Bermuda is a United Kingdom overseas territory in the Atlantic Ocean, located 560 miles east of Cape Hatteras, NC. The beautiful tropical island is a favorite destination for many vacationers. The island's 21 square miles offer just one airport - L.F. Wade International Airport (BDA/TXKF), serviced by several airlines, which is the primary way Bermuda stays connected with the outside world. The island is also a popular cruise destination.
Occasionally, AOPA members ask about flying their general aviation aircraft to Bermuda. While turbine aircraft and business jets make the flight, it is rarely attempted by piston aircraft, though it may be possible with significant pre-planning. The two biggest challenges with flying a piston aircraft to Bermuda are fuel and long-distance communication capability.
The chart on this page is linked to the FAA's Web site. It’s the Western Atlantic Route Chart (WATRS) chart on the Planning tab.
The airport only sells JetA fuel; 100LL avgas is not sold anywhere on the island. This means a piston aircraft would have to carry enough fuel to make the round trip flight. With headwinds often a factor, the flight time is too long for most GA aircraft. A few pilots have attempted to ship fuel ahead and have met with mixed success.
Advisory Circular 91-70A, Oceanic and International Operations contains general information and guidance for operators planning oceanic flights, including authorizations needed for operations outside the continental United States. Chapter 13. General Aviation Short-Range Aircraft Oceanic Operations is particularly important for general aviation pilots. Chapter 13, Section 3-4, paragraph (d) Summary of Communication and Reporting Procedures states: "Maintain continuous contact with the controlling agency. This can be through VHF, HF, data link, SATCOM Voice or Selective Call (SELCAL). The range of VHF is approximately 200 NM; communication beyond that distance requires HF or SATCOM data link." Bermuda is 560 miles from the North Carolina coast, so HF radios are required. Bermuda Air Traffic Control does report U.S. pilots whose aircraft are not so equipped to New York Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) and NY ARTCC does investigate the reports.
Safety Management System (SMS)
Bermuda has a SMS mandate requiring business aviation operators to have an SMS program in place, or to have started the SMS implementation process. We have heard that although this is required, it may not be strictly enforced. For more information, visit the Government of Bermuda/Ministry of Tourism Development and Transport/Department of Civil Aviation.
The pilot in command must have a current:
All U.S. registered aircraft must have:
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) requires:
The arrival airport is L.F. Wade International (BDA/TXKF). All persons traveling between the United States and Bermuda are required to present a passport to enter Bermuda. Bermuda does not require tourist visas or vaccinations, nor does it restrict currency.
Travelers with questions concerning travel to Bermuda may contact the British Embassy in Washington, DC or any of the British Consulate General offices across the United States. Visit the British Embassy website for more information. Click here to read a fact sheet about Bermuda.
The U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs also has an informative web page on travel to Bermuda. You will find information on Embassies and Consulates; entry, exit, and visa requirements; safety and security; public health concerns; and traffic and road conditions on the island.