June 20, 2013
By Dan Namowitz
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has waived some flight and informational requirements for holders of Southern Border Overflight Exemptions and applicants for the exemptions. An overflight exemption allows approved operators to overfly designated Customs airports that would normally be a required landing point on flights returning to the United States.
Under changes announced June 17, CBP said it is no longer enforcing an information requirement for overflight exemption applicants to list the names, addresses, Social Security numbers (if applicable), and dates of birth for all usual or anticipated passengers; the name of the airport of intended first landing in the United States; and the foreign place or places from which flights will usually originate.
Also, overflight exemptions “will now allow operators to overfly designated CBP airports—from all foreign points—to all airports where CBP services are normally available, provided the operator has complied with all other applicable CBP requirements—including APIS—and landing rights and permission to land have been granted by the receiving port of entry.”
CBP also advised operators that the agency will no longer enforce a requirement that operators utilizing an overflight exemption carry “one approved passenger,” provided the operator has complied with all other applicable CBP requirements. Exemption holders may arrive “with no passengers; with passengers already listed within an existing Overflight Exemption; or with passengers not listed within an existing Overflight Exemption,” CBP said.
The agency credited the changes to a two-year effort with the industry, and predicted that the streamlined procedures will reduce paperwork and expand the range of approved general aviation operations.
The movement to exempt thousands of general aviation pilots from the third class medical certification process is gaining momentum in Congress and the aviation community.
The recent warrantless stops and searches of law-abiding pilots on general aviation flights have drawn the attention of mainstream media.
The National Aeronautic Association has awarded the Collier Trophy for “the first unmanned, autonomous air system operating from an aircraft carrier.”
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