Primarily for general aviation discussion, but other aviation topics are also welcome.
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By defcribed
#1796726
The obvious motivation around such policies and working practices is that the Police and Border Force are poorly placed to do the 'matching-up' part of the work - i.e. ensuring each aircraft that requires a GAR has filed one, assuming of course that such checking is deemed necessary. Asking the airport to request the GAR and then pass it on effectively delegates this matching-up to staff at the airport.

Of course the GAR system is evidently designed as one of self-reporting, with little or no provision for tracing the pilot who fails to self-report. As happens from time to time, people involved in law enforcement start enforcing what they think the law should be rather than what it is. Thus local pockets of the relevant authorities decide the system is insufficient and that they would prefer a system where the pilot who fails to self-report is detected as a matter of course. Not having the resources to do this themselves, they ask airports to do it for them.
2Donkeys liked this
By OXF-OPS
#1796734
There is an obligation on the part of the airport to verify that the people arriving on the (international) flight are those that are on the GAR, therefore, the airport needs sight of the GAR. Clearly some airports have full-time border force staff presence, but vast majority of GA airfields of course do not. If BA are there on a particular day, no problem, if not, they rely on the airport to verify who's flying in.
#1796737
Bathman wrote:I knew someone who used to fly abroad 100 plus times a year and did so for many years. They never filled in a GAR form ever. Never had any problems.

Food for thought


Flew once into Duxford, fortunately I'd made a mistake with the GAR when I submitted it hence someone from Border Force wrote to me before I departed and clarified everything. Landed in Duxford, was told that I couldn't depart until the Border Force orifices had come to lambast me for not completing the necessary GAR.

My intentions were to look around the museum so I went over, paid my landing fee and waited.... and waited... and waited. An hour later, I gave the desk my telephone number, asked them to call me when the Thompson Twins - at least, they looked and acted like something out of TinTin - arrived.

When they finally arrived, they made all sorts of accusations. As I said, fortunately I had an email from Border Force Stansted asking a question to which I'd replied, hence proving I had actually submitted a GAR, even though a detail was incorrect. Had I submitted the GAR correctly, I would never have been able to prove that I'd submitted it because it was sent from my laptop via an old POP email account, not IMAP and my laptop was at home....

Funnily enough, a year or so later, on the spur of the moment I flew one fine Sunday morning to Lydd for Sunday carvery - totally forgot about the GAR. Landed, taxied to the apron and realised my mistake when two border force operatives were waiting for me to park. Held my hands up, confessed my crime - they asked me whether I'd submitted one before (yes), whether I had the possibility to fill one out and submit it now (fortunately I had my laptop with me this time so yes ) and told me just to go inside and submit one NOW which I did so, all clear......

So I'm surprised that someone can fly so often and not be picked up....
Last edited by Full Metal Jackass on Thu Sep 17, 2020 1:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
By Lefty
#1796738
OXF-OPS wrote:Interesting thread - we'd recommend, sadly, the belt & braces approach - i.e. fill in the GAR form, MS Word or MS Excel version, save file and/or scan as PDF too, then e-mail both the original file and scanned PDF to both the GAR Guidance notes-recommended portals/addressees AND, CRITICALLY, the airport Operations desk you are flying into and certainly well within the requisite time-frames. DO NOT think that being under 12 hours for say the Channel Islands, Northern Ireland etc. is not a big deal. It's hassle and burdensome, but until the online system is fool-proof (obviously use if you can), stick with above.



If my information is correct - your suggestion would be illegal. Under the new Data Protection regulations, airport operations staff are not permitted to handle sensitive personal data such as shown on. GAR form.
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By 2Donkeys
#1796739
OXF-OPS wrote:There is an obligation on the part of the airport to verify that the people arriving on the (international) flight are those that are on the GAR,


Under what legislation does that obligation arise?

The obligation to file the GAR for certain flights arises under sections 35 and 64 of the Customs & Excise Management Act 1979. A similar obligation arises under Paragraph 12 of Schedule 7 to the Terrorism Act 2000.

The obligation on the part of the airport doesn't ring a bell.
By jacekowski
#1796757
Lefty wrote:If my information is correct - your suggestion would be illegal. Under the new Data Protection regulations, airport operations staff are not permitted to handle sensitive personal data such as shown on. GAR form.


GDPR does not prohibit anyone from handling personal data, it just requires you to have a reason to do so (and when you have a good reason (for example to meet legal or contractual obligations), you do not need a consent from the individual), however you are not allowed to handle/store data just because you can.
Consent was left as a workaround for processing data that you shouldn't really be processing (for example for purposes of targeted advertising), and as far as i'm concerned should've never been allowed as an option.
Also, nothing on GAR form is considered "sensitive" (that would be things like, race, religion, political opinions and few others).
By Lefty
#1796761
jacekowski wrote:
Lefty wrote:If my information is correct - your suggestion would be illegal. Under the new Data Protection regulations, airport operations staff are not permitted to handle sensitive personal data such as shown on. GAR form.


GDPR does not prohibit anyone from handling personal data, it just requires you to have a reason to do so (and when you have a good reason (for example to meet legal or contractual obligations), you do not need a consent from the individual), however you are not allowed to handle/store data just because you can.
Consent was left as a workaround for processing data that you shouldn't really be processing (for example for purposes of targeted advertising), and as far as i'm concerned should've never been allowed as an option.
Also, nothing on GAR form is considered "sensitive" (that would be things like, race, religion, political opinions and few others).


So your full name, address, passport number DOB etc are not sensitive? These are the very data items that fraudsters and scammers need to clone someone’s identity are they not ?
By jacekowski
#1796762
Lefty wrote:So your full name, address, passport number DOB etc are not sensitive? These are the very data items that fraudsters and scammers need to clone someone’s identity are they not ?


GDPR differentiates between "Personal Data" (some of the above (full name or DOB on its own does not identify individual person therefore is not protected (name + DOB + address does and is protected))) and "Special Category" or "Sensitive Data" (race, religion, political views etc.). Both are protected under Article 6 of GDPR, however for sensitive data you also have to meet requirements of Article 9 (including documenting what are you processing, how are you processing it, and why) as consequences of sensitive data leaking might be a lot higher for the individual concerned.
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By Tim Dawson
#1796784
It’s actually pretty worrying to think that such sensitive information could be being passed on to aerodromes. Isn’t it a requirement of GDPR that border force publish a privacy policy that states explicitly where your personal information goes and why?
By patowalker
#1796790
Border Force is not sharing personal information with airports. Oxford Airport request a copy of the GAR from the aircraft operator.

We also request that GAR forms are copied to the London Oxford Airport Operations Desk at ops@londonoxfordairport.com / Fax: +44(0) 1865 290 661 so we can follow-up and ensure all parties have the information required.


This is clearly not required by Border Force, as explicitly stated here.

Border Force does not require pilots and carriers to submit a GAR to an operator nor requires an operator to obtain a GAR from a pilot or carrier (this includes operators of Certificate of Agreement airfields)
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By defcribed
#1796795
OXF-OPS wrote:There is an obligation on the part of the airport to verify that the people arriving on the (international) flight are those that are on the GAR, therefore, the airport needs sight of the GAR. Clearly some airports have full-time border force staff presence, but vast majority of GA airfields of course do not. If BA are there on a particular day, no problem, if not, they rely on the airport to verify who's flying in.


I have no idea where you get this idea but it is clearly untrue - all of it. Can you show us anything in law or regulation which obliges an airfield operator to verify the identity of passengers and crew? Even indulging you for a moment, sight of the GAR and sight of disembarkation does not verify identity, so are you telling me that your staff ask passengers and crew of international arrivals to produce photographic ID? If you asked that of me you'd get a pretty short and curt response, or perhaps laughter (depending on my mood).

By your reckoning all of the dozens of other airfields which have no full-time Border Force presence and which show no interest whatsoever in our GARs are in constant breach of their (presumably pretty serious) obligations. This seems rather unlikely.

Border Force and the Police get flight plans, so if they wanted to put in the administrative work themselves they could keep tabs on incoming flights perfectly well. Clearly those who cover Oxford would rather you did that for them.

What exact role do you occupy at Oxford? It would be worrying if someone so mis-informed was in a position of authority but unfortunately that's not exactly unknown in aviation.
#1796811
What goes up MUST come down, whether the aerodrome likes it or not.


Sure, but then the next question is whether what comes down is allowed to go back up! :D
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By OXF-OPS
#1796900
Where a flight has submitted a GAR, Border Agency (if not present on arrival of an aircraft) asks airfields to inform them if they identify that the number of people onboard the flight is less or more than that stated in the GAR. The easiest way to verify this is by having a copy of the GAR - not mandatory to use the GAR, but the simplest means of verification, just copy pre-existing, standard notification of number of crew and/or pax on board. The other rationale for having the GAR as the airport/airfield/handling agent/FBO is to help the operator ensure it has been filed correctly and in particular on time, such that if they turn up having not filed correctly, we don't have to see that operator/pilot face the wrath of the agency on landing. 90% of UK-based operators/pilots file the GARs correctly, and on time, an awful lot of overseas operators/pilots do not. Helping those in particular to make sure they don't get in trouble on arrival seems entirely rational.
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