Helpful Information for Crossing the Canadian Border
Initial Recommendations & Tips
- Complete any preflight procedures from home, before your flight – when you can take your time
- Check and complete the Electronic Advance Passenger Information System (EAPIS) and other forms BEFORE you get to the point of entry
- Some airports don’t have Internet access, and most pilots aren’t familiar with the EAPIS process
- Cut Bank is the only 24/7 U.S. Customs Facility in the Area
- Bookmark the Website for the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol
Crossing the Border: Advice for Small Aircraft Travelers
By Pete Loevinger
Flying to Alaska is challenging, but crossing the borders can be frustrating for a small aircraft pilot without an IFR rating. AOPA provides good assistance online for its members, but the information is voluminous and general. The information does not target a VFR pilot flying a small plane in difficult weather and terrain and at low altitudes, and flying into small non-controlled airports in remote areas. This is my personal experience crossing the US and Canadian borders in a Citabria with no IFR rating, equipment or training.
There is one difference between crossing the lower 48 border and the Alaskan border, and it applies both ways: You do not need nor will ATC assign a unique beacon code to cross the Alaskan/Canadian border in either direction. This because the lower 48 border is an ADIZ, the Alaskan/Canadian border is not. When crossing the Alaskan/Canadian border or the lower 48 ADIZ you do NOT need to be in contact with any ATC service, but you DO need to be assigned a unique beacon code by ATC when crossing the ADIZ border between Canada and the lower 48.