AsstChiefMark
Topic Author
Posts: 10465
Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2004 2:14 pm

Foreign Arrivals/Airports Without Immigration

Sat Mar 19, 2005 5:19 am

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?

Mark
Red tail...Red tail...Red tail...Red tail...Red tail...Red tail...Red tail...Red tail...Damned MSP...Red tail...Red tail
 
avek00
Posts: 3155
Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2004 5:56 am

RE: Foreign Arrivals/Airports Without Immigration

Sat Mar 19, 2005 5:26 am

"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?"

Exactly - they are held either on the airplane or else in a secured and isolated area within the terminal, away from the normal traffic.
Live life to the fullest.
 
airbazar
Posts: 6805
Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2003 11:12 pm

RE: Foreign Arrivals/Airports Without Immigration

Sat Mar 19, 2005 5:38 am

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  Smile
 
ConcordeBoy
Posts: 16852
Joined: Thu Feb 01, 2001 8:04 am

RE: Foreign Arrivals/Airports Without Immigration

Sat Mar 19, 2005 9:24 am

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.
Faire du ciel le plus bel endroit de la terre c'est impossible sans Concorde!
 
B747-437B
Posts: 8777
Joined: Thu May 30, 2002 6:54 am

RE: Foreign Arrivals/Airports Without Immigration

Sat Mar 19, 2005 9:40 am

Quoting ConcordeBoy (Reply 3):
but HP was forced to terminate its plans for SNA-YVR even though it'd already begun selling tickets

It was Alaska, not America West - and they actually operated the first flight before they were shut down and fined.
"The A340-300 may boast a long range, but the A340 is underpowered" -- Robert Milton, CEO - Air Canada
 
dc10tim
Posts: 1380
Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2005 12:21 am

RE: Foreign Arrivals/Airports Without Immigration

Sat Mar 19, 2005 9:43 am

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?

Regards all,

Tim.
Obviously missing something....
 
LAXinYYZ
Posts: 41
Joined: Mon Aug 09, 2004 11:03 am

RE: Foreign Arrivals/Airports Without Immigration

Sat Mar 19, 2005 9:51 am

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.

Chris
"Don't trust any statistic that you didn't falsify yourself"
 
Newark777
Posts: 8284
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 6:23 am

RE: Foreign Arrivals/Airports Without Immigration

Sat Mar 19, 2005 9:54 am

Didn't this happen recently with a NW plane on the west coast? I might just be going crazy, but I think I remember hearing something about this.

Harry
Why grab a Heine when you can grab a Busch?
 
avek00
Posts: 3155
Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2004 5:56 am

RE: Foreign Arrivals/Airports Without Immigration

Sat Mar 19, 2005 10:43 am

"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.
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