.  PPR is a simple click and you can plot the location in SkyDemon with 3 clicks.


AeroPlus Weather (free) - slide the bar to see whether the trend is improving.  Of all the gazillion weather apps, this is the one we keep coming back to.


Here is a trip we recently did from Denham to Avignon in an R44, leaving at 2pm with headwinds a lot of the way.

Denham > Le Touquet (1.1h) - border control and refuel by truck (1 hour)

Le Touquet > Troyes (1.8h) - 24 hour credit card refuelling (25 minutes)

Troyes > Chateau de Vault de Lugny (0.6h) - dinner and bed

Chateau de Vault de Lugny > Valence (1.7h) - refuel (40 minutes)

Valence > Avignon (0.8h) - job done in 5.2h + 2.1h refuelling time.


A good rule of thumb to calculate the journey time is to add an hour for each 3 hours (or part thereof, assuming you have a 3 hour tank) of flying time.  So for a 5 hour trip, add 2 hours. 












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