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Thread: Curious about Canadian planes to Oshkosh

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    MEdwards's Avatar
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    Curious about Canadian planes to Oshkosh

    Just wondering how Canadian planes going to Oshkosh are treated. I assume you have to land at an airport of entry near the border. Does Customs and Border Protection put on additional staff to handle the load? Any special procedures? How about Canadian seaplanes? Are there airports of entry with seaplane facilities?
    Mike E

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    FlyingRon's Avatar
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    Information here: https://www.eaa.org/en/airventure/ea...-us-and-canada and in the NOTAM.

    There is a special customs clearance at Wittman field during the show.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MEdwards View Post
    Just wondering how Canadian planes going to Oshkosh are treated. I assume you have to land at an airport of entry near the border. Does Customs and Border Protection put on additional staff to handle the load? Any special procedures? How about Canadian seaplanes? Are there airports of entry with seaplane facilities?
    Mike E
    Well, it's certainly not as simple and straight forward as it use to be about 15 years ago for private aircraft clearing customs at a US airport of entry.

    Although this is not at all necessary, we usually clear customs at the closest entry airport to the border because if we later encounter Wx issues on route we can then go to any alternate airport and be legal to land.

    Firstly, as was always the case you file a mandatory flight plan because your intention is to cross an international border and land.

    In addition now, you must complete and file a mandatory Electronic Advance Passenger Information System notification, commonly referred to as eAPIS, from US Customs and Border Protection, Dept Homeland Security. You complete this online and it takes about 15mins to do. You provide information on all souls aboard the aircraft, including passport info and number, specific aircraft info and ETA at entry airport. You have to allow for at least 2 hours advance notice on landing at airport of entry and you must also receive online an acknowledgement that the eAPIS has been received and approved. For good measure we will also call the appropriate US Customs to confirm hours of operation and when we can expect their arrival because the same Customs guys and women can be handling numerous airports of entry in a given area.

    The Customs guys are usually waiting for you by the time you land and shut down. You stay in the aircraft until they say you can exit. They approach the aircraft with yellow giger counters, doing a walk-a-round to detect all kinds of nasty stuff. You hand over your passport, they check it against the eAPIS, and many times they'll ask what's new at Oshkosh this year. And that's it.

    It's my experience that they are genuinely nice people, always polite and courteous to private aircraft owners/pilots and sometime inquisitive about airplanes and aviation. Only had a bad experience once at Chippawa County when 2 Customs guys intentionally made us wait in the airplane on a sweltering hot day for about 30 mins. I say intentionally because we saw them in the building window looking at us and then looking away several times. Real power tripping pricks. But if ya wanna get to Oshkosh ya gotta hold your tongue.

    For Canadian seaplanes there are Customs entry seaplane bases. Same procedures apply. For the last few years we clear at Drummond Island, Michigan which also has a seaplane Customs entry. In past years we have also cleared in Toledo, Saginaw and at Green Bay.

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