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US Border Crossing Information for Homebuilts
When flying an experimental amateur-built aircraft into the Bahamas, or any foreign nation, you must obtain prior permission. Your aircraft’s operating limitations will contain wording similar to the following:
“This aircraft does not meet the requirements of the applicable, comprehensive, and detailed airworthiness code as provided by Annex 8 of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). The owner/operator of this aircraft must obtain written permission from another country's Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) prior to operating this aircraft in or over that country. That written permission must be carried aboard the aircraft together with the U.S. airworthiness certificate and, upon request, be made available to an FAA inspector or the CAA in the country of operation.”
The EAA has worked (successfully) with Bahamian government to streamline this procedure. In order to meet your operating limitation requirement, print out the approval letter at the following website, meet the requirements of the letter and carry it on board your aircraft. With this authorization letter, your homebuilt is treated the same as any other US or Canadian registered standard category aircraft flying to the Bahamas.
Special Authorization Letter for Operating an Experimental-Amateur Built Aircraft in the Bahamas
For any procedural questions you may have, please contact:
Mr. Patrick Rolle
Flight Standards Manager
Dept of Civil Aviation
Nassau International Airport,
242-377-3445 or 242-377-3448
Visa and other information may be obtained by calling the Bahamas Embassy in Washington DC at (202) 319-2660.
Concerned about current border crossing procedures? Call the FAA Miami FSDO at 305-716-3400, extension 108 or 200 for the answers.
Current security levels in the USA call for all flights crossing international borders to follow special procedures. These procedures are spelled out in NOTAM’s (Notices to Airmen). It is imperative that pilots understand and follow the procedures called out in these NOTAM’s. NOTAM info can be obtained by calling Flight Service at 800-WXBRIEF.
Radio Station License:
Note: Any U.S. pilot flying into foreign countries must have a Restricted Radiotelephone Operator Permit. The application form for this (FCC form 605 (http://www.fcc.gov/formpage.html#605) is available from the Washington FCC office, (717) 337-1431. Although this license is not required for U.S. citizens flying within the continental U.S., anytime you cross a foreign border, it is necessary to have it.
US Customs info is available at http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/travel. Download the document titled “Guide For Private Flyers”.
Have an enjoyable trip!
If you have any questions or have any problems, please contact EAA Government Programs at (920)426-6537.