Plane & Pilot
Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Bahamas 101: Recipe For Paradise


Flying to the Bahamas is the stuff of dreams and is within the reach of nearly any pilot and aircraft



Introducing eAPIS
eAPIS is the Electronic Advance Passenger Information System implemented by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to strengthen aviation security and has been mandatory for private aircraft since May 2009.

The system is a web-based interface that allows electronic registration of passenger and pilot information in the form of departure and arrival manifests for international flights in private aircraft. They're used in risk assessment. Pilots must file the eAPIS no less than 60 minutes before departure.

First-time pilots must first enroll in the eAPIS system to receive a "sender ID" and "aviation key." The required enrollment information relates to birth dates, places, current address, citizenship, etc. The system also will require pilot's license information, as well as information relating to the Customs decal that pilots must affix to their airplane before leaving the U.S. (it costs $27.50 and is available at https://dtops.cbp.dhs.gov/). eAPIS registration is free, and everything is done online.

For each international flight, the pilot fills in a departure and arrival manifest for each occupant of the aircraft. For each occupant, they'll need basic ID information as well as passport number, date and place of birth and current citizenship. An email acknowledgement will be sent to the pilot once the Notice of Departure (or arrival) is processed.

The entire process is quite simple and painless. Once the initial registration is complete, filing for each subsequent flight is quick. Note that the eAPIS can be filed days or weeks in advance of your trip. Both the departure and return manifests can be filed at the same time, as well.

There's a useful tutorial that covers the entire process at http://apps.cbp.gov/eAPIS-pa. It's worth the five minutes to do the tutorial. Once enrolled, eAPIS filings can be done at any computer with Internet access at https://eapis.cbp.dhs.gov.






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