“We’re finally getting somewhere!” celebrated Laura Everington, a 30-year veteran of international trip support services at Universal Weather and Aviation. “With the help of Eric Rodriguez at CBP in Houston and other industry professionals, we have made notable progress in identifying and solving some of the major issues we have been facing as international business aviation operators.”
- GA Operator Guide: In the works for the last two years and expected to be published by the end of 2018, this document (now being vetted by CBP General Counsel) will confirm specific requirements for international ops and will serve as the “gospel” for citing current rules. Both the operators and CBP will possess a copy of this document and will be able to reference it to verify required procedures.
- CBP National Team: CBP will provide names and contract information for area points of contact who will serve as GA subject matter experts to assist operators.
- CBP Reimbursable Program: Already in place in some locations, this program allows operators to access CBP “after hours” by paying the corresponding overtime. There are current efforts in place to extend this option to Shannon. According to Everington, “CBP welcomes the overtime opportunity, so don’t hesitate to ask for it.”
Everington credited the CBP working group, headed by Eric Rodriguez and Dianna Sullivan, comprised of Universal Weather and Aviation, NBAA, AOPA, and NATA as having notable impact on changes such as the new boarder over-flight exemption rules. “You no longer need a passenger list and identified airport; however, we need to step it up on our eAPIS data quality. We have had a 9-year grace period and CBP is starting to penalize operators if details such as middle names are present on the passport but not in the eAPIS data. CBP is enforcing data quality compliance.”
Finally, Everington encouraged all operators to partake in the Visa Waiver Program, “even if you think you will never have to use it” she urged, “there is a zero-tolerance policy on this and you don’t want to experience the embarrassment and inconvenience of needing to wait at the airport for a flight to send a passenger back home.”
A Call to Remember the Purpose and Importance of CBP
All foreign origin aircraft are required to land at an airport that is approved for international garbage handling and that is under a USDA compliance agreement. For agriculture compliance inspections, the following airports in the Chicago area ORD, MDW, PWK, UGN, DPA, PIA, DEC, GYY, RFD, MLI and SBN can accommodate your aircraft inbound.
“We’re the guardians of our nation’s borders,” stated Mariola Krosniak, who has been with CBP in Chicago for over 13 years. “If you enjoy safe to eat food at good prices here in the United States, it is because we work hard to prevent diseases from infecting plant and animal products as well as wild life and fisheries in our country.” Krosniak referenced a variety of items CBP has stopped from entering our borders, “My favorite was the Barbequed Monkey being brought in for a wedding here in Chicago,” she shared. “Be careful what you eat at weddings.”
Katy Glynn is Vice President of JetLease Palm Beach and JetLease Unmanned, the Chairman of the Chicago Area Business Aviation Association’s Communications Committee (www.cabaa.com) and a regular contributor to CABAA web content. Contact her at Kglynn@jetlease.com