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Bahamas-Based GA Relief Effort Looking for More Volunteers with Aircraft

Relief Flights: APIS Filing Requirements Still Apply

EAA reminds pilots that the international border crossing and filing requirements for the Advance Passenger Information System (APIS) are still required for all general aviation pilots flying to/from Haiti for relief operations. It is the pilot’s responsibility to file and currently the best way to do that is to file both the flight to Haiti and the return flight to the U.S. using the electronic APIS program prior to leaving the U.S.

However, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is aware that the facilities and/or complete information may not be available for submission. CBP does not want to have any issues where someone’s life is endangered because there is no computer to send APIS or a US-citizen cannot arrive home because he can’t find his passport in rubble that was once his/her hotel. The CBP ports of entry have been made aware of the situation, are currently processing flights under many emergent and extreme situations, and will continue to exercise flexibility. Any questions concerning APIS should be directed to the CBP airport point of entry that you will be using.

Important CBP Update Concerning Travel To and From The Caribbean

Haiti

January 19, 2010Bahamas Habitat, a US-based Christian nonprofit organization supporting housing and disaster relief work in the Bahamas, announced Monday its aviation relief operation for earthquake-stricken Haiti is up and running. Volunteer general aviation pilots are flying out of the organization’s staging base on Inagua, in the Southern Bahamas, delivering with medical supplies to air strips at Cap Haitien and Les Cayes, north and west of Port-Au-Prince where the big aircraft cannot operate, and evacuating people.

 “We have had a rush of requests to help get people out and more medical supplies in,” said  John Armstrong, president of Bahamas Habitat. “Private pilots with aircraft have been volunteering and making preparations to join the efforts from all over the country and even Canada. We have medical and other supplies in Nassau and Fort Lauderdale that need to be moved in and the list of people needing to be evacuated continues to grow.”

So far the flight missions have involved aircraft such as Cessna 182s, Beech Bonanzas and Barons, Piper Aztecs, and Cessna 340s and a Caravan. The organization seeks other volunteers with twin-engine aircraft and high-performance singles. Those with such aircraft wanting to help should click here or visit www.bahamashabitat.org. Organizations with medical and other supplies to donate should e-mail help@bahamashabitat.org.

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