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Opin­ions on Rus­sian rule-bend­ing; and more com­ments on 8.33 ra­dios

The Chan­nel Is­lands, be­ing a Crown De­pen­dency and within the Com­mon Travel Area (CTA), are free from im­mi­gra­tion con­trols for Bri­tish cit­i­zens. When I fly into Guernsey from France or the UK I am re­quired by the Guernsey Bor­der Agency to com­plete a sim­ple form on ar­rival. How­ever when I fly from Guernsey to a UK Cer­tifi­cate of Agree­ment airfield I am re­quired to pro­vide a min­i­mum of twelve hours’ no­tice. If I fly from Guernsey to Di­nard then no no­tice is re­quired and min­i­mal no­tice to many oth­ers. If I fly from France to the UK I sim­ply com­plete a GAR with four hours’ no­tice and can land any­where.

I have flown in and out of the Chan­nel Is­lands more than 25 times and never ever have I been met by any­one from (pre­vi­ously) Spe­cial Branch or (now) the Bor­der Agency. The GAR, I quote, ‘helps Bor­der Force and the Po­lice in se­cur­ing the UK bor­der and pre­vent­ing crime and ter­ror­ism’; which is fine, but why do we need to pro­vide twelve hours’ no­tice when com­ing from a Crown De­pen­dency which is part of the CTA? The con­clu­sion must be that Guernsey is a greater threat than France! As for smug­gling gold bars and wedges of cash, there are a lot eas­ier ways of do­ing this than in a light air­craft. Drugs and il­le­gal im­mi­grants would also be fairly im­prac­ti­cal as they have to get into Guernsey in the first place.

For a pi­lot, twelve hours ad­vance no­tice is mainly guess­work as the va­garies of the Chan­nel Is­lands’ lo­cal weather make it hard to pre­dict a pre­cise ar­rival time. It is easy to de­lay a flight plan and quite hon­estly not worth the ef­fort of in­form­ing UK Bor­der Agency of a de­lay as: a) they are never likely to show up any­way; b) there is no easy way to do this; and c) in the un­likely event that some­one was go­ing to show up I would ex­pect them to phone the des­ig­nated ar­rival airfield to es­tab­lish an ETA.

Per­haps the Bor­der Agency would like to re­spond with wholly log­i­cal (not waf­fle) rea­sons for this huge dis­crep­ancy and what ev­ery­one con­sid­ers to be a down­right stupid reg­u­la­tion. Para­graph 12, Sched­ule 7 of the Ter­ror­ism Act 2000 needs amend­ment, so if any of our wor­thy fly­ing MPS are read­ing this, will they please fa­cil­i­tate this? David Vale, Bur­ton on Trent

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