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Click on the country name below for information.
(current as of March 2010)
Those in search of a carefree passage flying around South America should avoid Venezuela until there is a "regime change" (awful expression!). Over the last few months, things have become increasingly more difficult for foreign aircraft transiting through this country. It has already been some time that flying within the country for tourism purposes has been nigh impossible but until recently it was OK to springboard into an airport, refuel and leave. Even this is now fraught with risk. Bob Gannon just went through at the relatively benign destination of Margarita Island. Having landed, he fought for 3 hours against having his aircraft impounded (another N-registered jet was indeed stuck there, under detention!) and got out as soon as possible.
Other pilots have had to pay heavy bribes to get away, and one even snuck off in the middle of the night with radios and transponder off.
Best bet is to avoid this country until further notice.
New Information (November 2010):
All documents (crew and aircraft) and requests must be officially translated into Spanish. Then the documents must be notarized, then the notarization must be apostilized. Then, all documents are to be sent via FEDEX to the attention of the Venezuelan CAA.
Below please find the permit application procedure
Permit Application Procedure:
• Landing Permission take up to 15 BUSINESS DAYS to obtain.
• Permit application process does not begin until all required documents are received (INCLUDING mailed documents that are to be translated, notarized and apostilized)
• ALL aircraft documents must be translated into Spanish, NOTARIZED, and APOSTILIZED, and original documents MUST be mailed to INAC via FedEX or UPS (preferred for customs purposes…quicker customs clearance)
• Certificate of Airworthiness (Translated into Spanish)
• Certificate of Registration (Translated into Spanish)
• Aircraft Insurance (Geographical Area Coverage MUST state Worldwide AND VENEZUELA) (Translated into Spanish)
• Pilots License (Translated into Spanish)
• Pilots Medical [Any pilot aged 40 or over, must have a medical that has been validated within the past 6 months] (Translated into Spanish)
• Crew Passports
• Letter of Authorization, for the handler, on company letterhead, in order for the handler to process the permit and navigation aid clearance on your behalf. (Translated into Spanish)
• Copy of Passport of person signing the Letter of Authorization. (Translated into Spanish)
• Purpose of Flight, if for business purposes must state “CORPORATE” or “INDUSTRIAL AID”
• Proof of Medical expense coverage for crew and passengers (min coverage per person is $175,000.00 USD). (Translated into Spanish)
• Scanned copy of article of incorporation of the company owner of the aircraft. (Translated into Spanish)
• Copies of aircraft lease agreement (if aircraft is leased). (Translated into Spanish)
• Letter of the Purpose of Flight (Translated into Spanish) explaining:
• Well explained reason for operating to Venezuela, specifically detailing where you will be going, and what you will be doing
• If the owner or passengers have companies, or do business within Venezuela, the letter must state where the companies are located, and their names
• When selecting an airport, explain why the airport was selected for flight operations.
• If the aircraft has received prior permissions to operate to/within Venezuela, state the purpose of the previous trips.
• Full Legal Names, Gender, Nationalities, Passport Numbers, and Passport Expiry Dates for each passenger.
Thanks to White Rose Aviation for supplying this new information.
Nice little airport of entry, very friendly and helpful staff English speaking. You do not need handling service, Customs 24h PNR charges US$ 50,- for travelling from city to the airport and Crewbus is US$ 58.- for two rides. Airport fees for Ldg + Pkg US$ 20,- only.
San Fernando (SADF)
This is the General Aviation Airport of Buenos Aires, Jeppesen says “non English” but that is not true, ATC and AIS speak English very well and all people are very friendly and helpful. There is customs and immigration as well, so you can use it as a port of entry. For our aircraft below 2 tons we did not even had to pay any fee – we just refuelled and went off again
This airport is very close to the area where a lot of drug smuggling is going on. So for us it was the first time experience that a drug dog was sent into the cabin to sniff around. All other procedures where done quickly and with a friendly support by the airport staff. No handling service needed, we paid 95 US$ for airport fees etc in total.
All civil aviation in Brazil is contolled by the Military but they have set up an Internet System for Flight Permissions which seems to be quite effective (AVANAC) http://www2.anac.gov.br/portal/cgi/cgilua.exe/sys/start.htm?sid=390.We will report how it works after landing there.
We choose this airport as it is the nearest to GVNP Praia but it may be that SBNT Natal would have been the better choice. The main terminal is on the north and the GA Ramp is on the south side of the runway. For Customs and Immigration you have to drive to the other side,that takes time and is expensive. We paid US$ 575,- for all fees incl. NAV, two Pax and two nights parking.
Campo Grande (SBCG)
Small international airport, very easy, no handling service. AIS and ATC speak English. We paid US$ 200,- for airport fees and NAV including Parking for one night
FOZ DE IGUAZU (SBFL)
This is a much bigger airport than that one on the Argentina side, anyhow you do not need handling service, the people are very friendly and helpful and you will find someone who speaks English. First we went to Customs (24 h avlb) to get our temporary flying permit for Brazil “TEAT” – based on our previous application via Internet, for which we had to send copies of all documents, licenses etc (AVANAC). Carrying five GDs with us we than had to go to Security and Immigration and finally to AIS to file the next FPL and to pay the fees. Filing the plan took a bit too long, all AIS and ATC in Brazil is managed by the military…. For this technical stop of two hours we paid totally 190 US$ incl fees for two Pax.
Be prepared for Brazilian bureaucracy, bring 6 Gendecs and have ALL paperwork ready. Fill the AVANAC 48h before the flight otherwise you might stay there for 2 days waiting. Very friendly authorities, customs, immigration and all paperwork can done in less than 1 hour, no need for handler. International airport 5 minutes from city center, only US$5, hotel IBIS the best in town. Fuel is expensive. Good tiedown area.
New changes in General Aviation Rules.
Resolution No 178 of December 21, 2010
Info current July 2007
File a flight plan and go.
Get an overflight permit from AIS, free. Takes original plane and pilot docs, lots of patience, and Portuguese is most helpful.
Very friendly folks.
By far the single most expensive place we have flown due to astronomical fuel prices and user fees.
Will send you the details later... one example is US$11 per gallon for fuel up the Rio Solimoes, 2 hour flight from Manaus.
Handling not mandatory, but nobody speaks English. Got around with some Spanish. Airport official took me through immigration, customs, and security. Drove me to CAA where a permit to fly in Brasil was issued. Need to see licence and aircraft documents with sufficient insurance coverage. Took 2 hours because of the traffic. Avgas cash only, accepted in U$, very nice people like everywhere in Brazil. Landing and parking 2 nights 150U$ for 1814kg MTOW.
Rio de Janeiro Santo Dumont (SBRJ)
Beautiful but busy location, Avgas from Shell or BP cash only, no US$. Shell drove away and sent BP. because they were cheaper! Landing fee 120,-U$. Loved the place.
Foz de Iguasu (SBFI)
International airport, required to leave Brasil. Waterfalls are spectacular. Avgas, card accepted, charged 120,-U$ landing and parking. Like everywhere in Brazil wonderful people.
On this large international airport it is easy to get through without a handling agent. As customs and immigration was done already at SCIP, only the Agriculture people came to the aircraft for a check. The Follow me gave us a ride to the exit, explained the procedures and where to go for departure and let us out … On departure we passed the normal Immigration Counter and took a stamped Outward-GD with us for the next destination. At gate 16 the Follow me picked us up, brought us to “Operations” for FPL, briefing and payments and than to our aircraft. What a service! Payment? Only 28 US$ for two Pax – all other fees where included in the 30 day-visitor-fee of 35 US$ we paid in Easter Island as a lumpsum, valid for all Chile Airports!
Santago de Chile (SCFI)
Mountainous approach, Mendoza required FL260 over UMKAL coming from the east to cross the Andes. Took 75min. to clear immigration, customs and fees without a handling agent. 55 U$ fees, were difficult to calculate as they do not see many aircraft below 2000kg MTOW. No Avgas available.
Valpataiso Aeroclub, not Vina des mar (SCRD)
800m asphalt runway, have Avgas 100/130, 1,90U$/liter, Pesos cash only. Nobody wanted landing fees, gave donation. Very helpful officials of DGAC in the tower. Vina del Mar has longer runway but is joint military, everybody said that it is a difficult place to go.
Robinson Crusoe island (SCIR)
DGAC made me land there, did not allow nonstop to Easter island (SCIP). Arranged pickup and transfer to Cumberland Bay from SCRD. Do everything by yourself, a meteo station is in town and will radio the QNH on CTAF, no fuel, nobody wanted landing fees. Fishermen transfer in 90min. to small town in open boats, they have Super 98 in barrels, took 75 liters as a reserve in case. Very nice people, nobody speaks English.
Easter Island (SCIP)
Took very long and many, many mails including aircraft performance data to get permission from DGAC to land there. Juan Edmunds was a wonderful help. Avgas is a major problem in Chile, sold only to members of aeroclubs, shipping is expensive because of security regulations. Juan had the last 600 liters for me. Beautiful island and people. Several nice hotels near the airport, many were fully booked.
Easter Island (Isla de Pascua)
From Edmunds Services EIRL:
Edmunds Services will not deal anymore with AVgas due to its high cost to buy the product and barrels, the complexity to transport and stock months ahead. At least during 2011 there are no plans to stock Avgas here.
Info current May 2007
Colombia was the most bureaucratic of all of the places we flew to, both in getting permission to enter and land, and when leaving the country. Hard to get in, and hard to get out.
Contact: Jose Arturo Garcia Torres
Fax your application to fax 57-1-2663975
Best if you write it in Spanish.
Must include airports you intend to use, dates for arrival and departure to/from the country, reason for visiting, airport of entry, airport of exit and other information you think is appropriate.
Also include copies of the plane registration, airworthiness, and insurance; and licenses of the crew.
They will give you 15 days in the country, renewable up to 30. If you want to talk to somebody on the phone, call 57-1-2662514 or 57-1-2662208 in Bogotá Colombia.
We paid US$107 for landing and parking (about 1 week visit).
Also US$33 for permission to use the aerodrome.
Fuel was US$4.24/gal.
On the way out we got messed around for a full two hours as the weather degraded, walking back and forth across the airport from one office to another. Flight services would not file the flight plan until all fees were paid. Bureaucratic nightmare, think Kafka. At one point I waited for 10 minutes while one of the people that had to stamp our General Declaration finished his nap. As a joke(?) on the way out the door one of the AIS employees suggested that we needed to pay one more hour of parking, but was waved off by an administrator.
Info current June 2007
File a flight plan and go.
Handler was required at Hato Airport. We used CATS N.V. and they were good to us.
Mr.Ronny Gibbs (we worked with Sunni and Sandra)
Customs charged US$22 on the way in. The handler's bill was less than US$100 and included the airport charges.
We bought fuel for US$3.26/gallon
Very efficient and quick French authorities, fuel in this part of the world is expensive, friendly airport people. No place to tiedown with ropes, not even ultralights are tied.
Info current June 2007
File a flight plan and go. If you have questions you can email Mr. Zulficar Mohamed at email@example.com
We paid US$22 to land and a little over 3 for overnight parking. Fuel was US$4.81/gal
Expensive place to land, USD85 for a small 2 seat airplane, best is to arrive early and depart as quickly as possible if the only reason for landing is lack of fuel endurance to continue to Cayenne.
Prepare to handle 7 copies of Gendecs. New rules as of 2012, first you need to clear customs, pay airport tax at the tower, need to walk around all the way under equatorial sun (...) and only after all this is done, you will be refueled. No credit cards accepted, bring US$.
Info current June 2007
File a flight plan and go. If you have questions contact Sydney Charles at CHARLESGAA@spiceisle.com
He gave us the airport fees via email and they were spot-on. We paid:
Parking US$67.50 for about 28 days
Nav Fee US$15
We bought fuel for US$5.28/gal
Dollars in Grenada are EC dollars, about 2 EC$ to 1 US$.
Beautiful place, fantastic fresh fruits and spices, friendly smiling people.
Very efficient and quick French authorities, fuel in this part of the world is expensive, friendly airport people. Lot's of small planes, great tiedown
Punta de Este (SULS)
Small international airport, very busy during holiday season. Had no handling agent and was taken around by an agent free of charge. Very nice people, some speak little english. Avgas 100/130 at 1.00U$/liter, cash only. Landing and parking 4 nights 160 U$. Rental cars and hotels available, but make reservation during the holiday season. No oil, but can be ordered in advance from a dealer in Las Piedras, Mr. Braggio, Ph. 0059899660340
We can provide handling agents for all Uruguaian airports.
Most important international airports are:
SUMU - main international airport
SULS - near the season resort area PUNTA DEL ESTE
SUAA - especially atractive for non-comercial flight - 10 NM from downtown MONTEVIDEO (country capital).
Mr. Gualdemar Gutierrez
+598 99 641 656
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