The UK government is working on electronic border proposals that could affect business aviation traffic to and from the UK. Operators will be required to collect data held within the machine-readable zone of travel documents and transmit this data to an operations center, where it will be checked against information held by border agencies.

Agency officials are aiming to streamline current arrangements for general aviation and small ports through a common platform “single window”. According to the British Business and General Aviation Association, some operators fear that e-Borders may be expensive to implement given the plethora of different information collection systems in use. 

However, the BBGA is working closely with immigration officials to lessen the impact on operators, such as testing remote data collection on handheld portable devices. 

There is also a squeeze on operators from the USA. The NBAA has warned that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) might release new security programs in the form of "regulatory mandates and advisory guidance" that target business aviation. The Department of Homeland Security, along with the TSA, is reviewing new security measures for general aviation, and GA security remains a top priority.

The TSA wants customs to make their clearance of business aircraft similar to that of clearing passengers on commercial flights.

European operators could be particularly badly affected going into larger busier US airports, potentially adding hours on to clearing customs at technical stops. Normal practice for European operators on the Great Circle route to the West Coast of the USA is to stop at Bangor or Gander, both which can be congested.

However, this does pave the way for innovative smaller operators to attract more customers.

“Planes coming from Europe to the Western USA, or vice versa, need to refuel and efficiently clear customs,” says Mike Magni, president of Monaco Air Duluth. “We’re not as congested as other tech stops for operators coming from Europe and we can process people and aircraft efficiently because customs officers are often able to come on board rather than deplaning.” 

More news from NBAA 2007 ...


Source: Flight Daily News