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New international flight notam makes things simpler for GA pilotsNew international flight notam makes things simpler for GA pilots

New international flight notam makes things simpler for GA pilots

If you're flying across a U.S. border, the rules just got a bit simpler.

Wednesday afternoon, the FAA issued a new notam governing national security procedures for international flights to and from the United States.

Simply put, it requires that any U.S.-registered aircraft with a takeoff gross weight of 100,309 pounds or less that crosses a U.S. border be on an active IFR or VFR flight plan, squawk an ATC-assigned transponder code over a Mode C or Mode S transponder, maintain two-way radio contact with U.S. air traffic control, and comply with all U.S. Customs requirements.

That's it. There's no longer the need for a waiver to fly to and from selected countries, no different rules for some gateway countries. Aircraft up to the size of a Gulfstream 550 are included.

Different rules for the heavies

It's a little more complicated for aircraft weighing more than 100,309 pounds, like a Boeing BBJ (a Boeing 737 derivative with a maximum takeoff weight of 171,000 pounds).

The heavies must have an approved Transportation Security Administration aviation security program or a TSA-approved waiver to cross the border.

For more information on flying internationally, see the AOPA Online Pilot Information Center.

August 23, 2006

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