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U.S. Customs Approves Second General Aviation Preclearance Facility Overseas

March 24, 2014

Queen Beatrix AirportInternational business aircraft operators flying to the United States have a new option for preclearance inspection by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). On March 20, the agency officially designated Reina Beatrix International Airport (TNCA) in Oranjestad, Aruba as an authorized preclearance location for general aviation (GA) aircraft transporting up to 19 passengers and crewmembers.

Intended to streamline border security procedures and reduce congestion at U.S. ports of entry, preclearance on foreign soil allows vetting of crew and passenger information, baggage, any animals onboard and agricultural items prior to the aircraft's departure for the U.S.

While CBP maintains 15 locations worldwide for preclearance of commercial airline passengers, Aruba is only the second authorized preclearance location for GA aircraft passengers. Ireland's Shannon Airport (EINN) earned similar approval in March 2010.

“NBAA was pleased that our nearly 600 attendees at the recently concluded International Operators Conference were the first to hear about this new pre-clearance capability,” said Doug Carr, vice president, regulatory and international affairs. “We’re glad to see this new capability brought online.”

Requests for preclearance inspection must be received and approved at least 24 hours prior to departure and before the close of business the day prior to arrival. The operator must submit an electronic advance passenger information system manifest at least 60 minutes prior to inspection, with all travelers and their luggage present throughout the inspection process.

CBP preclearance allows the aircraft to travel from the CBP inspection station to a designated airport or airport facility within the U.S., and unauthorized diversions are not permitted. Generally, any traveler meeting CBP and Department of Homeland Security requirements for entry into the U.S. onboard private or chartered aircraft is eligible for preclearance.

Officials in Aruba will conduct preclearance inspections of GA aircraft seven days a week, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (EDT). Requests may be submitted to (011) 297-588-7240.

Review information regarding the CBP preclearance process.