March 25, 2020

Business aircraft operators flying to Puerto Rico should be aware of new flight restrictions enacted by the FAA in response to the COVID-19 pandemic now in effect.

All domestic and foreign general aviation and charter flights arriving from a location outside Puerto Rico will be required to land first at either Luis Munoz Marin International Airport (SJU) or Isla Grande Airport (SIG) in San Juan or Rafael Hernandez Airport (BQN) in Aguadilla for passenger screening before continuing on to their final destinations.

View the FAA statement.

“During this difficult and constantly evolving time, it’s critical that business aircraft operators monitor NBAA Air Traffic Services announcements and other information channels to stay updated about these and other flight restrictions issued in response to COVID-19,” said Alex Gertsen, NBAA director for airports and ground infrastructure. NBAA members may subscribe to NBAA Air Traffic Services updates via NBAA Airspace Alerts, and anyone can follow NBAA Air Traffic Services on Twitter.

A similar restriction applies to airline flights, with all scheduled and unscheduled commercial air carrier flights required to land at SJU for public health screening. The new restrictions do not apply to air cargo or maintenance flights into Puerto Rico.

In addition to the COVID-19 crisis and current state of emergency in the region, the FAA, in issuing these special procedures, also cited Puerto Rico’s vulnerability to contagious disease outbreaks and the commonwealth’s ongoing recovery from major natural disasters during the past two years.