Airline industry groups complained that the omnibus appropriations bill that observers expect the U.S. Congress will pass this week does not prevent the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency from opening a controversial customs pre-clearance facility at Abu Dhabi International Airport.
Eight senators have called out the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) about numerous stops and searches of law-abiding pilots on domestic flights that never leave U.S. airspace.
AOPA is demanding that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) halt indiscriminate stops of general aviation aircraft, and the association’s newly installed president, Mark Baker, spent much of his first week on the job meeting with members of Congress as they returned to work from their annual summer recess.
AOPA told the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) that “general aviation pilots and their aircraft continue to be subjected to what appear to be random searches, while federal officials have failed to respond to a four-month-old AOPA public records request for information about the searches.”
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency (CBP) introduced changes this week to its Southern border overflight exemption process, which will save Part 91 and 135 operators money and lighten their administrative burden. Recently introduced CBP reporting requirements such as the Electronic Advanced Passenger Information System (eApis) make available to the agency information that CBP previously required for approval for Southern border overflights, eliminating the need for duplicate information reporting for both programs.
International business travelers seeking simplified entry into the U.S. via the “Global Entry” program will have the opportunity to meet in person with U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents at this year’s NBAA Convention, which will be held October 22 to 24 in Las Vegas. Global Entry allows expedited clearance processing into the U.S. for pre-approved, low-risk travelers using automated kiosks available at 34 U.S. airports, eight pre-clearance airports in Canada and two pre-clearance sites in Ireland.
While many people breathed a sigh of relief when Congress pulled the nation back from the so-called “fiscal cliff” at the beginning of the new year, most of those who were following the contretemps didn’t realize it was mainly political theater.
“While we are pleased Congress made some headway on tax elements to avert the fiscal cliff, we are concerned that they could not agree to a long-term solution to fix a problem no serious person wants: sequestration,” said Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) president and CEO Marion Blakey.
NBAA has joined more than 50 groups and organizations in petitioning the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to ensure that President Obama’s budget request includes adequate funding for U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) staffing at U.S. ports of entry. In a joint letter sent on Thursday to OMB acting director Jeffrey Zients, the signatories–which include the U.S.