Tipps and Hints for Earthrounders

You better use this airport LTFJ instead of Atatürk (LTBA).You need approx 20 min more for driving downtown Istanbul but this is compensated by lower fees and a faster handling. We had 30min from Touchdown to Exit and 1:20 from Entrance to Startup (incl. refuel). Airport charged 77 USD , Handling 12 USD.
We had local help from our friend Samii to get the permit for landing and he also managed to welcome us on the apron and accompanied us throgh customs .So we do not know how it would have been on our own. But the airport operation is organized well and you really do not have to fear for your personnel safety. We had 30min from Touchdown to Exit and 2:00 from Entrance to Startup (incl. refuel). The bill presented to us in front of the aircraft before departure was much higher than originally quoted to FSI but we gave up after 15 minutes of arguing, paid and went off with a grim in our face (FSI will get in contact with SAFIRAN – the handling agent of OIIII - to clarify).Airport charged 410 USD , Handling 280 USD.
You should not land at OMDB without a handling request – we did – and had to wait quite some time in 40 C until transport to the GAT was organized and handling was agreed. Later we found out that it would have been impossible to reach these huge airport’s payment office, the briefing and the meteo by foot – its too far apart and they would not allow you to walk through the internal airport areas. But you get a perfect service and a very comfortable VIP -lounge with free drinks for your money! We had 40 min from Touchdown to Exit (that would have been 20min with initial handling request) and 1:20 from Entrance to Startup (incl. refuel). Airport charge 20 USD, handling 370 USD.
FSI advised us to request handling PLUS supervision! –and they where right! They only problem was that the supervisor Freedom Airservices forgot to inform the handling company about our arrival time so we waited for 45 minutes at 40C on the apron until transportation was coming. But then it was running well and the handling agent managed us through all that Indian bureaucracy quite fast. We had 1:45 h from Touchdown to Exit and 1:30 only from Entrance to Startup (incl. refuel).Airport charge 190 USD, handling 300 USD ,supervision of handling 200 USD (special price for FSI !)
You need a proof of simulator training or similar to get the permit for Kathmandu and you have to manage to pay 56,5o USD in Local Currancy (!) to the account of CAA in advance. If you want to avoid handling cost of 250 USD ask your hotel to pay the 56.50 on your behalf (Our wonderful hotel Dwarikas did!) and then you get the permit without handlingagent. People on the airport are very friendly and you can walk to customs via the apron. We had 40 min from Touchdown to Exit and 45 min only from Entrance to Startup (incl. refuel) but we went to the briefing office the day before to file our flightplan. Airport charge 103 USD, no handling charge but 50 USD tip for local support (please ask us for the contact info)
Do not accept transport from parking position to terminal and do not hand over the GD before you have made clear that you do not want handling service or at least want to negotiate the price. They asked us into the office and we argued about 20 min. Initial offer was 460 USD for handling only – we finally agreed on 50 USD. Airportcharge was 203 USD for landing, parking and navigation. Do not change money into local currency – everybody will ask you for USD . No creditcard accepted in Myanmar – you pay cash
Ciang Mai

That is a nice airport to go but their radio equipment seems to be very old – hard to understand and interrupted many times. After landing we just ignored to contact ground handling on freq. xyz and walked directly to the international arrival entrance where the Customs Officers were very friendly and helped us to fill out different documents. As we landed here on a weekend we had to pay a Customs “overtime” fee of 26 USD. Finally they asked us for a group photo and let us go – 30 min in total for getting out.
The departure also was uncomplicated – the only problem was that we had to walk to the Thai Air Office 300 m outside the building through monsoon rain without umbrella  to pay the navigation fee (250 USD for the whole route > Chiang Mai >HuaHin >Vietnam). Airport fee for landing and parking was 65 USD – no handling fee. And the last experience of Thai friendliness was that the big fuel truck stopped when he saw us walking to our aircraft with  all our luggage and picked us up!! – 1h 20min  from entrance to startup incl. refueling.

Hua Hin

Very nice little IFR Airport with a Flying School – so also Avgas is available. But Customs and Immigration is 24h PPR and they must come from a town 150 km away. We asked the airport bureau after landing to inform them for our departure – but they obviously forgot – so on our day of departure we had to wait for 5 hours before C+I people came to give us their stamp to leave the country. Anyhow, we recommend the place, peole are very nice and helpful : 60 USD Airport and Customs Charge and no handling fee. Time to exit 45 min , time to startup 5:30h –which could have been 45 min if C+I would have been informed early enough.

Not the cheapest airport to land but nice people and a lot of uniforms. Do not request handling, you will not need it – you can walk from the aircraft to the international entrance for customs and immigration. For departure you will find the briefing office in a separate building on the right side of the main building. Do not use the open door to the apron in front of the briefing office without having cleared customs and immigration! We did and had to taxi back from the take off position to the apron – and had a very serious “interview” by the immigration officers for one hour! Fees: Landing 80, Parking 16, Immigration 100 and Airnavigation 180 USD.

Macau is expensive but cheaper than Hongkong – and the turbo-ferry to HK takes one hour only. Handling is mandatory – MBAC gave us a very good service and a special price for “Earthrounders” – talk to GM P.Chan - he is private pilot and understands the difference between our budgets and those of corporate jets. We paid : Handling 300, Parking in hangar 63 (parking on apron is much more!), Airportcharges 150 USD.

No way to avoid payment for handling fees – which are known to be very high in this region! Our negotiations with China Airlines Handling Dptm requires high patience. Finally we pay 290 USD for handling and 260 for Airport Fees. Time to exit 2 h due to long talks and time to startup 1:00h .
Osaka/ Sapporo

There are a lot of “horror stories” about landing and handling charges in Japan and so we did a lot of research on this subject when we prepared the RTW. There a two reasons, why you will need a handling agent (if you are not supported by Japanese pilots or other insiders).  First: If you make more than one stop in Japan you need a special “Permission for Domestic Use of Aircraft” by the Japanese Civil Aviation Bureau which has to be written on a formula in Japanese language only and takes at least three days to get.  Second: You cannot pay the landing fee before departure at the airport, it will be invoiced after departure to a Japanese (handling) company which than has to pay it via bank account. Anyhow, landing, parking and navigation fees are calculated on the basis of aircraft weight and are very cheap. Only the very big airports charge a high minimum fee. At Osaka RJBB we had to pay this minimum fee of 67.000 JPY = USD 580.- and at Chitose RJCC we only paid 1.000 JPY = USD 9,-for landing! Parking fees are very cheap as well. We paid USD 7.- at RJCC and USD 3,50 at RJBB per day. Navigation fee for a small aircraft was USD 1,00 per flight! So the only question is how much you have to pay for handling service and you better arrange that early enough before you start. FSI did a very good job and arranged a flat rate of 90.000 JPY for us for two airports, equals USD 390.- per airport, which is still a lot but acceptable – and we got an excellent and fast service, time to exit was 30 to 40 min and time to startup approximately one hour.


We got our permit to fly to Russia one day before departure – but FSI said that this is normal. You do not need a navigator to fly to Russia if you fly IFR but there is a minimum Flightlevel to be used which I think is around FL160 (but I am not sure – we are always using our max FL270) and you have to pay Enroute Navigation Charge of 0,49 USD/km. HF is not required but there are some areas of no contact to the controller even if you fly that high. As soon as you enter Russian airspace you have to change to the metric system and change your altitude accordingly. Our flightplan from Sapporo said “BISIV / K420 S810” which means 430km/h speed and FL 8100 meters. The Russian controllers speak English very well – they are guiding quite some traffic between Alaska and East Asia. After landing you will be surrounded by a lot of different officers: police, customs, security, immigration etc – they all look very important and serious -a bit like in the old 007 movies. It was the first time on our trip that our aircraft and our luggage was inspected. Handlingservice at Petropavlovsk and Anadyr is mandatory, handling personnel works professionally and speaks English very well. Cost : Enroute Navigation Charge  USD 1764.- for the trip from the Japanese Border (BISIV) to UHPP,to UHMA and to the Alaska Border (0,49 USD/km) ; For Handling- and Airportfees USD 1266,- at UHPP and USD 628.- at UHMA . All charges where invoiced later via FSI – the headquarter does not allow its own people to collect the money at the airport (!). It is very important that you ask for a quotation through a Flight Service Company like FSI before you start your trip. The invoice we got after the trip was 500.-USD higher than quoted and we could only reduce our payment  referring to this quotation.JetA1 was 3,10 USD/Gal at UHPP and 3,90 at UHMA.Time to exit at UHPP was one hour, time to start up 1:30. Fuel stop in Anadyr UHMA was very fast and only took us 30 minutes – unexpected newly renovated airport , good for landing even in bad weather.


After 9/11 it is quite a difference to fly into the US with a private aircraft: 1.You need a Visa, which means you have to apply for it and than have to visit the US Embassy in your country personally for an interview. 2. You need to get a Waiver from TSA for the route you want to fly – FSI did the application for us. The Waiver-Number must be stated in Sec 18 of your flight plan.  3. You need a DECAL which you can purchase via internet from CBP Customs and Border Protection. Before departing from the foreign airport to an “US Airport of Entry”  you should contact Customs by phone and inform about your ETA – do not come earlier! The ADCUS notation in your flight plan does not guarantee that Customs receives the ETA notification!  In small airports like Nome it saves time if you fax following information beforehand as well: Name, Date of Birth, Passport Number, Visa Number, Decal Number. At arrival you have to present Passport, Pilot License, Medical, Aircraft Registration, Airworthiness Certificate, Decal and you have to fill in and sign the “Private Aircraft Enforcement System Arrival Report” (CBP Form 178), the Customs Declaration (Form 6059B) and the Arrival-Departure Card (CBP Form I-94).It all sounds very complicated but on the Nome Airport it took us only 30 minutes and we could go – much less than on every airport of Asia or Russia before – and we did not have to pay any fee, just the fuel for our aircraft – what a nice feeling to be back in the free world of General Aviation!