United States: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Impact on Business Aviation

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United States

May 26, 2020

Latest updates:

  • Ft. Lauderdale and Houston have been added to the list of designated arrival airports for individuals who meet the restriction exceptions.
  • Brazil has been added to the list of countries with restrictions. Anyone who has been in or transited Brazil in the last 14 days will not be allowed entry into the U.S.
  • US Authorities have extended the ground border closures with Canada and Mexico to all nonessential travel through 22 June.
  • Texas terminated restrictions on air travel.
  • Los Angeles County has extended its quarantine for the next three months, which presents a major challenge for flights from Asia.
  • Hawaii, USVI, Puerto Rico, and parts of Mexico (Los Cabos, Cancun, Cozumel, etc.) are all good options for travelers from the U.S., with some restrictions and/or quarantining at a vacation home/rental.
  • The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) and associated travelers utilizing ESTA are unaffected by the April 23 Presidential Proclamation which suspended processing new immigration applications from aliens for 60 days. New applications for signatory carrier status under VWP are still being processed. All U.S.-based operators (including some international companies with U.S. subsidiaries) and non-U.S. commercial operators are eligible to apply. If you are not a signatory carrier and qualify, we recommend you apply to increase your operating flexibility. We can help.

A new U.S. Presidential Proclamation was issued impacting non-U.S. nationals without a valid visa. We have confirmed that the Proclamation has no effect on ESTA and Visa Waiver Program.


Effective April 23 at 2359 EST for a period of 60 days (to be reevaluated at 30 days), entry into the United States of all immigrants, with certain exceptions, is suspended.


  • U.S. Permanent Residents
  • Persons currently holding VALID U.S. Visas or other Conditional Authorization for Travel (ie. Transportation Letter or Advance Parole Document) Issued prior to proclamation

Note: Essentially, the U.S. is not processing any new immigration applications from Aliens during this period unless they meet very specific criteria, i.e. National Security, assist in the fight against COVID-19, etc. We are pending clarification on if travelers on an ESTA will be affected.

As further provided in each proclamation, citizens and lawful permanent residents of the United States, certain family members, and other individuals who meet specified exceptions, who have been in one of the countries listed above in the past 14 days will be allowed to enter the United States through one of 15 airports. After arriving to the United States from one of these countries, CDC recommends that travelers stay home and monitor their health for 14 days.​

Passenger Restrictions:

  1. Passengers who have transited or have been in Austria, Belgium, Brazil, China (People’s Rep.), Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Iran, Ireland (Rep.), Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland or in the United Kingdom (excluding overseas territories outside of Europe), in the past 14 days are not allowed to enter the USA.
  2. Passengers who have been in one of the countries listed in bullet number 1 in the past 14 days but are exempt from the restriction to enter the USA, must arrive at one of the following airports: Atlanta (ATL), Boston (BOS), Chicago (ORD), Dallas, (DFW), Detroit (DTW), Ft. Lauderdale (FLL), Honolulu (HNL), Houston (IAH), Los Angeles (LAX), Miami (MIA), New York (JFK or EWR), San Francisco (SFO), Seattle (SEA) and Washington (IAD). This list of affected airports may be modified by an updated publication in the Federal Register or by posting an advisory to follow at www.cbp.gov.
  3. Hawaii orders Mandatory 14-Day Quarantine for all individuals arriving or returning to Hawaii.

Additional Notes:

  • ALL flights and ALL Persons onboard are automatically subject to COVID-19 immigration restrictions, Funneling or Landing Rights Denial, if traveling from affected regions.
  • “Crew Only Ferry Flights” can apply for Landing Rights outside of these restrictions, but will be approved case-by-case. If you’ve traveled to an affected region within the last 14 days, plan to funnel best case scenario, but denials are possible.

Canada & Mexico

On April 20, 2020, the United States announced that, “In close collaboration, the US, Mexico, and Canada have each agreed to extend restrictions on non-essential travel across their shared borders for 30 additional days. As President Trump stated last week, border control, travel restrictions and other limitations remain critical to slowing the spread and allowing the phased opening of the country.”

You can read the official statement here.


Canada restrictions

On March 21, 2020, the US and Canada will temporarily restrict all non-essential travel across the US-Canada land border. The measure will be in place for 30 days, at which point it will be reviewed by both parties.

  • DHS says the restrictions do not impact air travel or trade or cargo, but does apply to passenger rail and ferry travel.

Read more here: https://www.dhs.gov/news/2020/03/20/joint-statement-us-canada-joint-initiative-temporary-restriction-travelers-crossing

Mexico restrictions

This joint initiative will commence at 00:01 Saturday March 21 throughout the US-Mexico land border for a period of 30 days subject to extension upon review. Read more here: https://www.dhs.gov/news/2020/03/20/joint-statement-us-mexico-joint-initiative-combat-covid-19-pandemic

  1. “Essential travel” is exempt from the restrictions, including U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents returning to the United States.
  2. Below is the list of more essential travel exemptions, as defined by the DHS (Case by case):
    1. Individuals traveling for medical purposes
    2. Individuals traveling to attend educational institution
    3. Individuals traveling to work in the United States
    4. Individuals traveling for emergency response and public health purposes
    5. Individuals engaged in lawful cross-border trade
    6. Individuals engaged in official government travel or diplomatic travel
    7. Members of U.S. Armed Forces, and the spouses and children of members of the U.S. Armed Forces, returning to the United States
    8. Individuals engaged in military-related travel or operations
  3. At this time, the travel restrictions do not apply to air, freight rail, or sea travel between the U.S. and Canada.

Crew guidance:

  • Crew / Ferry Flights with persons who have been in suspended regions in the last 14-days, whether they are US Citizen, US Permanent Resident, or Foreign Crew must funnel to one of the 13 airports listed.CBP has issued a clarification for boarding crew.
  • ALL flights and ALL Persons on Board are automatically subject to COVID-19 immigration restrictions (reminder below) and funneling EXCEPT for “Crew Only Ferry Flights”.
  • “Crew Only Ferry Flights” can apply for Landing Rights outside of these restrictions, but will be approved case-by-case.
  • B1 VISAs are acceptable for Foreign Air Crew operating Private-Non Revenue

Travel warning

The Department of State advises U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19.

  • The State Dept Global Health Advisory intended audience is United States Citizens (USC). The LEVEL 4 Advisory is recommending those USCs in the U.S., stay here, and those abroad should come home immediately. This is to avoid potential further restrictions, by the U.S. or other nations, that could make that impossible.
  • These are recommended Best Practices for USCs not regulatory changes.
  • Updates to immigration regulations will come from White House or Congress and be implemented through DHS Dept. Homeland Security and US Customs and Border Protection regulations and policy.

U.S. States


The State of Alaska has issued Health Mandate 10.1 effective 25 MAR 2020 in response to COVID-19. All international and out of state crew and pax remaining in Alaska overnight are to: travel as a group in transportation provided by the FBO, minimize contact with ground crew, avoid sick people, self-isolate in their hotel room for the duration of their stay up to 14 days, monitor their health, avoid public spaces, use in-room dining, not accept visitors unless for medical emergencies, comply with social distancing, follow hotel rules, and do not use public transportation.


All persons arriving by air from the New York Tri-State Area (Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York) to isolate or quarantine for 14 days from the time of entry into Florida. The order does not apply to persons employed by airlines or those performing military, emergency, or health service. Violators may be subject to criminal charges.


Any arriving passengers and crew will be subject to “Mandatory Quarantine” effective at 12:01 AM HST this Thursday, March 26. Individuals and crew can depart the state at any time during the quarantine. They DO NOT have to sit out 14 days before leaving.

At this time, crew members are exempt from this rule, but crew may be required to provide additional information.

Tech stops are allowed provided no passengers or crew leave the airplane.

The quarantine period is 14-days. For visitors – in their hotel, for returning residents – in their homes. Leaving a residence or hotel during this or quarantine to depart the state is an allowed action.


Governor Greg Abbott today issued an Executive Order (GA-24) terminating air travel restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Governor’s new order immediately terminates all restrictions contained in the Governor’s previous Executive Order (GA-20) that mandated temporary quarantines for air travelers arriving from the following areas of the United States: California; Connecticut; New York; New Jersey; Washington; Atlanta, Georgia; Chicago, Illinois; Detroit, Michigan; or Miami, Florida.

View the Governor’s Executive Order (GA-24) relating to the termination of air travel restrictions as part of the safe, strategic plan to Open Texas in response to the COVID-19 disaster.


​Please refer to your Universal Team for additional specifics.​​​

U.S. Territories

Puerto Rico

May 22, 2020

General Restrictions: Cargo and maintenance flights are allowed at all airports. Commercial passenger flights are only allowed to TJSJ. Charter flights are able to land at TJSJ, TJBQ, TJIG.  Any flight that arrives from Europe has to go through one of the following 13 designated airports in the Mainland first: ATL-HNL-JFK-LAX-ORD-SEA-SFO-IAD-DFW-DTW-EWR-MIA-BOS.  We can receive this flight after it has been through one of the designated airports mentioned above.

Passenger Restrictions: All inbound passengers must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. US passengers are NOT exempt. Form must be filled out before leaving the airport.  Once you leave the airport, you must head directly to your listed place of abode and remain there for fourteen days. If your place of abode is a hotel or equivalent, you MUST remain in your room for the duration of the stay. The Executive Order prohibits you from visiting any public places or places of congregation during your quarantine period. Non-US citizens or residents from 28 European countries, Iran, and China will not be allowed to enter the island until further notice.

Crew: Crew are exempt from the quarantine requirements.
Tech Stop Details: Tech stops are allowed but will be approved based on departure location. No passengers allowed onboard. Tech stops ARE allowed from the US.

U.S. Virgin Islands

May 15, 2020

Restriction expiration: Until further notice.

General Restrictions: The current COVID-19 Airport Travel Restrictions report the following statement for the U.S. Virgin Islands: Airports Open. International Travel is NOT permitted.  Travel from the US Mainland is permitted, regardless of the state of origin of the flight.  For all travel from the U.S. mainland, the National Guard will meet the aircraft on arrival to check all persons for COVID-19 signs. If persons don’t exhibit any symptoms, they can depart for their destination.
Passenger Restrictions: As far as passengers, the VI Tourism put out a memo stating all residents of the VI may travel to and from the territory. All persons onboard will need to submit (in advance) their travel history for the last 14-days and submit to the ground handler. In turn, the ground handler will provide this information to the National Guard.  ​
Crew: They do advise we ask where the crew have been for the prior 14-21 day period and if they are dropping off passengers or residents from hotspots to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. Crew may not rest on the aircraft.
Special Considerations: Hotels are still closed, only accepting emergency personnel, essential workers, airline crew, and business travelers. Ground handler advised that though hotels are closed, there are villas that persons may try to rent.​ Some restaurants will do takeout, but no dining in.
Tech Stop Details: Country allowing Tech Stops with Pax Onboard. Crew and Pax may leave the aircraft, but all Pax will be screened on arrival.

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