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Bahamas Exempts GA From 406 MHz ELT Rule

January 22, 2009 — Borne from discussions between EAA and Bahamas CAA officials during AirVenture 2007 and 2008, the Bahamas Civil Aviation Authority announced this week that it is exempting general aviation aircraft from the new ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) requirement for installed 406 MHz emergency locator transmitters (ELTs) beginning February 1, 2009. That’s when search and rescue satellites are scheduled to stop monitoring the current 121.5 MHz standard.

Since the FAA has no plans at this time to adopt the ICAO standard in the United States, Bahamas-bound private U.S. aircraft will not have to upgrade their systems to the more expensive 406 units in order to legally fly there. (Not exactly the case in Canada – click here.)

“This is a great example that shows the importance and value of working together with the agencies that participate in AirVenture’s International Federal Partnership in developing national and international means to reduce the cost and burdens of flying general aviation aircraft,” said EAAs’ Randy Hansen, director of government relations.

The exemption extends for 24 months through February 1, 2011. at which time it will be reviewed. The exemption applies to all Bahamas commercial (Air Operator Certificates) operators, general aviation aircraft flying in or over The Bahamas, balloons, gliders and lighter-than-air vehicles.

Hansen applauds Bahamas CAA representatives and AirVenture participants Greg Rolle and Keith Gomez for their work on behalf of EAA members and other general aviation pilots. AirVenture attendees are encouraged to visit the Federal Pavilion and talk to them during AirVenture 2009 for questions about private flights to the Bahamas.

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