For business aircraft operators, Panama landing and overflight permit requests can be processed quickly, assuming all required information is provided. Be aware of crew licensing requirements when making permit applications, as there are particular nuances to be aware of. Here are some facts to help you understand and navigate the Panama flight permit process:
1. Landing and overflight permits are required in Panama
Landing and overflight permits are required for all operations to the country, but also when overflying the Panamanian Flight Information Region (FIR). This applies to both private non-revenue and charter (non-scheduled commercial) flights, and between the two, there are no differences in the permit information required. Both types of permits are processed by Panama Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) – Department of Air.
As a side note, if you are operating through the Panamanian FIR and cross point SPP (San Andres Island), you must also obtain a Colombian overflight permit. However, if you are overflying Panama with a final destination of Colombia and go through this point, a Colombian overflight permit is not needed.
2. For a landing permit, you’ll need to provide this information
For scheduling a single stop within Panama, you’ll need to provide schedule and aircraft information, crew information, address/phone number of the operator, and purpose of the flight. For crew information, include pilot license numbers and type ratings for both pilots, or for a single pilot if aircraft Maximum Takeoff Weight (MTOW) is less than 12,500 lbs. Pilot licenses must be issued from the same country where the aircraft is registered, and all pilots must be type rated for the aircraft.
3. An “Internal Circulation Permit” is required if making multiple stops within Panama
When planning multiple stops in Panama, include copies of the registration and airworthiness certificates, as well as a worldwide insurance policy. Your insurance policy must list the issuing company, policy number, expiration date, and indicate geographical areas of coverage. Provide copies of both sides of pilot licenses, including type ratings or training certificates for the type of aircraft being operated, as well as medical certificates. Keep in mind that the PIC’s medical certificate must have been issued within the past 12 months. This type of permit is referred to as an “Internal Circulation Permit.” Also, please note that for any operations into the country, CAA Panama wants copies of the crew pilot licenses and medical certificates in order to file any flight plans.
4. For an overflight permit, you’ll provide the same info
Information required for a Panama overflight permit is the same as for a single-stop landing permit. After CAA receives a request, they’ll review and process the information. Overflight permit confirmation will be provided after CAA completes this process.
5. If you overlook the details, you may face delays
It’s important to have all required information included in the initial permit application to ensure the request is accepted and processed without delay. Confirm that crew members have the correct type ratings and that pilot licenses are issued by the country where the aircraft is registered. These are important details not to be overlooked.
6. Short-notice permit requests are possible
Official lead time for a landing or overflight permit is four working days. CAA will, however, process short notice requests, assuming complete information is provided. Short-notice permits can generally be processed within 24 hours. In certain cases, a permit may be processed at shorter notice if the application is made during normal CAA office hours, Monday-Friday 0900-1600 local, but it’s at CAA’s discretion.
Applying for Panama landing or overflight permit is a straight forward application. Work with your 3rd-party provider to process overflight and landing permit options and to re-verify all required documentation.
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Category : Best Practice
About John McClelland
With more than 19 years in business aviation, Universal Weather and Aviation, Inc. Permits Manager John McClelland has acquired permits for operators traveling to almost every country in the world. A former officer in the U.S. Navy, John has managed a number of the company’s Trip Support teams since first joining Universal in 1994. He was also instrumental in helping train and launch new Universal teams, including the European Operations Center, Asia Permit Office, and ELATE teams. John, who has a bachelor’s of science degree in aerospace engineering from Texas A&M University, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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