Business Aviation in Venezuela Series: Landing Permits, Overflights, and Special Permits
This is a post by author Walter Lindo. Walter is Managing Director for Universal Aviation Venezuela – Caracas. Walter is an expert on business aircraft operations in Venezuela and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This business aviation blog post is part of a series on operating in Venezuela and continues from our last article: "Business Aviation in Venezuela Series: Flight Planning, Weather, & NOTAMs."
Venezuela did away with landing permit requirements for many business aircraft operations staying less than 72 hours in the country at the airport of entry (AOE). Permits are still required for more than two entries in a calendar month or for longer stays, but documentation and procedural requirements are now less onerous than they were. Best practice is to review permit requirements with your 3rd-party provider prior to any operation to Venezuela.
The following is an overview of what you need to know:
1. There are requirements for notifications
If you fly to Venezuela two times or less per month, stay less than 72 hours, and do not fly to a second destination while in the country, no landing permit is required. Notification of your flight must, however, be sent via a special form to the National Institute of Civil Aviation (INAC). This must be submitted at least three days prior by the operator and not a 3rd-party provider. Short-notice requests may be considered, but it’s at INAC’s discretion. If you change the intended day of operation or the crew, a new notification must be submitted. INAC officials want to be aware of all arrivals and insist on prior notification. Best practice is to send a copy of permit notification request to your ground handler as INAC does not respond to any notifications received.
2. Full landing permits take much longer to process
If you operate to Venezuela more than twice a month, stay longer than 72 hours, or fly to a second airport within the county, you’ll need a full landing permit. Currently, permits are being restricted, but INAC authorities have and will in the future issue landing permits valid for a year. Keep in mind that INAC employees do not work on weekends, holidays, or outside of normal 0900-1600 local office hours Monday-Friday. Due to the complexity of the required documentation, it’s recommended that 30 days’ lead time be allowed for permit applications. Landing permits for Venezuela are really takeoff permits. Once you file your aircraft for departure, the permit number needs to be in ICAO remarks 18.
3. Blanket permits preclude the notification option for shorter stays
If you have a blanket landing permit, INAC officials will not allow you to use a only a notification for a stay of less than 72 hours. What many operators do is keep one aircraft without a Venezuelan landing permit. This allows the operator to take advantage of the notification option for stays of up to 72 hours as well as the ability to swap crews last minute.
4. Landing permits will be denied if nav charges are outstanding
You will not be issued a landing permit if you have outstanding nav fees. Nav fees must be settled prior to receiving a permit. Keep in mind that INAC will not invoice operators for overflight nav fees. Operators must determine in advance if any fees are outstanding.
5. INAC officials require overflight notification
Overflight permits are not required for Venezuela, but you will not be permitted to enter Venezuelan airspace for overflight if you have outstanding nav fees. Also, all operators must now register on the INAC website for all overflights. For navigation aids you can inquire on INAC’s website.
6. Domestic airports require special permits
If you plan to operate to an airport in Venezuela without a control tower, you’ll require a special permit. Approval for such operations comes from the Venezuelan military and/or foreign affairs department and not from INAC. Permit lead time depends on the purpose of your flight. Be aware, also, that you must fly with a Venezuelan navigator when operating to uncontrolled airports in the country.
7. There are no fees associated with permits
There are no fees or charges involved for notification of stays of up to 72 hours.
Prior to any planned operation to Venezuela, it’s important to confirm that you have no outstanding nav fees. Given sufficient lead time, your ground handler will be able to confirm any outstanding fees to avoid issues when the time comes to depart from Venezuela.
If you have any questions about this article or would like assistance planning your next trip to Venezuela, contact me at email@example.com.
Later, we’ll discuss customs, immigration, and quarantine for Venezuela and their impact on your trip.