New flight security system now in effect

Business Jet Traveler » February 2009
Sunday, February 1, 2009 - 4:00am

The Department of Homeland Security's new rule that requires general aviation pilots to file passenger names and other information with government officials before crossing a U.S. border took effect December 18, though compliance isn't mandatory until May 18. Under the rule, all Part 91 operators must electronically submit-via the Electronic Advance Passenger Information System (e-APIS)-to U.S. Customs information for each individual traveling on an aircraft to or from the U.S. Customs must receive the data no later than 60 minutes before the aircraft departs. Private pilots or their designees need to enroll in e-APIS before they can use the system, and those "seeking accounts should expect responses within five business days after submission of the enrollment request," Customs said. The agency expects to send out user IDs for e-APIS starting in early March.

"Some Customs officers are under the incorrect assumption that the effective date is the compliance date," said Doug Carr, a vice president at the National Business Aviation Association. "If you're told you must comply anytime before May 18, contact the officer's supervisor to correct the situation."

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