Cuba flight operations

From the Cuban side, there are no restrictions. The restrictions are set by the US Government.
Previously, Private (FAR Part 91) and Charter (FAR Part-135) operators of N-registered aircrafts were required to
obtain an export license from BIS for the flight to Cuba. This requirement has now been removed, and now private
and/or charter operators can fly to Cuba without the need to apply for a BIS or OFAC license provided the purpose
of the flight is to carry authorized travelers between the U.S. and Cuba. FYI, Private (FAR Part 91) operations of
aircraft from the U.S. will no longer require an advance “temporary” sojourn license from Department of Commerce
Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS)

a. Flight has to perform the trip based on the 12 approved purpose of travel to Cuba. (see below)

b. Landing permit is needed in Cuba. (lead time is 3-5 working days) To process the landing permit, CAA Cuba requires:

  • Complete flight details including schedule.
  • Aircraft certificates: noise, airworthiness, insurance and registration.
    Flight crew license and medical certificates are not mandatory but are sometimes requested by CAA Cuba.
  • The actual purpose of flight into Cuba. Indicating Private Business or Business Flight on our requests are always questioned for the true and actual purpose of flight before approval for the permit is issued. (ie. business meeting with ABC company, etc)
  • The local sponsor name and contact number in Cuba is also required by the Cuban CAA for verification.c. Aircraft and crew can stay for a period of no longer than 7 days (see parking information below)d.The previous ruling for aircraft operating to Cuba to operate to and from 22 approved US airports has been removed.


Concerning parking at MUHA, as per the authorities in Cuba, they don’t have any restrictions as to how long a N-registered would like to remain on-ground. The new regulation allowing a N-registered aircraft to park in Cuba is set by the US government which is not more than 7 days. Here is the link to the recent changes as posted by the U.S. Department of Treasury (Under point “Travel”)

12 Approved Purpose of Travel to Cuba

1. Family visits
2. Official business of the U.S. government, foreign governments, and certain intergovernmental organizations
3. Journalistic activity
4. Professional research and professional meetings
5. Educational activities
6. Religious activities
7. Public performances, clinics, workshops, athletic and other competitions, and exhibitions
8. Support for the Cuban people
9. Humanitarian projects
10. Activities of private foundations or research or educational institutes
11. Exportation, importation, or transmission of information or information materials
12. Certain export transactions that may be considered for authorization under existing regulations and guidelines.

Approved U.S. Ports of Entry for Flights to and from Cuba

CBP has determined that the 22 airports listed below are suitable to accommodate flights traveling between the United States and Cuba:

  • Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, Atlanta, GA
  • Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, Austin, TX
  • Baltimore-Washington Thurgood Marshall International Airport, Baltimore, MD
  • Boston Logan International Airport, Boston, MA
  • Chicago O’Hare International Airport, Chicago, IL
  • Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, Dallas, TX
  • Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, Fort Lauderdale, FL
  • George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Houston, TX
  • John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York, NY
  • Los Angeles International Airport, Los Angeles, CA
  • Key West International Airport, Key West, FL
  • Miami International Airport, Miami, FL
  • Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport, Minneapolis, MN
  • New Orleans Louis Armstrong International Airport, New Orleans, LA
  • Oakland International Airport, Oakland, CA
  • Orlando International Airport, Orlando, FL
  • Palm Beach International Airport, West Palm Beach, FL
  • Pittsburgh International Airport, Pittsburg, PA
  • San Juan Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport, San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • Southwest Florida International Airport, Ft. Myers, FL
  • Tampa International Airport, Tampa, FL
  • Washington Dulles International Airport, Washington, D.C.

On January 28, 2011, DHS published a final rule in the Federal Register entitled “Airports of Entry or Departure for Flights to and From Cuba.”
The final rule amended DHS regulations to allow additional U.S. airports that are able to process international flights to request approval of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to process authorized flights between the United States and Cuba.