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Aviation: Policing the skies

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We police the sky over Nottinghamshire, monitoring aviation activity that may suggest the county’s airspace is being used by criminals, or that aircraft used in crime are landing in or taking off from the county.

See it? Report it

If you see any of these types of suspicious activity you should report it to us on 101.

  • Light aircraft/helicopters performing circuits over private airstrips as if looking to see if there is anyone waiting on the ground to meet them
  • Packages being transferred from an aircraft to a vehicle in unusual locations, such as a remote part of an airfield. Participants acting furtively or nervously.
  • Windsocks in unfamiliar places
  • Sightings of aircraft on the ground at normally disused airstrips
  • Evidence of unauthorised activity at your airstrip, such as fresh tyre marks
  • Activity at previously unused airstrips, such as temporary landing lights, vehicles parked in such a way as to illuminate strips or to act as a navigation port
  • Overhead radio communication between aircraft and vehicles/persons on the ground at normally disused airstrips
  • 'Strangers' trying to hire your aircraft or an aircraft belonging to club members
  • 'Strangers' wanting permission to use your airstrip for non valid reasons
  • Flying at night or in poor visibility without navigation lights
  • Night flying at non-licenced airports
  • Evidence of small fires in fields which may indicate a landing site
  • Flying at low altitude, especially when approaching the coastline
  • Extra fuel tanks on aircraft, or doors which have been re-hinged from above
  • Evidence of adaptation of aircraft for concealment purposes
  • Anything else you notice that is unusual about an aircraft

Any information you provide will be treated in confidence and any additional information you provide - including registration numbers and distinctive markings on the aircraft - will help us to trace the investigative the matter more effectively.

Information for private pilots

General Aviation Reports (GAR)

If you plan to operate a private flight to or from a UK airport flying to or from the Channel Isles, the Irish Republic, Northern Ireland or the Isle of Man you must notify us at least 12 hours in advance of the flight by completing a General Aviation Report. This is a legal requirement under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000.

Border Force and police, in partnership with the Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association (AOPA), have developed an online portal for the submission of General Aviation Reports (GAR).

The portal makes it easier for pilots and operators to provide GAR information and remove the need for GARs to be submitted to many different agencies. Once you register, the portal is free to access and available to everybody. 

Eventually it is anticipated that Border Force and the police will only accept submissions of GAR information via approved internet portals. In the meantime, if necessary, the GAR can still be submitted by email or fax.

National Police Air Service (NPAS)

Twenty-four hour air support to police forces in England and Wales is now provided by the National Police Air Service (NPAS).

NPAS is based in Bradford and is led nationally by West Yorkshire Police. It monitors and dispatches police aircraft from 21 bases around the country - including their base in the East Midlands at Husbands Bosworth in Leicestershire.

However, aircraft assisting at incidents in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire may originate from other NPAS bases in Leicestershire, West Midlands, South Yorkshire or further afield.

You can follow the helicopter's activity on Twitter by following @NPAS_HusBos

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You can contact the Ports Office at Nottinghamshire Police by emailing portsoffice@nottinghamshire.pnn.police.uk or by calling the 101 non-emergency number and dialling extension 800 1035.