Nassau, Bahamas is a destination everyone needs to see and visit at least once in their life. Situated in the northwestern West Indies, The Bahamas has become one of the world’s foremost vacation resorts with the capital, Nassau, being the island nation’s commercial hub. For business jet operators, Nassau serves as a great tech stop location.
If you’re planning to operate to Nassau, then here’s what you should know:
1. Main Airport
Lynden Pindling International Airport
[IATA: NAS, ICAO: MYNN]
The airports in the Bahamas are very well connected, making it one of the best nations to visit, especially during the peak season months of December through February. The main port of entry is at Nassau’s Lynden Pindling International Airport (MYNN).
Formerly known as Nassau International Airport, MYNN is the largest airport in the Bahamas and the primary international gateway into the nation. Located in Nassau on the island of New Providence, the airport is located about 10 miles west of Nassau’s city center. Control tower and airport operating hours are 24 hours; however, Bahamas Customs and Immigration hours operate from 0900 to 1700L on weekdays only.
Alternative airports to MYNN include Grand Bahama International (MYGF) located in Freeport and Leonard M. Thompson International Airport (MYAM) located in Marsh Harbour. There are also several domestic airports; however, prior to operating, it is best to confirm ahead of time the airport conditions and availability of ground handling services. There are no landing fees or tie-down fees for single engine private planes under 6,000 lbs. at any government-owned airport. Fees may apply at private airports, such as MYGF.
Aircraft parking can be a concern, especially during high season. If parking is needed, request will need to be received as soon as possible to ensure availability.
Airport slots are not required.
PPRs are not required.
Flights to MYGF and MYAM may be restricted or suspended due to Hurricane Dorian aftermath. MYNN was an unaffected area and remains fully operative. Check here for up-to-date information.
Your ground handler will need to be provided with the full schedule, crew and passenger information, operator name, aircraft type and registry, and ground service requirements.
It is recommended to secure all ground handling and fuel requirements a minimum of 24 hours prior to arrival. While it depends on the demand, expect slight delays during peak season months.
4. Ground Transportation
Nassau transportation services include buses, taxis and chauffeur driven cars available for booking. Transportation to neighboring Bahamian islands can also be coordinated via plane or boat.
Landing permits are necessary for charter operations, but not for private flights. Permits for a single operation require up to four business days. Jetex can efficiently and easily assist and handle all permit requests. During peak season months (December to February), permit requests should be sent as soon as possible to avoid any unprecedented delays.
When applying for annual permits, operators will be given a temporary license that allows unlimited flights on a month-to-month basis while the annual permit is being processed.
Documentation requirements include a copy of the registration and airworthiness certificates, insurance certificate, Air Operator’s Certificate, and ad hoc application for a charter permit.
6. Customs & Visas
BA/GA passengers and crew entering the Bahamas are required to obtain three copies of the C7A Bahamas Cruising Permit form, one Bahamas Immigration Card per person, and a valid passport.
MYNN is one of the few Caribbean airports where U.S. pre-clearance is available pre-departure.
A CARICOM APIS filing is not required. For Bahamas entry requirements, see here.
Customs, immigration, and quarantine (CIQ) clearance is normally not required for international tech stops, as long as crew and/or passengers don’t embark or disembark. When operating to secondary airfields, you’ll need to first clear CIQ inbound and outbound at the airport of entry
7. In-Flight Catering
Onboard catering may be permitted to be offloaded, or stored at the airport, but confirmation of these arrangements is highly advised.
With over 100 resorts in the Nassau region, accommodations are relatively feasible to get on short notice. Accommodation rates range from US $350-1300/nightly, landing on the higher end during peak season (December to March).
The U.S. Department of State maintains The Bahamas at a level two travel advisory. While it is safe to travel to the Bahamas, visitors are advised to be vigilant of their surroundings and belongings.
10. Climate Conditions
Yearly temperatures linger between 70°F (21°C) and 80°F (26°C), and while the Bahamas, in general, does not have an off-season, temperatures can slightly vary by location. The weather is relatively warm throughout all four seasons, followed by cooler trade winds during the autumnal months.
Nassau’s peak travel season occurs during the months of December through February, where atmospheric conditions are less humid and muggy. The rainy months of May to November rarely pose a challenge to visitors as rainfall is relatively small. However, the island may be affected during tropical storm season months. Lightweight and breathable attire is highly recommended.
11. Other Factors
- Cabotage restrictions are not an issue for domestic operations of foreign-registered private or charter aircraft in the Bahamas.
- English is fluently spoken in the Bahamas.
- Vaccination advisories can be found here.
- Pets may be brought into the Bahamas, but the pet must be no less than six months old and have a current health certificate. The animal, within 48 hours of arrival, must be presented to a local veterinarian for examination.
- For firearms on board, coordinate with ground handler well in advance.
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UTC -4.0 (Daylight Savings Time)
When operating to Nassau, Bahamas during high season, plan diligently ahead to secure fuel availability, resort accommodations and local transportation. The Bahamas is a relatively accessible destination for GA operations.
Jetex can coordinate all fuel services and flight planning requests. Send in your fuel, ground handling and permit requirements as we are at your disposal to secure what you need.