All aircraft operators that conduct flights into or over U.S. territorial airspace must comply with the following:
National security requirements contained in AIP Section ENR 1.12, National Security and Intercept Procedures;
FAA Notices to Airmen (NOTAMS), Special Notices, at
FAA Prohibitions, Restrictions, and Notices website located at https://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publications/us_restrictions/
- All applicable sections of Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Part 91, General Operating and Flight Rules, particularly Subpart H, Foreign Aircraft Operations and Operations of U.S. Registered Civil Aircraft Outside of the United States; and Rules Governing Persons on Board Such Aircraft;
- All applicable sections of Title 49, United States Code (USC), Transportation, particularly Subtitle VII, Aviation Programs (sections 40101 through 50105);
- All applicable sections of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Transportation Security Administration (TSA) requirements in Title 19 USC Part 122, Air Commerce Regulations.
- National security requirements contained in AIP Section ENR 1.12, National Security and Intercept Procedures;
- U.S. CBP designates the airport of entry or other location for international aircraft that land or depart within U.S. territorial airspace. For information pertaining to U.S. CBP Service Offices/Ports of Entry, see AIP GEN 1.1, paragraph 2.1.1.
- Subject to the observance of the applicable rules, conditions, and limitations of the Federal Aviation Regulations and the Department of Transportation (DOT)/Office of the Secretary of Transportation (OST), Office of International Aviation, as described below, foreign civil aircraft registered and manufactured in any foreign country which is a member of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) may be navigated in the U.S. Foreign civil aircraft manufactured in a country which at the time of manufacture was not a member of ICAO may be navigated in the U.S. if the country has notified ICAO that the aircraft meets the standards described in the Chicago Convention or if a notice has been filed with the DOT/OST, Office of International Aviation, through diplomatic channels, that the aircraft meets the standards described in the Chicago Convention.
- Aircraft registered under the laws of foreign countries, not members of the ICAO, may be navigated in U.S. territory only when authorized by the DOT/OST, Office of International Aviation.
- All foreign civil aircraft operated to, from, or within the U.S. must carry on board effective certificates of registration and air worthiness issued by the country of registry. Also, each member of the flight crew must carry a valid airman certificate or license authorizing that member to perform their assigned functions in the aircraft.
- Transportation of firearms by aircraft passengers. Regulations of the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Division of the Internal Revenue Service make it unlawful for any person knowingly to deliver or cause to be delivered to any common or contract carrier for transportation or shipment in interstate or foreign commerce, to persons other than licensed importers, licensed manufacturers, licensed dealers, or licensed collectors, any package or other container in which there is any firearm or ammunition without written notice to the carrier that such firearm or ammunition is being transported or shipped; except that any passenger who owns or legally possesses a firearm or ammunition being transported aboard any common or contract carrier for movement with the passenger in interstate or foreign commerce may deliver said firearm or ammunition into the custody of the pilot, captain, conductor or operator of such common or contract carrier for the duration of the trip.
- Commercial air transport operators in the U.S. must adhere to Annex 6 - Operation of Aircraft with the proviso that aircraft which have no operators' local representative available to them will be required to carry a fixed fuel reserve of not less than 45 minutes at the approved fuel consumption rate plus a variable reserve equivalent to 15% of the fuel required from departure to destination and to an alternate if an alternate is required; or where the reserve calculated in accordance with the above exceeds two hours at the approved fuel consumption rate - two hours reserve fuel.
- All aircraft operators that conduct flights into or over U.S. territorial airspace must comply with the following:
Public Health Measures Applied to Aircraft
- At airports without Public Health Service Quarantine staff, the Customs, Immigration, or Agriculture Officer present will represent the Public Health Service.
- No public health measures are required to be carried out with respect to aircraft entering U.S. territory except that disinfection of an aircraft may be required if it has departed from a foreign area that is infected with insect-borne communicable disease, and the aircraft is suspected of harboring insects dangerous to public health. Disinfection is defined as: “The operation in which measures are taken to kill the insect vectors of human disease present in carriers and containers.”
- Disinfection must be the responsibility of the air carrier and must be subject to monitoring by the Director of the Public Health Service.
- Disinfection of the aircraft must be accomplished immediately after landing and blocking. The cargo compartment must be disinfected before the mail, baggage, and other cargo are discharged, and the rest of the aircraft must be disinfected after passengers and crew deplane.
- Disinfection must be performed with an approved insecticide in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions. The current list of approved insecticides and sources may be obtained from the Division of Quarantine, Center for Prevention Services, Centers for Disease Control, Atlanta, GA 30333.
- All food and potable water taken on board an aircraft at any airport and intended for human consumption thereon must be obtained from sources approved in accordance with Title 21 CFR Parts 1240 and 1250.
- Aircraft inbound or outbound on an international flight must not discharge over the U.S. any excrement or waste water or other polluting materials. Arriving aircraft must discharge such matter only at servicing areas approved under regulations cited in paragraph 2.1.6 above.
- Aircraft on an international voyage (that are in traffic between U.S. airports) must be subject to inspection when there occurs on board, among passengers or crew, any death, or any ill person, or when illness is suspected to be caused by insanitary conditions.
Public Health Requirements
- Disembarking passengers are not required to present a vaccination certificate except when coming directly from an area infected with cholera, yellow fever, or smallpox. Smallpox vaccination is necessary only if, within the 14 days before arrival, the traveler has been in a country reporting smallpox.
The pilot in command of an aircraft destined for a U.S. airport must report immediately to the Quarantine Station at or nearest the airport at which the aircraft will arrive, the occurrence, on board, of any death or an ill person among passengers or crew. Ill person is defined as:
- Temperature of 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius) or greater accompanied by rash, glandular swelling, or jaundice, or which has persisted for more than 48 hours; or
- Diarrhea, defined as the occurrence in a 24-hour period of three or more loose stools or of a greater than normal (for the person) amount of loose stools.
- The pilot in command is responsible for detaining the aircraft and persons and things arriving thereon and keeping them free from unauthorized contact pending release when required by the Foreign Quarantine Regulations of the Public Health Service described in Title 42 CFR Part 71.
- Public Health Measures Applied to Aircraft
Scheduled Common Carriage Flights
- Generally, when an operator of an aircraft advertises its transportation services to the general public or particular classes or segments of the public for compensation or hire, it is a common carrier. In turn, the transportation service the operator performs is considered to be in common carriage. The scheduled flights into, from and landing in the territory of the U.S. for purposes of loading or unloading passengers, cargo and mail (revenue flights), must first obtain from the U.S. DOT/OST, Office of International Aviation (X-40), a foreign air carrier permit. Applications for common carrier authority must be filed with X-40. If X-40, with the President's approval, determines that the carrier is fit, willing, and able to perform the service it proposes and that the service is in the public interest, X-40 must issue the carrier a foreign air carrier permit, subject to the disapproval of the President of the U.S.
The scheduled flights in transit across the territory of the U.S. or landing for reasons other than for the purpose of loading and unloading of passengers, cargo or mail (nonrevenue flights), which are registered in a State which is a party to the International Air Services Transit Agreement, must submit a notice of transit to X-40. The notice of transit must be submitted at least 15 days prior to the flight and must include:
- Name, country of organization and nationality (including the nationality of all ownership interests) of the operator;
- Name of the country in which the aircraft to be used in the service is registered;
- A full description of the proposed operations including the type of operations (passenger, property, mail, or combination), date of commencement, duration and frequency of flights, and routing (including each terminal and intermediate point that will be served);
- Copies of advertising of the flights, if advertised in the U.S.
- If the notice is timely filed, the flights may be operated in the absence of a contrary notification from X-40.
- Scheduled flights in transit across the territory of the U.S. or landing for reasons other than for the purpose of loading and unloading of passengers, cargo or mail (nonrevenue flights), which are registered in a State which is not a party to the International Air Services Transit Agreement, must obtain prior permission from X-40 at least 15 days prior to the flight. All permission requests must include the same information as requested in paragraph 3.1.2 (see also paragraph 1.4). The carrier may not transit U.S. territory unless and until it receives a foreign aircraft permit to do so from X-40.
- The permission to transit U.S. territory as described above also includes the right to make stops in the U.S. for technical purposes (for example, refueling and servicing of the aircraft) as long as the stopover does not exceed 24 hours. Stopovers which do exceed 24 hours are permitted only in those cases where a transfer of passengers, property or mail to another aircraft is necessary for the safety of the aircraft, passengers, property, or crew. Stopovers for the pleasure or convenience of passengers are not included in the transit authority.
Documentary Requirements for Clearance of Aircraft
- The undermentioned documents must be submitted to U.S. authorities for clearance on entry and departure of aircraft. All documents listed below must follow the ICAO standard format as set forth in the relevant appendixes to Annex 9, and are acceptable only when furnished in English.
Aircraft Documents Required (Arrival and Departure)
TBL GEN 1.2-1
Nonscheduled, Noncommon Carriage Flights
- Nonscheduled, noncommon carriage flights are transportation services for remuneration or hire that are not offered to the general public.
- Nonscheduled flights in transit across the territory of the U.S. or landing for reasons other than the purposes of loading and unloading passengers, cargo or mail (nonrevenue flights) which are registered in a State which is a member of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) may do so without the necessity of obtaining prior permission, provided passengers are not permitted to leave the airport during stopover or provided that each stopover does not exceed 24 hours. Stopovers which do exceed 24 hours are permitted only in those cases where a transfer of passengers, property or mail to another aircraft is necessary for the safety of the aircraft, passengers, property, or crew. Stopovers for the pleasure or convenience of passengers are not included in the transit authority.
Nonscheduled flights landing in the territory of the U.S. for reasons of loading or unloading passengers, cargo or mail (revenue flights), must obtain prior permission from the DOT/OST, Office of International Aviation (X-40), at least 15 days prior to the flight. All permission requests must include:
- Name and address of applicant.
- Aircraft make, model, and registration or identification marks.
- Country in which the aircraft is registered.
- Name and address of registered owner of aircraft.
- Type of flight(s) (passenger, cargo, or agricultural or industrial operation).
- Purpose of flight(s).
- Date of the flight(s).
- Routing of the flight(s).
- Number of flights.
- Name of charterer.
- Charter price.
- Applications should be made on DOT/OST, Office of International Aviation Form 4509; however, if time does not permit, applications by telegram will be accepted as long as they include the information described above. Telegraphic applications must include a prepaid voucher sufficient to allow a sixty word reply. The permit must be carried aboard the aircraft during flight over U.S. territory.
- The following commercial air operations require preflight authorization from X-40:
- Agricultural and industrial operations which include, but are not limited to, such services as crop dusting, pest control, pipeline patrols, mapping, surveying, banner towing, or skywriting.
- Occasional and infrequent planeload charter flights carrying persons or property to and/or from the U.S. The number of these flights that may be performed is limited to six in any calendar year. Foreign civil aircraft are not permitted to transport persons or property or mail for compensation or hire between points wholly within the U.S.
- Continuing cargo operations for one or more contractors. Applicants may be authorized to serve up to 10 different contractors in a 12-month period; however, authorization may be granted only if it is clear that the service is not in common carriage and the carrier and contractor enter into a contract which provides for (a) continuing cargo operations for a period of at least 6 months; (b) an absolute or minimum number of flights or volume of cargo to be transported; and (c) a guarantee by the contractor to the carrier to pay for the minimum number of flights to be performed or volume of cargo to be transported whether or not he/she uses the capacity. Continuing cargo operations wholly within the U.S. cannot be authorized.
- Persons wishing to operate foreign civil aircraft from, to, or within the U.S. other than as described in this section may request permission to perform those services by filing an application with X-40. The application should include the information described above in this section. Permission to perform these services may be granted if X-40 finds that the service is consistent with applicable law and is in the interest of the public of the U.S.
- Nonscheduled flights in transit across the territory of the U.S. or landing with or without purposes of loading and unloading passengers, cargo or mail (revenue or nonrevenue flights) which are registered in a State which is not a member of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) must obtain prior permission from X-40 at least 15 days prior to the flight. All permission requests must include the same information as requested in paragraph 4.1.3. (See also paragraph 1.4).
Documentary Requirements for Clearance of Aircraft
- Same requirements as for scheduled flights.