There’s a secret Antigua overflight requirement that’s been going on for a while but is still catching some people out.
If you enter the Antigua TMA/TCA (the airspace around Antigua up to FL245), you’ll need to apply for a “cross-border permit”. Without it, they won’t let you enter the airspace!
If you’re headed to TAPA/Antigua airport itself, you don’t have to do this – you just get billed when you land. You only need it for any flight through this airspace below FL245.
So this is going to mainly affect flights to TKPK/St Kitts & Nevis airport, as well as low-level flights between islands in the region – the likes of St Maarten and the Virgin Islands in the northwest, down through Guadeloupe, Dominica, Martinique, and St Lucia in the southeast.
As one OPSGROUP member reported – “Inbound to TKPK we were asked for the Antigua airspace permit. Apparently this is new so we did not have it and got a reroute of about a 100NM, it almost caused low fuel situation. Be aware!”
You have to apply online at www.vcbirdats.com at least 6 hours prior to the flight.
Fees depend on aircraft MTOW, as a long-since deleted TAPA Notam explains:
Up to 5,000 pounds - 25 USD 5,001 to 10,000 pounds - 35 USD 10,001 to 15,000 pounds - 45 USD 15,001 to 25,000 pounds -55 USD 25,001 to 50,000 pounds - 65 USD 50,001 to 100,000 pounds - 80 USD 100,001 to 200,000 pounds - 95 USD 200,001 to 300,000 pounds - 110 USD 300,001 and over - 125 USD
On the www.vcbirdats.com site, click ‘PERMITS’ up the top and register an account. If you’re not an airline, you won’t have an IATA code, so just use “00” as the code making the account. You will then you’ll be presented with a screen that looks like this:
One intrepid Opsgroup member who tried this out said that after they submitted all the info for the cross-border permit it was issued instantly via email. Just make sure that on the permit it says the callsign or tail number so ATC joins the two when approaching the airspace.
It’s worth noting that this cross-border permit is not actually an overflight permit – it’s basically just the fees you have to pay in advance for Nav and ATC. In this neck of the woods, real overflight permits are not required. For landings, only scheduled and charter flights require landing permits. For these, contact paula.fredrick-hunteab.gov.ag for Antigua, and email@example.com for St Kitts & Nevis. (Unless you know some better email addresses than these – in which case, let us know!)
And if you’ve been to the region recently, please file an Airport Spy report so we can share the info with everyone else in the group!