2013 Press Releases

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NBAA: Industry-Government Collaboration Eases Southern Border Overflight-Exemption Process

Association Lauds Key Individuals for Their Work to Produce Welcome Program Revisions

Contacts: Dan Hubbard, (202) 783-9360, [email protected]

Washington, DC, June 20, 2013 – The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) today welcomed recent changes to the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency’s “Southern Border Overflight-Exemption” process, which will directly benefit business aviation operators who frequently fly into the United States from across the country’s Southern border, while preserving key security and safety measures.

The changes – which will benefit those companies using business aircraft under both the Federal Aviation Administration’s Part 91 and Part 135 designations – ease the cost and administrative burden to those companies when their missions involve Southern border crossings. The helpful modifications to the program were made possible through effective government-industry collaboration between CBP officials and NBAA’s Security Council.

"NBAA is very pleased with the enhancements made to the Southern Border Overflight-Exemption process," explained Doug Carr, NBAA vice president of safety, security, operations & regulation, and staff liaison to the NBAA Security Council. “The collaboration involved in developing the enhancements exemplifies the best of government-industry collaboration efforts, because it produces real cost savings and valuable process efficiencies for everyone involved.”

Specifically, effective June 17, 2013, several requirements under CBP’s previous Overflight-Exemption procedure were eliminated, in light of new CBP reporting requirements that went into effect in 2009. Those new information-reporting requirements, which are mandated under CBP’s Electronic Advanced Passenger Information System (eAPIS) system, ensure that CBP has the information it previously also needed under approval procedures for Southern Border Overflight Exemptions. Therefore, some of the recent changes to the Overflight-Exemption program eliminate the need for duplication of information reporting for both programs.

As an example, Carr noted that the new Overflight Exemption will no longer require that aircraft operators carry an “approved passenger” on board. Additionally, an operator can depart from any foreign airport south of the U.S. border, not just those previously included in the operator’s overflight exemption from the CBP.

“This was a two-year process that began when leaders in the business aviation community recognized opportunities for increasing efficiencies, then worked proactively with CBP officials to develop these new procedures,” Carr noted. He pointed to several individuals in the industry, and with the CBP, whose thoughtful, deliberative efforts brought about the helpful modifications, including:

• Eric Rodriguez, CBP general aviation program manager;
• Laura Everington, with Universal Weather and Aviation;
• Rick Snider, with Rockwell Collins;
• Greg Kulis, who holds a Certified Aviation Manager (CAM) certificate, and serves as chairman of NBAA’s Security Council, and;
• Charlie LeBlanc, with FrontierMEDEX.

“NBAA thanks these individuals, and the others in industry and government, whose tireless work on this issue have ensured that the changes made to the Overflight Exemption plan are efficient and workable, and focused on security and safety,” Carr said.

“We believe these modifications will substantially increase utilization of this exemption, and enhance business aviation safety by reducing the number of unnecessary takeoffs and landings that were required under the old procedure,” Carr added. "Additionally, we expect these procedures will not only save companies significant costs in complying with CBP requirements, but it will also substantially reduce CBP’s workload by eliminating the need to amend overflight exemptions to change passengers or airports."

Other current CBP requirements under the Overflight Exemption holders will remain in place, including the need to obtain landing rights approval or permission to land at the destination airport from CBP. The Overflight Exemption applies only to aircraft listed on the CBP’s exemption letter, a copy of which must be carried on the aircraft, and those utilizing an Overflight Exemption must operate under an IFR flight plan and maintain altitudes above 12,500 feet MSL.

NBAA Members needing additional information about the CBP’s Southern Border Overflight-Exemption process may contact Carr at [email protected].

Learn more about the revisions to the process on NBAA’s website.

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Founded in 1947 and based in Washington, DC, the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) is the leading organization for companies that rely on general aviation aircraft to help make their businesses more efficient, productive and successful. The Association represents more than 9,000 companies and provides more than 100 products and services to the business aviation community, including the NBAA Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition, the world's largest civil aviation trade show. Learn more about NBAA at www.nbaa.org.

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