What you need to know before you go
As part of our continuing relationship with our counterpart in the U.S., AOPA extends an invitation to all Canadian Pilots and especially COPA members to take part in the AOPA Convention and Expo held in Hartford, Connecticut in early October of this year.
The AOPA Expo is a fun-packed, educational, and aviation merchandizing showcase extravaganza for owners and pilots alike. You can meet pilots from all over the U.S. and visitors from many countries and enjoy a full social schedule while taking part in the many opportunities to network, learn and shop for aviation paraphernalia.
There will be more than 500 exhibits and more than 80 aircraft on display. With the convention being held so close to our border this year, it is a convenient location for central and eastern Canada and Canadian pilots are especially welcome to take part.
COPA will be represented with attendance by COPA President, Kevin Psutka, and for the first time COPA will provide a seminar. New staff member, John Quarterman, will be giving American Pilots a taste of Canadian Rules and Regulations, as well as advice on flying to Canada in the post 911 security environment.
Members are urged to plan and book their hotel early, and reserve their tickets at the many AOPA social gatherings soon, as the social events are always well attended and may well sell out. Information, bookings and registration can be done by the following means:
Website AOPA Expo: www.aopa.org/expo/ ; Tel: 301-695-2000 or 800-872-2672.
Some quick facts about AOPA Expo 2007:
Location: Hartford, Connecticut Convention Centre.
Dates: October 4-6 2007.
Nearest Airport: Hartford (KHFD), FBO is Atlantic Aviation.
Alt Airport: Bradley International (KBDL), FBO is TacAir or Signature Flt Support.
Ground Transport: Ground Transportation is being provided - buses will run regularly from all FBO's to the convention centre downtown.
Aircraft Displays: Aircraft on display will only be at Hartford-Brainard.
Seminar Schedule: Shows and seminars will be available as part of the website link approximately six weeks prior. It will list topics, presenter and times.
Here are some tips for flying across the border (consult the COPA/AOPA Guide to Cross-border Operations for full information http://www.copanational.org/members/COPAGuides/AOPA%20COPA%20Cross%20Border%20Operations%20Manual.pdf :
Port of Entry: Pick a port of entry close to the border. Ports of entry can be found at the CBP website: http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/toolbox/ports/
Customs: Call 2 hours prior to arrival. Make sure you ask the officer about any passengers you intend to carry who are not born in Canada. Ask about purchasing a customs decal.
Documentation: A Canadian or American passport or Nexus card is mandatory for everyone. Non-Canadians without a VISA cannot travel to the U.S. by private aircraft. (I94W Visa-waiver is NOT acceptable).
Planning: Call Nav Canada for Canadian WX and NOTAMS (1-866-WX-BRIEF), call Lockheed-Martin for American WX, NOTAMS and TFRs (1-877-4-TIBS-WX).
Flight Plan: A VFR or IFR Flight Plan is mandatory to cross the border.
Border Crossing: A Discrete Transponder code, and be in contact with the governing ATC unit (Nav Canada or FAA).
Arrival for Customs: 15 minutes (+/-), or a $5000USD fine may result.
Customs Decal: Make sure you have one beforehand, or ask the CBP (customs) officer on the initial telephone call if he can sell you one. Bring $25US cash.
178 Form: This CBP form should be filled out by the pilot beforehand, and handed to the CBP officers on arrival, see: https://forms.customs.gov/customsrf/getformharness.asp?formName=cf-178-print.xft&preference=PDF
Returning to Canada: Call CANPASS (1-888-CANPASS), between 2 hours and 48 hours in advance of returning. Flight plan, transponder code and communications with ATC while crossing the border also apply.