AsstChiefMark From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Posted (9 years 6 months 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 1722 times:
I'm watching the winter follies in progress at MSP. They're getting hit with a big snow storm. Traffic is circling around EAU and this poor little CRJ doesn't know where to go. He's FLG2884 from YYZ to MSP. He's changed his destination from MSP to EAU to LSE in five minutes....which got me thinking.
What happens if an airliner inbound from a non-USA airport is diverted to a USA airport that doesn't have customs/immigration? Are the passengers held somewhere?
Airbazar From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 8373 posts, RR: 10
Reply 2, posted (9 years 6 months 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 1678 times:
My guess is that an airport without immigration facilities will never be an alternate for a flight that needs immigration. I noticed for example that YYZ is the usual alternate for trans-atlantic flights when they can't land at either BOS or NYC. Flights from Canada are always pre-cleared in Canada so that's not an issue. Now, and emergency landing, that's a different issue and I suspect factors other than immigration facilities would be higher up on the list of priorities
ConcordeBoy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (9 years 6 months 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 1610 times:
The way it's currently structured, all USA airports require customs/immigration facilities to handle any form of scheduled operation from ANY (including pre-cleared) foreign airline.
That's why LGA can accept international arrivals from Canada/Bahamas/etc regardless of its lack of integrated facilities for processing non-precleared arrivals en masse; but HP was forced to terminate its plans for SNA-YVR even though it'd already begun selling tickets.
Any USA airport can however accept international charters and special arrivals provided they'd prescheduled Mobile Customs operations with the various authorities that be.
Not sure the exact (or even if there is any to that extent) protocol for abject emergencies involving an int'l arrival at an incapable airport... but they seem to vary based on the situation.
DC10Tim From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 1406 posts, RR: 14
Reply 5, posted (9 years 6 months 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 1569 times:
Wouldn't this normally be taken into consideration in the flight plan? I know in the case of emergencies etc. things might go out of the window, but under normal circumstances, wouldn't "alt" destinations for such flights be places where such facilities exist?
Avek00 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 4387 posts, RR: 19
Reply 8, posted (9 years 6 months 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 1510 times:
"We clear US customs in YYZ. No need to clear them at the arriving airport. The cost to have customs agents at every small US city for one flight a day would be nuts."
It doesn't matter that they do not have to be cleared at the USA airport - under the law, a US airport MUST have a customs inspector available if it handles any international arrivals OR departures. The rationale for this is twofold:
1. The USG is permitted to inspect departing international aircraft, pax and cargo (but nowadays only does so very infrequently); and
2. For various reasons, it may be necessary to inspect an arriving international flight even if it was already pre-cleared offshore.