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U.S. International TSA Waivers

The U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) issues waivers for various aircraft to fly within U.S. airspace, which includes the airspace above the United States and its territories. Whether your aircraft requires a waiver depends mostly on how large it is, country of registration, and whether you’re flying to/from, within, or over U.S. airspace.

To and From the United States

International TSA waivers are not required for any aircraft arriving to or departing from the United States or its territories.

Operations Within U.S. Airspace

For operations in which both the arrival and departure airports are in the U.S. or its territories, an International TSA waiver is required for foreign-registered aircraft heavier than 100,309 pounds (45,500 kg). Since most private aircraft smaller than a Boeing Business Jet or Airbus Corporate Jet fit under this weight limit, you’re not likely to need the waiver.

Overflying U.S. Airspace

If your aircraft is taking off and landing in countries other than the U.S. and its territories but must overfly U.S. airspace to do so, you might need an International TSA Waiver.

All aircraft weighing more than 100,309 pounds (45,500 kg) require an International TSA Waiver regardless of registration (this includes U.S. registered aircraft) to overfly U.S. airspace.

Aircraft weighing less than 100,309 pounds that are registered in a foreign country other than certain portal countries listed below require an International TSA Waiver to overfly U.S. airspace. U.S.-registered aircraft under the weight limit do not require the waiver.
The portal countries are:

  • Canada
  • Mexico
  • Bahamas
  • Bermuda
  • Cayman Islands
  • British Virgin Islands

Portal country-registered aircraft under the weight limit must fly on a filed and active flight plan directly into U.S. airspace from a portal country to omit the waiver.

NOTE: The above information was based off the FAA Notice to Airmen 6/4255 and 6/4256 issued on January 16, 2016, and is subject to change.

Special Interest Aircraft

Any aircraft registered in one of the following “special interest” countries as defined by the U.S. State Department – regardless of weight – must obtain both an FAA routing authorization and International TSA Waiver.

As of February 2017, these countries included:

  • People’s Republic of China
  • Cuba
  • North Korea
  • Russian Federation
  • Sudan

Visit the FAA site for the most current restriction information or speak to your Jetex representative for more information.

Where To Apply

Use the online FAA/TSA Airspace Access Program to submit requests, or ask your Jetex representative to submit on your behalf. You can apply for a single-trip waiver or a fleet waiver. Either way, you will be required to submit information about the company, flight routing, aircraft, security procedures, pilot, crew, and passengers.

Submit waiver requests at least five to seven business days prior to the planned flight. If granted, you’ll receive an approval letter and a unique waiver authorization number. You must carry a hardcopy of the waiver approval onboard the aircraft.

Your Jetex representative will be happy to answer any questions or provide any assistance you require for your operations. Get in touch with us today.

Jetex Dubai
+971 4 2124000

Jetex Miami
+1 305 306 4000

Alternatively, read more about other permits and permissions required when flying to the U.S.