With the lockdowns and flight bans in Grand Bahama and New Providence now at an end, all islands of the Bahamas with Airports of Entry have re-opened to international private and charter flights. Prior approval is required – send your request to covid19@bcaa.com and COVID19INTLTRAVEL@bahamas.gov.bs.

Here’s the lowdown on ops to the Bahamas right now:

Quarantine

Quarantine rules are changing from September 1. A 14-day quarantine will still be mandatory for all travellers, but they are now allowed to spend it in their own accommodation – a private residence, rental property, hotel or private/chartered yacht, all are considered quarantine facilities.

When quarantine is finished, anyone who wishes to stay must agree to be tested again. It is worth noting that you can leave the Bahamas at any point, as long as you notify authorities first.

Covid test

All travellers must obtain a negative RT/PCR Covid that is less than 5 days old before flying and apply for a Travel Health Visa which can take up to three days to process. Once in the country, all arrivals will be monitored by the ‘Hubbcat App’ on their phone. 

Crew arriving to pick up passengers only, cargo and courier flights who are staying with their plane, military and emergency medical flights must obtain the Travel Health Visa.

If crew will be in the country for less than 24hrs, they need to quarantine in the hotel but do not need proof a Covid test.

Some OPSGROUP member reports indicate that the Bahamas Travel Health Visa is not working properly, and will not complete the application process. So expect delays for a Health Visa until their systems are fully functional. Submit the form at least 24-48 hours prior to arrival. An automated response will be provided upon completion, only those who receive a green color-coded response can travel. It is essential that travellers present proof of confirmation upon arrival in their destination.

Hours of operation

Hours of airport operations are reduced, and prior approval for after-hours operations is required. A call before flying is strongly recommended. Fees for after-hours ops, restrictions to curfews, and limited availability of hotel rooms are additional considerations.

Local handling agent Odyssey Aviation are open as follows (requests for after-hours operations will be reviewed on a case by case basis):

MYNN/Nassau
Email: info.mynn@odysseyaviation.com
Opening hours: 0700-1800 local (1100-2200z)

MYEF/Exuma
Email: exuma@odysseyaviation.com
Opening hours: 0800-1700 local (1200-2100z)

MYSM/San Salvador
Email: info.mysm@odysseyaviation.com
Opening hours: 0800-1700 local (1200-2100z)

MYEM/Governor’s Harbour
Email: frontdeskeleuthera@odysseyaviation.com
Opening hours: 0800-1700 local (1200-2100z)

MYER/Rock Sound
Email: frontdeskeleuthera@odysseyaviation.com
Opening hours: 0800-1700 local (1200-2100z)

Where to look for latest updates

For updates to the rules, the Bahamas official page is here, but it tends not to get updated very quickly after new announcements from the government. The US Embassy keep a dedicated page on the Bahamas updated here, but that can sometimes lag behind a bit too. The most up-to-date source seems to be the one published by the UK FCO, which you can view here.

Odyssey Aviation also posts the latest updates on requirements and changes for Private Aviation on their Facebook page, and check out the Association of Bahamas Marinas website too – they work closely with the authorities and are often faster at getting their info out than other government entities!

Oh, and OPSGROUP too 😊 – the quickest way to get all the latest info we know on something is to head over to the #george channel in Slack. George is our friendly Ops-Bot. Ask him something, and he’ll dig into the OPSGROUP vault to see what the group knows. He understands a whole load of commands: permits, weather, ICAO codes, airport names, countries, keyword searches. If you’re still stuck for an answer, ask other members in the group in the #questions channel, or shoot us an email and we’ll see what we can dig up.

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David Mumford

David Mumford

Opsgroup team member. International flight ops news hound.

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