- Nat Iyengar
Many countries require advance passenger information system (APIS) filing requirements for general aviation (GA). Cuba recently initiated such an APIS requirement for inbound flights.
It is important that operators understand Cuba is in a very fluid situation with regards to access for GA flights.
How do you file your Cuba APIS?
Currently, the best way for GA operators to do this is through their third-party provider (Jeppesen, Universal, Arinc, etc.).
APIS is submitted in one of two ways—either via email or via an online system that requires prior registration. To submit APIS via the online system, the operator must register an account with Cuban customs authorities. There's no cost to doing this. The Cuban APIS system is based on an Excel® template, and there are two different forms—one for GA and another for scheduled commercial. While the two forms look almost identical, the form for scheduled commercial requires more information. Note that these Excel documents must be manually completed, which leaves operators and third-party providers at a greater risk of making errors.
The following information is required on the form:
- Flight details and schedule.
- Aircraft registry.
- Departure and arrival airports.
- Local arrival and departure dates and times.
- Contact name and phone number of the person who submits the report.
- Full names of crew and passengers (middle names are an optional field) with gender, date of birth, citizenship, travel document type and number, and embarkation and disembarkation airports. Note that passport expiration dates are also an optional field.
Revisions to APIS
CUBA REQUIRES REVISION FOR ANY CHANGE! U.S. APIS does not require a revision or notification to remove a passenger.
It is important for GA operators to work with their third-party handling company to fully comply with the new Cuban APIS and other requirements. Operating to Cuba is a developing arena with a very fluid situation as to U.S. and Cuban Government requirements. Do not assume that what worked on your last trip applies today!