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NBAA Provides Rare Chance to Meet With CBP Officials

September 7, 2012

NBAA Flight Plan interview with NBAA's Doug Carr

General aviation (GA) operators from around the country have a unique opportunity to meet face-to-face with what one NBAA leader calls the “GA brain trust” at Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

U.S. Customs and Border ProtectionOn Sept. 13, NBAA, along with the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association and National Air Transportation Association, is sponsoring a discussion with CBP officials at both the national and regional levels. NBAA Vice President for Safety, Security, Operations and Regulation Doug Carr called the meeting a “rare opportunity” for international GA operators.

The event, which begins at 9 a.m., takes place at the West Hangar at Landmark Aviation, Kendall-Tamiami Airport (TMB) in Miami, FL.

“I think it’s important that, given an opportunity like this, we should really take advantage of it,” said Carr. “Essentially, the people coming to this meeting constitute the GA brain trust at CBP.”

Officials expected to attend the meeting include: CBP General Aviation Program Manager Eric Rodriguez, CBP National APIS Account Manager Ralph Modisette and CBP National Account Manager for Compliance and Enforcement Corrie Corbetis.

Together, they’ll participate in a two-hour discussion with international GA operators on topics that range from general aviation processing and landing rights procedures, to notice of arrival procedures and variations in the way CBP posts operate based on location.

“CBP is starting to work on that consistency,” Carr explained. “That will hopefully remove some of the more extreme processes that differ between airports.”

While there is certainly a national standard in place for CBP operations, Carr stressed the value of operations especially suited to particular airports, “but not to the degree that it discourages people from coming to that airport as an option.”

Carr said the dialogue is fostered by one of the most successful programs in CBP history – the Electronic Advance Passenger Information Service (eAPIS). That program boasts a compliance rate among GA operators of more than 99 percent.

“As a result, we see opportunities to address latent procedures that were based on pre-eAPIS data,” Carr continued. He specifically cited the one-hour call-ahead requirement prior to international arrival, along with the special waiver required for aircraft whose operators wish to overfly the first airport of entry as they cross the U.S. border with Mexico.

Based on information gathered through the eAPIS program, Carr said things at CBP are beginning to change.

“We’re looking for a number of improvements over the next 12 to 24 months,” he said. “It’s important that GA operators take this very rare opportunity to talk with CBP about the situations they face and the issues they want to see addressed.”

There is no registration procedure and no fee for participation, Carr said. However, participants must take part in person. There are currently no plans for teleconferencing or recording the event for those unable to attend in person.