Flying an airplane is not as simple as just purchasing an item. If you can afford an airplane, you can purchase it, but flying it in a country requires a lot of procedures that need to be followed. If you are from some countries, operators may need a TSA waiver and FAA route clearance if the airplane will be flying over U.S. airspace. This makes the process more complicated and limits routing options. Moreover, the ATC is able to flag the flight as an aircraft from a ‘special interest’ country and stop it from flying. In fact, that aircraft will be banned from U.S. airspace.
Fortunately, the FAA airplane registration process and its other rules are easier to work with for airplane operators. The special route clearance after revisions make it easier. Let’s learn about the process and the other information on it, to make the notion clear.
FAA Special Route Clearance
This is only for countries of special interest and for routing their aircrafts in U.S. airspace. The list of special interest countries includes Syria, Republic of China, Russia, Sudan, North Korea, Iran and Cuba. This is a route clearance provided by the FAA and is applicable to private, commercial and charter aircraft who have TSA waivers. The arrival and departure time and points are included in the route clearance along with all waypoints.
A route clearance is required whenever an airplane from a special interest country uses U.S. airspace or goes over territories of the U.S. Territories of the U.S include Virgin Islands, Mariana, Puerto Rico etc.
A route clearance is needed as the FAA wants to track the route of special interest aircrafts that use U.S. airspace. The aircrafts have to follow approved routings as the FAA monitors the aircraft thoroughly while they are in a U.S. territory. Any breach of the approved routing may lead to a warning and further strict consequences.
After submitting a TSA waiver, the request of route clearance is sent to the FAA and it is forwarded to the Traffic System Operations Security Dept. Once the TSA confirms, the FAA will process the waiver and the routing that tallies with all the information provided. A final check is again done by the TSA, proposed by the FAA. Generally, the routing request is modified by the FAA.
Requirements of TSA Waiver
The information required for a TSA waiver includes the description and type of aircraft, takeoff weight (maximum), tail number and call sign, arrival and departure points in the U.S., crew and passenger information, company information, security management, purpose, a digital signature with date.
Requirements of a FAA Special-Route Request
The FAA will need the operator’s information in detail, a detailed itinerary including the entire planning and proposed route plan, detailed information of the flight.
The route clearance has a certain tenure. Within that, the aircraft can fly in U.S. airspace following the approved routing. The validity of the clearance may vary from less than 24 hours to 72 hours. For a delay, a special request application must be submitted.
It is a fact that a TSA waiver and FAA route clearance are sometimes, more complicated than FAA airplane registration. But an aviation trust company can do it on your behalf. The submission, request filing and follow-ups can be done by them. You can ask Aviation Trust for this service and get your flight flying in U.S. airspace following all rules and regulations set by authorities.