Canadian Border Overflight Issue Resolved

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Canadian GA and business aircraft can again take shortcuts over U.S. airspace on their way to Canadian destinations. The FAA has amended a NOTAM issued a couple of weeks ago that made such overflights illegal without special security measures. As we reported last week, the NOTAM, apparently issued at the request of the TSA, cancelled the decades-long agreement between the two countries that allowed Canadian aircraft to transit U.S. airspace without security or Customs requirements. The NOTAM caught authorities and groups on both sides of the border by surprise and caused some major headaches for private and commercial operators who had to take long detours around the U.S. border or risk interception by U.S. authorities. It was apparently all a mistake but one that took two weeks to resolve, said Canadian Owners and Pilots Association President Bernard Gervais.

"The subsequent 15 days required relentless discussions and communications between COPA, AOPA, IAOPA, Canadian Business Aviation Association, Air Transport Association of Canada, FAA, Transport Canada, and more," Gervais said. "This event was apparently an oversight, a mistake and unfortunately normal protocol between TSA/FAA and our Transport Canada Civil Aviation Security was skipped or forgotten." Gervais said the matter has been a learning experience on both sides of the border. "COPA received assurance that such an event would not repeat itself without proper coordination," he said. "Canadian and U.S. staff pulled together in an amazing collaboration to resolve this issue."