The Canadian Border Services Agency is working to implement a border-crossing requirement similar to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Electronic Advance Passenger Information Service (eAPIS). The requirements, slated for the spring of 2016, would affect all pilots flying personal aircraft across the U.S.-Canadian border.
The Canadian Owners and Pilots Association (COPA) and AOPA are working together to try to make any new Canadian requirements as seamless as possible for pilots crossing the border. In an effort to help shape requirements, COPA has created a survey for Canadian and U.S. pilots to complete regarding how any new requirements might affect their travel across the border.
“This survey will provide statistical feedback to Canadian and US officials to find a solution that both addresses their goals and minimizes duplication,” COPA Vice President of Operations Patrick Gilligan wrote on the association’s website. “COPA is heavily involved in finding creative solutions to minimize the detrimental consequences that any additional requirements will have on our sector of aviation.”
The survey asks if cross-border flights for vacation or recreational activities would increase, decrease, or stop if pilots had to complete another form in addition to eAPIS. It also asks if pilots would approve of a “single portal” that would allow eAPIS to pass along pilot and passenger data with the Canadian Border Services Agency to comply with its new regulations.
The survey seeks to find out how eAPIS has impacted personal flights across the border, what kind of electronic connectivity is available at typical departure/destination airports in both countries, and how much money is spent when visiting the country on the other side of the border.
Statistical data will be provided to the Canadian Border Services Agency. Pilots completing the survey have the opportunity to provide COPA with their personal information if they want to see the results of the survey or learn more about COPA; however, providing personally identifiable information is not required.
Easing border-crossing requirements is also a high priority for AOPA. “We’re really working to find a way to make this as transparent as possible,” said Tom Zecha, AOPA manager of aviation security. “We encourage AOPA members who cross the border—or even those who don’t but think they might someday—to complete the survey to convey the impact a duplicate system would have on cross-border operations.”