Streamlined Process For Entering The U.S. Recognizes Need For
The NBAA says it welcomes the
decision by TSA officials to eliminate a historically unpredictable
and burdensome process for companies using business aviation to
obtain international waivers for flights into the U.S. The
announcement of the program was made by TSA Administrator John
Pistole and DHS secretary Janet Napolitano Monday at AirVenture in
NBAA and federal security officials are in agreement that the
move will reduce the administrative burden and costly travel delays
for industry that have beset the waiver program in recent years,
while preserving stringent security protocols for U.S.-bound
flights. "Companies across the world that rely on business aviation
will welcome today's announcement, because it recognizes the
importance of international commerce to the U.S., and the central
role of business aviation in driving that economic activity," said
NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen (pictured, right). "This change
will greatly reduce the barriers while maintaining essential
security for companies wanting to bring their business and
investment to the U.S."
TSA's new procedure applies to aircraft registered outside of
the U.S. Under the new procedure, those using company-owned
airplanes to travel to the U.S. to conduct business will no longer
be required to undergo TSA's traditional process for obtaining an
international waiver to enter the country.
Instead, TSA will conduct its security review by coordinating with
a partner security agency, CBP, to gather the data through CBP's
Electronic Advance Passenger Information System (e-APIS). The
approach is expected to be implemented and in use by government on
September 1st of this year.
Introduced more than a year ago, the e-APIS program has proven
relatively easy to use and highly effective in gathering dozens of
data points "including information about an aircraft's owner,
operator, passengers and intended destination" for each flight into
or out of the U.S. Industry compliance with meeting e-APIS
requirements is near 100 percent, and operators have reported few
problems with using of the system.
"The TSA's new approach for
obtaining critical security data is a win for government and
industry," Bolen continued. "The new procedure shows how
coordination among federal agencies can make security measures more
effective at less cost to government, while bringing reliability,
predictability and a reduced compliance burden to industry."
Bolen commended a number of government officials for
collaborating with the business aviation community on the new
waiver procedure, including TSA Administrator John Pistole,
Associate Administrator for Transportation Sector Network
Management John Sammon and General Manager for General Aviation
Security Policy Brian Delauter. Additionally, he thanked CBP
Assistant Commissioner for Field Operations Tom Winkowski and CBP
e-APIS Program Manager Eric Rodgriguez for reaching out to the
industry for guidance on the new waiver plan.
Also noteworthy to Bolen has been the work done by the European
Business Aviation Association and its members, who met with
government officials on multiple occasions to provide real-world
feedback to the agencies, which helped inform efforts to improve
the waiver process.
"This experience demonstrates the effectiveness with which
people from several corners in the industry can work with
government officials to enhance the security of flight while
avoiding unneeded disruption to the mobility and flexibility that
are the industry's hallmarks," Bolen concluded. "We thank the
officials with the TSA and Customs for allowing EBAA, NBAA and
other business aviation stakeholders to provide input toward this
new waiver plan, and we believe the new procedure has been made
effective and workable as a result."