Welcome to the VIP arrivals and departures section of this website. The following pages are designed to provide you with useful information and contacts to aid your Mission’s preparations for any incoming VIP visits.
(Please note, while we endeavour to keep the information in this section up to date, we would always recommend you re-confirm any details with the airport directly to unsure you have the latest information).
Please see below our latest Note Verbales on Arrival & Departure arrangements for VIP visits.
The FCDO’s VIP Arrivals & Departures Team
The VIP Arrivals & Departures Team (A&D Team) is located within the Protocol Directorate in the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. They are here to help you ensure that your VIPs arrive and depart from the UK as smoothly and conveniently as possible, whilst still undergoing the required immigration, security and diplomatic procedures.
The A&D Team can provide advice on a number of subjects, including:
- Airport Operations
- VIP Facilities at Airports and Ports
- Immigration Procedures
- First Arrival & Final Departure of Head of Mission
- Security Screening Exemptions
- Private Flights and Aircraft Slots
- Airport Airside Access and IDs
The A&D Team also works closely with key airport stakeholders, including Airport Authorities, DfT and Border Force.
Therefore, if you have a question which is not covered by the information in this section, please email the VIP A&D Team at VIParrivals.email@example.com
The A&D Team’s Top Tips on VIP Arrivals & Departures
- Where available, consider using VIP suites or other VIP services an airport provides.
- Start planning as early as possible, including engagement with the airport. This is particularly important for private flights into busy airports.
- Complete the Advanced Passenger Information form (API), and provide accurate information for VIP Suite bookings in a timely fashion. This should include: Arrival and Departure dates, times, airport, flight numbers, passport details, greeter and vehicle details.
- For private flights, make sure you check with your nominated country flight handler whether you have any pre-existing contracts / agreements with particular UK airports / FBOs and flight handlers.
- Inform the FCDO of VIP visits, and provide the API so we can ensure UK Border Force are aware of the visit in advance.
- Don’t forget that private flights may require diplomatic flight clearance, which Missions need to request directly from the Ministry of Defence. Please note, this is not permission to land at an airport.
- Ensure you request your arrival and departure slots with your nominated FBO / UK flight handler. Where you can, be flexible. Sometime a landing or departure slot is available near to the time you have originally requested.
- Make sure you understand what VIP services airports offer. Each airport has slightly different ways of working. Keep up to date with changes to their operations. Please note that there are no Diplomatic Lanes at UK airports.
- Make sure your airport airside IDs are operational and valid – you could get a visit at any moment. Some airports require operational airside IDs to enter their VIP lounges.
- Ensure permits are obtained from airports where required so that you can take photos or videos of your VIPs arrival or departure on UK airport property.