The Baja Bush Pilots, a group of about 4,000 pilots who promote flying to Mexico and Central America, say the proposal by U.S. Customs and Border Protection to require detailed manifests and itineraries from general aviation pilots crossing the U.S. border is unworkable in its present form. In an interview at AOPA Expo in Hartford, Baja Bush Pilots President Jack McCormick told AVweb the most pressing concern is the requirement that the information be filed electronically. "Sometimes in Mexico you're lucky to find a phone that works. How are you supposed to find an Internet connection?" As AVweb reported last month, Customs says the goal of the program is to improve security of trans-border small aircraft operations.
McCormick said he believes the current system, in which pilots land at airports with Customs services and remain in the aircraft until interviewed by agents works well for the minimal risk that GA poses as a terrorism or national security risk. The organization is using AOPA to gather support in its fight against the proposed rule and it's also mounting a media and Internet campaign.
Exclusive video interview with Jack McCormick