The U.S. Congress would have a say in White House plans to open customs pre-clearance facilities in foreign countries under legislation a House committee passed on June 11. Airline industry groups, which last year opposed but failed to prevent the opening of such a facility at Abu Dhabi International Airport, appear to have accepted the legislation even as news surfaced of U.S. plans to open a pre-clearance facility in Dubai.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection
After a meeting April 30 between AOPA president Mark Baker and the head of Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the association is urging members report any encounters they have with CBP or other law enforcement officers.
AOPA has already received more than 50 reports from members being questioned and sometimes searched by CBP agents or local law enforcement officers acting on the federal agency’s requests. In some cases, the officers approached pilots with drawn weapons or dogs to inspect the aircraft.
Lawmakers finally received a response to questions about U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) searches of general aviation aircraft on domestic flights, but they remain unsatisfied. The response came from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the umbrella federal agency that includes CBP. Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) received a letter and a table reporting more details about some of the incidents, but Roberts and Sen. Jim Risch (R-Idaho) were not fully satisfied and sent a letter on February 12 requesting a briefing and more written responses from the DHS.
Feb. 21, 2014:
Documents Required Aboard Private Aircraft
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.
FltPlan.com has added capability to help customers comply with new Mexico National Institute of Immigration (INM) rules mandating Advanced Passenger Information System (APIS) manifests. The new rules require “submission of information within 30 minutes of departure or after the aircraft door is closed,” according to FltPlan president Ken Wilson.
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.
Airline industry organizations have welcomed new legislation introduced in the U.S. Congress that would prevent the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency from opening a customs preclearance facility in the UAE.
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.”
- Page 1