The blanket waiver that allows VFR flights to and from the Cayman Islands, Bermuda, and the British Virgin Islands is back in force, following an AOPA appeal. The Transportation Security Administration had declared the waiver null and void last week.
The waiver was instituted a year ago to permit VFR flight to and from the islands for aircraft registered in the United States and those countries. TSA voided the waiver without coordinating the policy change with the FAA nor notifying users. When AOPA contacted TSA to discuss the issue, TSA contacts said the administration was firm in its intent to require operators to obtain individual waivers for each flight.
AOPA appealed to the FAA, which had originally issued waiver #2127. The agency reversed the TSA decision and notified all air traffic facilities that the blanket waiver is once again valid. The decision is effective immediately.
TSA and the FAA are currently in meetings to discuss all international flight restrictions imposed after the September 11 attacks, to determine whether or not they should be lifted. AOPA strongly supports elimination of the restrictions. In a recent letter to TSA, AOPA outlined its case for lifting the restrictions, stressing that international operations are already subject to strict control and must comply with U.S. Customs and DEA regulations.