Updated Jan. 17, 2016

NBAA applauds a recent decision by the FAA to reduce historically burdensome requirements for foreign companies conducting business aircraft flights in U.S. airspace. This decision was published in FDC NOTAMs 5/5782, 5/5806 and 5/6289, which superseded FDC NOTAMs 3/2735, 3/2768 and 3/3013.

The new NOTAMs erroneously excluded the previous special and less restrictive security instructions for for aircraft registered in Canada, Mexico, Bahamas, Bermuda, Cayman Islands and British Virgin Islands.

In recognizing this error, the FAA has cancelled those NOTAMS and issued NOTAMs 6/4255, 6/4256 and 6/4260 to reinstate the previous requirements for the countries mentioned above.

Specifically, the new NOTAMs remove the requirement for foreign-registered aircraft under 100,309 pounds (45,500 kg) maximum gross takeoff weight operating within the U.S. to obtain an airspace waiver.

Previously, operators of foreign-registered aircraft under 100,309 pounds maximum gross takeoff weight were required to complete an FAA/TSA airspace waiver application process detailing each flight within U.S. territorial airspace, often far in advance of those flights. This requirement significantly hampered the flexibility that is so crucial to business aviation.

“These NOTAMs are a welcome change to business aircraft operators across the world,” said Doug Carr, NBAA’s vice president of regulatory and international affairs. “The requirement to obtain a security waiver while flying within U.S. airspace has been a significant concern for non-U.S. operators planning business travel to the U.S. These new NOTAMs help ensure that businesses can respond quickly to opportunities and customer demands.”

According to the NOTAMs, all civil aircraft operating within the U.S. territorial airspace with a maximum certificated takeoff gross weight less than or equal to 100,309 pounds are authorized to operate:

  • In accordance with all applicable regulations
  • In VFR in airport traffic pattern areas of U.S. airports near the U.S. border

All civil aircraft with a maximum certificated takeoff gross weight greater than 100,309 pounds operating within U.S. territorial airspace must:

  • File and be on an active VFR or IFR flight plan
  • Be equipped with an operational Mode C or S transponder and continuously squawk an ATC-assigned transponder code;
  • Maintain two-way communication with ATC
  • Operate under an approved TSA aviation security program or operate with an FAA/TSA airspace waiver

The NOTAMs also list requirements for aircraft conducting post-maintenance, manufacturer, production or acceptance flight test operations.

“The new NOTAMs provide greater flexibility for foreign-registered aircraft under 100,309 pounds maximum gross takeoff weight operating within U.S. territorial airspace,” said Carr. “It is an example of the international business aviation industry working together with government officials to solve a shared challenge. It also helps to level the playing field for foreign-registered aircraft operating in the U.S.”

Review the FDC NOTAM 6/4260.