View of Whiteplains Plantation

View of Whiteplains Plantation
Over Head View - Taken May 8, 2011 Photo By: Phil Rainwater

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

New Bahamas customs fee catches pilots off guard - Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association


New Bahamas customs fee catches pilots off guard

July 2, 2013
General aviation pilots landing or taking off from the Bahamas since July 1 have been surprised to learn they must pay new customs processing fees.
One of the fees for customs services is a $50 charge for processing an inward declaration and a cruising permit for private aircraft entering the Bahamas. For an outward declaration, it appears that pilots must use a form that carries a $75 processing fee, said Rick Gardner of Caribbean Sky Tours, AOPA’s authorized representative for the Bahamas, Caribbean, Mexico, and Central America.
The new fees, which raise the cost of a trip to the Bahamas beyond an existing $25-per-person passenger tax, went into effect with no advance notice and caught the tourism industry and fixed-base operators off guard, Gardner added.
Since July 1, Gardner’s office has been fielding phone calls and emails from dismayed pilots who had been informed that they owed the charges. In a telephone interview, Gardner said he had just heard from a member of a group of 16 single-engine aircraft on a mission trip to Haiti who were charged the fee upon making a refueling stop. The group vowed not to refuel in the Bahamas on their return flight, Gardner said.
“It’s not the amount, it’s how they did it,” Gardner said, expressing disappointment at a lack of outreach to the general aviation community by the government of the Bahamas, a popular vacation destination for pilots.
“They played with the goose that lays the golden eggs,” he said.

New Bahamas customs fee catches pilots off guard - Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association

No comments: