Bizjet Ops to the Cape Verde Islands – Part 2: Permits, Visas and Health Considerations

PT 3 M minute read

This business aviation blog post continues from our article last week, entitled “Bizjet Ops to the Cape Verde Islands – Part 1: Top Tips & Considerations.

Always ensure that you have appropriate landing and overflight permits for business aircraft operations to, or over, the Cape Verdes Islands. If you’re landing at any airport other than Sal Island (GVAC) or Praia (GVNP) it’s recommended that all services you require are confirmed in advance.

The following is an overview of what you need to know:

1. Landing and overflight permits

Landing permits are needed for all private non-revenue and charter (non-scheduled commercial) travel into/out of the islands. Overflight permits are also required for aircraft transiting the airspace. Official lead time for all permit requests is four business days. However, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) will often approve permits within 24 hours on weekdays and within 48 hour when requests are made over the weekend, but it is always at their discretion when they will process such requests. Permits are requested via email and permit validity is +/- three days.

2. Overflight considerations

When transiting through Cape Verde airspace always ensure you have appropriate Senegal overflight permits when these are required. Senegal’s airspace extends far beyond the country’s borders. In many cases, when operating through Cape Verde airspace, you’ll need a Senegal overflight permit.

3. Permit processing

CAA processes permit requests, and their operating hours are Monday – Friday 0800-1630 local. CAA shuts down for weekends and holidays. While short notice permits are often possible, it’s at CAA’s discretion to approve/disapprove the request. Once a permit is approved a permit number will be provided, and this needs to be added to Remarks Section 18 of your flight plan.

4. Permit revisions

Landing permit revisions are necessary for operations earlier than your permit validity period or when changes to origin, destination, or aircraft registration are made. Notification only is needed if you arrive later than permit validity period or if there are changes to crew or passenger names.

5. Documentation

There’s no advance documentation that needs to be provided to CAA for either landing or overflight permits. It’s a requirement, however, that you have a copy of your 3rd-party worldwide liability insurance onboard – although this does not need to be presented on arrival.

6. Visas

Visas are required for all nationalities with the exception of nationals of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), nationals of Angola, and nationals of South Africa. Note that passenger and crew visas can be obtained upon arrival. To process a visa on arrival you’ll need to present a general declaration and valid passports. It’s recommended that you notify your ground handler when visas on arrival are needed. Also, note that visas aren’t required for a tech stop only, when crew or passengers are not embarking or disembarking the aircraft.

7. Vaccination requirements

Vaccination against yellow fever is mandated if you arrive within six days of departing or transiting a country with risk of yellow fever transmission. The following passengers are exempt from this requirement:

  • children under the age of one
  • transiting passengers and crew not leaving the airport
  • passengers and crew who did not leave the airport while on the ground at a transit country with yellow fever risk

8. Local health risks

There are limited risks for malaria in the Cape Verdes. These risks – for the Plasmodium Falciparum form of malaria – are primarily from August to November on Santiago Island and Boa Vista Island. This is one of the most dangerous forms of malaria, and it’s transmitted by the female Anophelos mosquito. If staying overnight at remote island locations malaria prevention medications are recommended.


The Cape Verdes is an easy and welcoming operating environment and makes a great tech stop option for flights transiting the Central Atlantic. When planning an overnight stop at the Cape Verde Islands it’s always important to confirm visa and vaccination requirements – particularly when arriving from an area endemic for yellow fever.


If you have any questions about this article or would like assistance planning your next trip to the Cape Verde islands, contact me at

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