Bits and Pieces
Tips and Reminders for Flying into AirVenture
By Ian Brown, Editor - Bits and Pieces, EAA 657159
Pilots flying to EAA AirVenture Oshkosh probably have a copy of the NOTAM already, but if not you can download it here. Don't forget to check out page 28 for instructions specific to Canadians. If you are flying an amateur-built or an ultralight, you will need to download a copy of the FAA special flight authorization (SFA) and carry it in your aircraft at all times while in U.S. airspace. As a Canadian, you do not need to apply for permission to fly your amateur-built aircraft; simply print out the SFA and keep it in your aircraft.
Canadians flying owner-maintenance certified aircraft are not permitted to fly in U.S. airspace.
Don't forget that the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) requires that you file online with its Electronic Advance Passenger Information System (eAPIS), and if you haven't done this before, you might find it a bit time consuming. Don't leave it too late. Remember that you first have to create an account, input aircraft information and intended itinerary; then you have to have names, dates of birth, and passport numbers for each passenger.
You have to declare at which airport you intend to clear customs. Some of them don't have full-time customs agents present, so try to stick to your arrival times when crossing the border. The last thing you want is a Customs and Border security agent who drove out from his office in the nearest town and had to wait two hours for your arrival. It's not a bad idea to keep the airport manager at your customs-clearing destination up to date on your arrival time if there is a possibility of delays. You can find a list of airports with customs capabilities, sorted by state, on the CBP's website. According to this document, permission to land will be denied (except in an emergency) if you have not filed an electronic manifest.
If you want to learn more about the eAPIS system, there is an online tutorial available. It's very thorough, but make sure you clear your agenda for maybe a half day.
You must send your eAPIS final information on arrival between 24 and 96 hours before your departure, but it's a good idea to have created your account and input your aircraft details and expected itinerary before that. You must give at least 60 minutes notice of departure.
If you are landing at Oshkosh, don't forget to make your sign to indicate your parking preference. Do not simply hold up a computer tablet. Print the sign. It has to be readable from 50 feet, and you will find detailed information on page 1 of the NOTAM.
See you there!