Tips for Flying to the US

1) You need an eAPIS online account with US Customs and Border Protection (USCBP). You must file an arrival report online and get electronic clearance number and then must follow up with a phone call directly with the border agent at the port of entry that you would fly into to get permission to land in the US at least two hours prior. I can demonstrate and help get this set up if needed.

2) The Aircraft must have a valid DTOPS sticker issued by USCBP. These stickers expire on Dec 31 every year. Non of the EFC aircraft currently have this sticker but they are not hard to get and it does take about 2-4 weeks to receive them after applying for one online.

3) To fly a Canadian registered aircraft into the US you must have a Canadian pilot license and medical.

4) All on board must be Canadian Citizens with valid Canadian passports (with at least 6 months validity remaining) for General Aviation cross border port of entry customs clearance. No Canadian citizens may only enter the US thru ground border station and commercial flights.

5) A signed letter from the Owner of the Aircraft (EFC in this case) must be onboard authorizing the renter pilot to have possession of the aircraft in a cross border flight. I have the specific language that is needed to have such letter drafter for an EFC authorized representative to sign if needed.

6) To return to a designated Canadian airport other than YYC and YEG you need to have CANPASS for the all occupants on board. If only the PIC has it you will be subject to wait for Customs inspection upon arrival which can be time consuming. Without any CANPASS you will have to land at YEG or YYC and pay the landing fees and clear customs in person or by phone and the hop out to Parkland. It takes about 4 weeks to get Canpass but it is only for Canadian Citizens. I can help set this up if needed.

7) ADSB-Out: the rule of thumb for aircraft flying thru US airspace without ADSB-OUT is that you will not be able to fly thru class A, B, C airspace’s and you can’t land in any Class B and Class C airports and you can’t enter any airspace where Mode C transponder is required and you must always be below 10,000 ft. There is an except process in place for aircraft equipped with Mode C called ADAPT (it’s an online process) which requires no more than 24 hours advance notice (and no less than 1 hour before your departure) and a good reason why? (Let’s say you are ferrying an aircraft, etc). It’s workload dependent and no guarantees you will get it. Without ADSB-Out chances of getting flight following are also becomes less probable. I am familiar with the ADAPT process and can help in this regard.

8) You must file an international flight plan before departure and before crossing the border must ensure you receive a US issued squawk code by the US Center (such as Salt Lake Centre for example).

9) On you return flight back to Canada you must file a eAPIS departure report, contact CANPASS 2 hours prior to arrival, and file an international flight plan. Keep in mind unlike in Canada, flight plans in the US do NOT open automatically and you must contact FSS to activate your flight plan.