Travelling to Ostende
Going to Belgium to need to complete a
1) Gen Dec for the Belgium police. They have a website where you complete the form online and it produces a PDF version for you. https://www.police.be/bordercontrol/en/ ... eclaration
2) You also need complete a Passenger Locator form too. This is part of the Covid tracing protocols. It’s a strange form but you need to complete it, print it out and sign it to hand over to the police when you go through immigration. No form, no entry. https://dofi.ibz.be/sites/dvzoe/FR/Docu ... orForm.pdf
Arrival at Ostend has changed too. You now go through the new GA terminal (NSAC the FBO) by Apron 3 which saves the hassle of going through a security check and being driven to the mail terminal. The police are waiting for you on arrival for immigration purposes.
The downside is that the bus service to town is not as good as from the main airport building.
There is an hourly bus service (68 or 69) into Ostend leaving the bus top by the VLOC school at 30 minutes past the hour. The Alternative is to walk 300 yards towards the airport and get the regular bus service (6) which goes to the airport and then onto Ostend station. The bus fare is €2.50. Unfortunately, in addition to wearing a facemask to travel on the bus, you cannot pay by cash. You can pay by contactless with a credit card. But be careful as depending on your bank you could end up paying surcharges for foreign transaction. I believe there is a ticket machine in the terminal building. The NSAC will arrange a taxi for you but will charge you €10 for the privilege.
So, the new arrangements are a mixed blessing.
On return to the airport you can get the 68/69 bus back to the GA terminal and they leave Ostend station every hour at 7 mins past the hour or the 6 and back up the road.
Returning to the UK
It As well as what already been covered elsewhere in the thread, GAR, UK passenger locator Form and Gen Dec for the UK, the Belgian police need a Gen Dec on departure (using the previous link )as well and you need to wait in the GA terminal for the police to turn up before you can go to the aircraft.
Other than that, it is straight forward. I reckon on an hour’s work for all the various forms if you have a good internet connection. You can lose the will to live if you don’t.
You don’t have to pay handling charges to use the GA terminal and you don’t want to. My costs all in for landing and 3 nights parking for an Arrow 4 and one passenger came to €82 inclusive of 21% VAT which does not seem too bad.
There is a restaurant next door to the GA terminal where you can wait for the bus, the service can be a bit slow as it gets busy with locals on a day out.
It was very pleasant going around Brussels and Bruges last week – no crowds and the biggest difference was the absence of Chinese tourists who usually swarm around these places like a plague of locusts. It is quite noticeable how the various travel restrictions have changed the experience. There were no Americans either which enhanced the experience further.
One other point, if you are 65+ then it is a flat €7.20 on Belgian Railways whatever the distance on a weekday.
Travel times by train from Ostend: Bruges, 12 minutes, Gent, 40 minutes, Brussels 1:15