Fly Private Plane InternationallyPrivate aircraft flying internationally
Before your trip, please review the documentation you normally take with you: certification of competency, certification (but no transient "pink slip"), operational restrictions, weights and balances, pilot's license and valid doctor.
In order to fly in unfamiliar skies, you also need a licence for the aircraft and a mobile phone licence for yourself. In my life I am insured "in the United States and its territory and properties, Canada, Mexico, the Bahama Islands or while traveling between these places.
While you are within the territory boundaries of your policies, evidence of coverage by a US corporation is acceptable in most jurisdictions except Mexico, where the federal authorities require third-party coverage by a Mexico corporation. Baja Bush Pilots provides its members with $110 in Mexico Third Party Cover for traveling to Mexico, (480) 730-3250, www.bajabushpilots.com.
If you are departing from the USA, you do not have to arrive at an immigration destination (international airport) before you leave the United States. Best way to make this statement is to arrive at an immigration point in the United States on your way out and pay a call to your local customhouse.
However, I like to do this because I often encounter the custom officials who relieve me on my way back. You must activate a timetable for all your intercontinental services. When you fly to Mexico, the Bahamas or the Caribbean, pass through the Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ), which crosses the east, south and west boundaries of the United States (on the intersection map with a white line bounded by white dots).
In order to traverse the VFR, you must submit an International Air Traffic Control (IFR) or Defense VFR (DVFR) timetable. In a DVFR timetable, you must inform the ATC at least 15 min in advance of the expected timing, location and level of your DDIZ penetrations. As a rule, one call to the air services is sufficient for this information.
IFR schedules will already be in touch with ATC, so there are no specific report obligations. First landings in a strange land must take place at an aerodrome of entrance; it is the pilot's duty to inform the custom officers there before arriving. Procedures are easy for Canadian arrives.
Before your flight departs, call (888) CAN-PASS and tell them about your destination and the expected ETA. If you have arrived in Canada and are not received by a custom inspection officer, call (888) CAN-PASS and you will get your custom permit by telephone. The majority of foreign markets demand one hour's warning for custom.
In Mexico and the Bahamas, you can ask the air carrier to inform custom at your final point of arrival by specifying "ADCUS" in the Notes section of your itinerary. You are notified when the timetable is activated and not when it is filed. When your journey lasts one or less hours, call the point of entry before departure to ensure at least one hour's lead time.
As soon as you are in a strange land, you must know the processes specifically for that land. While your airplane is in the United States, you do not need a valid overseas licence to fly it. As the USA has adopted the standards for standard ICAO names (e.g. B instead of TCA), the alien sky is usually easily understood.
Most of the class rule is similar, although some jurisdictions refer to Class F hazardous areas, which are not used in the U.S. Other air traffic laws vary from no VFR overnight in Mexico to an obligation to submit a schedule for all 25 nm and above in Canada.
On the AOPA International Operations page you will find a brief overview of the most important rules for the surrounding area ( see below ). Instead of the shortened version, which is accepted by US planes, an International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) timetable is used in most states. When you return to the U.S., in most places you must arrive at an immigration destination and pay departure duties before you leave the United States.
Canadas is a remarkable exemption. Exit Canada from any destination, whether internationally or not. You must make your first U.S. stop at an immigration gateway airfield or a designated airfield. They are both multinational aerodromes. As a rule, an arriving aerodrome (AOE) has a normal custom post, so you only have to make a pre-arrival notification.
The majority of LRAs do not have a custom post on the ground, so you will need to obtain clearance from the local custom official. In general, authorisation is given when a custom official is available to come onto the airfield and pick up your plane. The majority of departures from the Americas can only be handled at one of 31 marked airport locations along the US Confederation's Confederation Line; you must arrive at the airport nearest to the one where you are entering the United States. The listing of these airport locations is posted in the U.S. Custom Guide for Private Flyers; you can reach them by following a hyperlink at www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/travel.
U.S. custom demands at least one full hour's prior warning of your arrivals, and penalties for insufficient warning are high - $5,000 typical for the first offence. While you can specify "ADCUS" in your schedule, it is safe to inform your own custom. Search the US Revenue phone number for your destination country in the Airguide Publications section of the AOPA International Landing Facilities Directory or call the air service.
If you are travelling southwards, you must also get in touch with the air carrier or local air traffic controller on the itinerary at least 15 min before you cross the DDIZ to obtain a sqawk number. Get as near to your timetable as possible, but do not get there before your arrive. To guarantee an exact arriving hour, I am planning a slower pace to take into account decelerations and headwind.
When you land, remain on the plane until the custom supervisor gets to the plane. There' s an $25 per year charge for U.S. Duty. AOPA' s membership-only section offers a wide range of information on aviation, from brief cross-border journeys to Canada or Mexico to surface travel over the Caribbean or the Atlantic, (800) USA-AOPA, www.aopa.org/members/pic/intl/.
FAA's International Flight Information Handbook is also a useful source, www.faa.gov/ats/aat/IFIM/ifimccql.htm. Baja Bush pilots conduct group tours to Mexico and Central America; on their website (480) 730-3250, www.bajabushpilots.com. there is a lot of information about aviation just south of the boarder.