Norway VFR Helicopter Guide
“Its amazing flying over here and so far everyone has been very friendly.”Serge, Pilot
Norway is a very popular destination for Helipaddy pilots and we have some epic hotels which are very welcoming of helicopters. In fact, as of 2023, we have 100 fully moderated landing sites.
General aviation is an essential form of transport in Norway, around half the country’s 4.5 million population live north of the Arctic circle where road travel is difficult or impossible particularly in the Winter. So attitudes to off-airfield landing are practical.
The latest aviation charts are online at https://www.ippc.no/ippc/index.jsp.
VFR charts are also at https://avinor.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer.
There are many wildlife protected areas – don’t flying in them or you will look foolish! Search online for verneområder.
Wires and obstacles are shown at https://norgeskart.no.
Airfield information is online at https://avinor.no/en/ais/aipnorway/.
At airfields, landing fees are universally low. If aircraft are below 2000kg the price is around £14.00 and 70% discounts are available in Oppland, Sogn og Fjordane, Møre og Romsdal, Sør-Trøndelag, Nord- Trøndelag. It is also possible to buy a weekly season card similar to that available in Sweden (see below). They can be purchased from the Avinor AS website here with or without parking, without parking the price is around 180 euros. Helipaddy would recommend downloading the VFR guide to flying in Norway and also the Norwegian AIP which is Here with useful links to WX.
JetA1 is everwhere whilst Avgas requires a bit research. Helipaddy’s Avgas and JetA1 filters are pretty much up-to-date. However, for payment many airfields do not accept credit cards. You MUST have a Shell card and preferably also an AirBP card where flying in Norway.
Please note that most airfields and airports, other than those operated by Avinor, require prior permission for landing or departure. Please check the AIP or providers such as Helipaddy, Jeppesen airfield manual, Skydemon or the airfields’ official website.
Several airfields and airport are using a PPR tool called MyPPR. This service may give you an instant permission to land and depart. When we flew round, however, there was no need to PPR. Just call them 10 minutes out.
Wires often run across valleys and fjords between poles situated on the ridgelines.
STAY HIGH – WIRES KILL
Some wires are crossing valleys and fjords with a height of up to 1600 feet above the terrain or water. Some of the wires are NOT, or only PARTLY marked. Low level flying therefore pose a significant threat to you, your passengers and your aircraft. Wires are often almost impossible to see in time, so in your search for wires you should look for the poles. The firebreak along the path of high voltage wires is also a good indication of the presence of wires. If you encounter wires, you should try to cross at a height equal to or above the height of the poles, or even better above the poles themselves.
High voltage spans, which can be easier to see, often have much thinner earth wires running from the top of the poles, which are not that easy to spot.
At the website norgeskart.no you will find a national register of aviation obstacles (In Norwegian only).
Bergen Flesland (ENBR)
A complete ICAO FPL is mandatory for all flights (IFR and VFR) to/from the aerodrome. ATC is authorized to make exemptions from this requirement.
Allocation of departure and arrival times is compulsory for all flights at Oslo airport, Gardermoen. The following regulations are in force for both IFR and VFR flights within ENGM CTR:
- use of SSR transponder is mandatory
- complete ICAO FPL shall be submitted prior to flight
Flights to Svalbard/Spitsbergen
If you are planning to fly to Svalbard/ Spitsbergen, an application must be submitted at least two working days prior to the planned arrival at the islands. Read more in AIC-I 07/22 05 MAY.
Please observe that flights for sight-seeing purposes are prohibited on Svalbard, and private flights may require special permission from the Governor of Svalbard (Sysselmesteren).
Weather conditions at Svalbard can be very unstable and local variations prominent. Reliable weather reports/info may sometimes be hard to obtain, which calls for considerable attention while assessing flight conditions in these areas. Larger fjords are often ice-free, even during winter, due to strong currents. This often results in frost mist and/or low dense fog. During winter, winds of more than 20 knots will always result in drifting snow, due to the fine-grained and dry snow. The danger of whiteout is always present. You must be familiar with Polar Region navigation when flying in Svalbard and its surroundings.
According to the national regulation on additional requirements for air transport operations in Svalbard and other polar regions additional training preparation, survival equipment and marking of the aircraft is required.
Customs and Immigration
Norway is not a part of European Union but included in the Schengen agreement(opens in a new tab). All aircraft entering Norway must file a flight plan at least 60 minutes before departure.
Privately operated helicopters with maximum take-off mass not exceeding 5700 kg and a maximum of ten passengers may use any airfield to enter (if coming from Schengen) and a complete ICAO flight plan shall be sent to customs at the latest four hours prior to entering or leaving Norwegian territory. This requirement can be met by forwarding a copy of your ICAO flight plan by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org but don’t expect a reply. We prefer to use gendec.eu, a great free service that also does GAR forms for UK pilots.
From the UK, you must land at an international airport:
If stated arrival or departure times must be changed, this can be done by phone: (+47) 22 86 02 00 or e-mail. Or if you used gendec.eu, just amend your flight plan and the GenDec is updated automatically.
As in all the Scandinavian countries landing off-airfield is okay providing you have the landowners permission. However, helicopters not allowed to land in wilderness areas without special permission. You can generally camp anywhere on uncultivated land, but not closer than 150 metres to a house. If you spend more than 48 hours in the same place you must get the landowners permission. There are a number of hazards flying in these areas particularly wires. There are 73,000 wires in Norway 15 metres or higher and only 1-2% of these are marked!
Much of the land area in Norway is very remote and pilots should take this into consideration. If you want to fly to Svalbard you have to get written permission from CAA in Oslo ahead of time (email@example.com) at least 48 hours in advance and passenger lists must be submitted to the Governor of Svalbard.
Rules for Commercial / Non Commercial Aircraft
Individual EU country rules are based on EASA’s Rules of the Air for flying in Europe so it is important to understand these basics.
Below are some of the rules for operating a commercial single engined aircraft and even if operating a noncommercial GA flight they are worth referencing:
- A flight must not be commenced unless an alternate plan of action has been established. Filing of an ATC flight plan is normally required, if filing a flight plan is not possible, a person on ground shall be familiar with the contents of the operational flight plan so that the Search and Rescue services may obtain information if the aircraft should be reported missing.
- The pilot-in-command shall be familiar with polar navigation techniques (meridian convergence), compass errors/ limitations, and use of directional gyro when flying at Svalbard and surrounding areas.
- Crew members and passengers shall bring along appropriate clothing and other equipment considering weather and temperature conditions in case of an emergency. Crew members should have overall clothing which gives good contrast with the terrain.
- A 1: 100 000 scale chart is required on board.
- The pilot-in-command shall be familiar with SAR services as described in (SAR) AIP Norway. A radio with distress frequency and reserve batteries shall be brought along.
- The aircraft must have a colour with good terrain contrast.
VFR on top
You should always be certain that the cloud base is equal to or higher than Minimum Safe Altitude (MSA) and a minimum of 10 nm either side of your planned route is recommended. The weather in Norway changes rapidly and the weather forecast is no guarantee that you will have VFR-conditions when you arrive at your destination.
To calculate your MSA on the ICAO 1:500 000 chart, you should add 1000 ft to the published Maximum Elevation height (printed in each quadrangle) along your route. This will give you a safety margin of 1000 ft above the highest obstacle including any unmarked obstacles.
Weather charts, synoptic-style, are found at https://www.met.no/en/weather-and-climate/subjective-forecast-chart
As of 2023 World Fuel Services cards were no longer accepted in Norway. Many airfields ONLY accept Shell cards so get one of these before you go.
If you are flying around the country, we recommend purchasing the weekly landing fee ticket from Avinor, the Norwegian Airports Authority. Aircraft below 2t MTOW doing non-commercial flights are exempt from individual landing fees and unlimited movements with this ticket. The airfields included in the scheme (which costs around $250 as of 2023) are here
- Ålesund Airport, Vigra
- Alta Airport
- Andøya Airport, Andenes
- Bardufoss Airport
- Bergen Airport, Flesland
- Berlevåg Airport
- Bodø Airport
- Brønnøysund Airport, Brønnøy
- Båtsfjord Airport
- Florø Airport
- Førde Airport, Bringeland
- Hammerfest Airport
- Harstad/Narvik Airport, Evenes
- Hasvik Airport
- Honningsvåg Airport, Valan
- Kirkenes Airport, Høybuktmoen
- Kristiansand Airport, Kjevik
- Kristiansund Airport, Kvernberget
- Lakselv Airport, Banak
- Leknes Airport
- Mehamn Airport
- Mo i Rana Airport, Røssvold
- Molde Airport, Årø
- Mosjøen Airport, Kjerstad
- Namsos Airport
- Røros Airport
- Rørvik Airport, Ryum
- Røst Airport
- Sandane Airport, Anda
- Sandessjøen Airport, Stokka
- Sogndal Airport, Haukåsen
- Stavanger Airport, Sola
- Stokmarknes Airport, Skagen
- Svalbard Airport, Longyear
- Svolvær Airport, Helle
- Sørkjosen Airport
- Tromsø Airport, Langnes
- Trondheim Airport, Værnes
- Vardø Airport, Svartnes
- Værøy Heliport
- Ørsta-Volda Airport, Hovden
Here’s a list of Airfields that supply Avgas to Air BP cards.
NORWAY South East.
Skien ENSN (nr Sandeford).
NORWAY South West
Broennoeysund ENBN (North Trondheim)
Crossing over water
Cold water robs the body’s heat 32 times faster than cold air. Should you find yourself in the water, avoid panic. Air trapped in clothing can provide buoyancy as long as you remain still in the water. Swimming or treading water will greatly increase heat loss and can shorten survival time by more than 50%.
|Water temperature||Exhaustion or Unconsciousness||Expected Survival Time|
|4–10° C||30–60 minutes||1–3 hours|
|0–4° C||15–30 minutes||30–90 minutes|
|<0° C||Under 15 minutes||Under 15–45 minutes|
Before setting course over water you should first gain enough altitude to make it back to shore in case of an engine failure. If your flight includes segments without the possibility to reach land you may check what maritime traffic is present in the vicinity of your route. If you are forced to ditch the aircraft you should do this in close proximity (without endangering others) of maritime vessels to ensure a quick rescue. Positions of maritime traffic are available online.
It’s worth having the Help 113 app: