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.
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