Results 1 to 22 of 22

Thread: Travel to Alaska through Canada

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    2,346
    Post Thanks / Like

    Travel to Alaska through Canada

    Has anyone flown a cub or similar size aircraft into Calgary international to clear customs? Any hints or advice is appreciated thank you.
    DENNY

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Southern NH
    Posts
    866
    Post Thanks / Like
    I did it once years ago. It wasn’t a big deal, I just decided Lethbridge was far easier as far as in and out, customs access, etc.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Alberta Canada
    Posts
    70
    Post Thanks / Like
    Hi Denny. I would stop and clear customs in Lethbridge CYQL instead. Smaller airport without landing fees. Much less hassle in the long run. If you need a place to stop near Edmonton I have a 2300 foot grass strip and accommodations available.
    Likes mam90, luke_herron1 liked this post

  4. #4
    sniffler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Hawkins Texas
    Posts
    117
    Post Thanks / Like
    Friends in BC and Ontario say they are locked down tighter then ever. In BC they said not only is inter-provincial travel banned but BC has multiple health districts and travel between health districts within the province is also banned.
    • Fraser Health Authority (FHA)
    • Interior Health Authority (IHA)
    • Northern Health Authority (NHA)
    • Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA)
    • Vancouver Coastal Health Authority (VCHA)

  5. #5
    mvivion's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Bozeman,MT
    Posts
    11,452
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by Canadian Farmer View Post
    Hi Denny. I would stop and clear customs in Lethbridge CYQL instead. Smaller airport without landing fees. Much less hassle in the long run. If you need a place to stop near Edmonton I have a 2300 foot grass strip and accommodations available.
    A gent who went up there about three weeks ago, from Montana to AK said that Calgary was the only place in the province they'd let him clear customs in a light plane. He said it wasn't a huge pain in any case, though.

    That's what they did right after 9/11 also. I had to fly from Fairbanks to Whitehorse for Customs, so that I could then fly to Old Crow to meet a Canada Customs officer and an RCMP Constable.....go figure.

    He said Whitehorse wasn't very friendly.

    I'd keep checking the COVID craziness as time gets closer...I'd imagine this stuff is going to change daily.

    MTV

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Posts
    23
    Post Thanks / Like
    In 2018 I flew a cub from Alaska to Oregon. I used an app "Flashpass" to help file eAPIS for the US Border. Art developed the app and was very helpful and made my crossing back into the USA seamless and easy. My stop in Canada was at Whitehorse and it required a single phone call. I was assigned a transponder code when I left Williams Lake and the US Border electronics were interrogating me as I approached the border- (thank god they are protecting us all from terrorists in cubs!). I highly recommend the app- used mainly for Canada or Mexico crossings.

    Given the "Covid hysteria" the rules have gotten much more complicated. The Canada agent that receives you in Canada has the power to say "No", so bring as much valid documentation with you (like your reasons to travel to Canada or Alaska). Also entry airports have been reduced in both Canada and the US (I crossed at Dorthy Scott and it was a breeze but this can longer be used I understand). These new rules are likely going to be with us forever although modifications are likely.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    AK, ME, ID - what time of year is it?
    Posts
    591
    Post Thanks / Like
    I just yesterday spoke directly with the port director at CBSA Del Bonitas. They will clear GA aircraft there, although reportedly the runway is currently in rough shape.
    Call the Montana POC for Whetstone to get a firm update on field conditions.
    Incidentally, Del Bonitas is not taking vehicular traffic to AK. If one is heading to AK in an auto/truck/RV, etc., they will shunt you east to Coutts, where you can also clear via aircraft. The CBSA officer was audibly rolling his eyes at that one. Said it's been "pretty quiet" consequently.

    You might experience a heightened search program at Coutts. That's where almost $29M of meth was intercepted northbound end of last year - a record land border bust for Canada. The semi driver was from Calgary.

    Also, re: Whitehorse, I've never had anything but pleasant service there. Sometimes they won't even come out to check a firearm. Guess it's a roll of the dice, but still... nice folks thus far.

    As Mike wrote - best to check shortly before attempting crossing. CBSA tel is 1-800-461-9999, and they can patch you through to Del Bonita, Coutts, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by mvivion View Post
    A gent who went up there about three weeks ago, from Montana to AK said that Calgary was the only place in the province they'd let him clear customs in a light plane. He said it wasn't a huge pain in any case, though.

    That's what they did right after 9/11 also. I had to fly from Fairbanks to Whitehorse for Customs, so that I could then fly to Old Crow to meet a Canada Customs officer and an RCMP Constable.....go figure.

    He said Whitehorse wasn't very friendly.

    I'd keep checking the COVID craziness as time gets closer...I'd imagine this stuff is going to change daily.

    MTV
    Last edited by JohnnyR; 04-28-2021 at 09:23 AM.

  8. #8
    mvivion's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Bozeman,MT
    Posts
    11,452
    Post Thanks / Like
    As I noted, I’d keep checking, right up to date of departure. I’m told Del Bonita has a lot of gopher holes and maybe a badger to go with. No work party last year due to COVID. MPA is planning to get a work party together early this summer there.

    MTV
    Thanks tedwaltman1 thanked for this post

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    AK, ME, ID - what time of year is it?
    Posts
    591
    Post Thanks / Like
    You’d think the MT government would be doing that field, given its status

    Quote Originally Posted by mvivion View Post
    As I noted, I’d keep checking, right up to date of departure. I’m told Del Bonita has a lot of gopher holes and maybe a badger to go with. No work party last year due to COVID. MPA is planning to get a work party together early this summer there.

    MTV
    Likes tedwaltman1 liked this post

  10. #10
    mvivion's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Bozeman,MT
    Posts
    11,452
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyR View Post
    You’d think the MT government would be doing that field, given its status
    They are a cooperator and participator in the work party. Aeronautics cooperates with the work parties on several federally owned strips.

    Del Bonita’s work parties have in past been coordinated by A Canadian aviation group and the Montana Flying Farmers. Last year, the MT Flying Farmers disbanded. Montana Pilots Association is now acting as the US coordinator.

    MTV
    Thanks JohnnyR thanked for this post

  11. #11

    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    121
    Post Thanks / Like
    Some gopher holes should not be an issue for something like a Cub/Champ/Husky with good size tires?? It could be an issue for a nosewheel airplane with regular sized tires though. Del Bonita looks like a wonderful spot to clear customs!

  12. #12
    Paul Jackson's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    231
    Post Thanks / Like
    Anybody gone back through from Anchorage back to USA lately? I have to ferry a 185 back to MN and need to get cleared in Whitehorse or somewhere in the area. I will be on a commercial flight with a letter from the aircraft owner stating I am hired to ferry his aircraft. I could do the coast route as this has LR gas but this time of year inland seems like a better play if Trudeau doesn't arrest me and put me in a gulag (would that be Saskatoon?)

    Let me know recent experience I am calling Whitehorse customs this week to see what they say also.

    PJJ

  13. #13
    algonquin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Seldovia,Ak
    Posts
    1,085
    Post Thanks / Like
    Please keep us posted on your trip down thru Canada, I plan on bringing my Husky down in late July. Thinking I will make it to MT. Then turn East and stay in the States to the East coast.

  14. #14

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    2,346
    Post Thanks / Like
    Seems to change by the day. Canada is currently at a peak Covid surge so they are locking down pretty hard (they do not have the vaccine supplies the U.S does) Everyone we met worked hard to get us to Alaska. If I had the range I would just overfly Canada on the coast, might have to spend a few days waiting for the right weather but no paperwork. We met a few other planes coming up through Montana and they had no problems. You will be expected to fly, fuel, taxi, hotel, with minimal population contact. No walking around, bars, restaurants. If you do fly inland call ahead and talk to someone, great people trying to make it work for everyone. Skky hotel in Whitehorse is 5 min walk from terminal and has Italian restaurant that delivers food and whine to the room!! Grand Prairie has happy gas with hanger for 75 dollars and local Chinese restaurant delivers food and beer to your hotel. Get in and back out as quick as possible. Usually means a non-direct route to MN but a few extra hours is better than not going at all.
    DENNY
    Thanks tedwaltman1 thanked for this post
    Likes Brandsman liked this post

  15. #15

    Join Date
    Jan 2021
    Location
    Nevada
    Posts
    24
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by DENNY View Post
    Skky hotel in Whitehorse is 5 min walk from terminal and has Italian restaurant that delivers food and whine to the room!! DENNY
    If I want "whine" in the room I can bring the wife.....

    Sorry. I just couldn't resist. It's not factually accurate either. I have probably the most aviation friendly wife in the known universe.
    But the joke was just too easy - and I DO like easy. Just ask my wife..... Dang! There I go again.

    Sorry.
    Likes Brandsman, Utah-Jay, DENNY, tedwaltman1 liked this post

  16. #16
    tedwaltman1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Posts
    512
    Post Thanks / Like
    I'm thankful for this report on Canadian customs from a week ago. Please continue to send me reports and I'll post here & on my website https://fly2ak.com/?page_id=24

    ===============

    Customs

    Huge nightmare, I don't recommend anyone trying to fly through Canada until major changes occur. Things are changing rapidly in the US with major progress on vaccinations, but my understanding is that Canada is way behind and obviously their government is always painful to deal with. We are both pilots and AK residents, and we spoke with the customs official 2-3 times / week for SIX WEEKS leading up to our trip, and she held our hands telling us exactly what we needed to do.

    Fast-forward to our trip. We've been told that we need a negative COVID test within 72 hrs of crossing the border, and that even one hour past 72 would result in us being turned away, so we planned to get the test along the way once it was clear that we could make it to Canada within that window without wx / plane / other issues. Canada will only accept PCR tests, and explicitly will not accept an antigen test. Since a polymerase reaction test is in fact an antigen test, and testing paperwork is not standardized, we had to spend 4 hrs finding a clinic in Price UT whose paperwork included only verbiage acceptable to Canadian officials.

    Problem solved....or so we thought. We arrive on the border with our data pre-populated in the ArriveCan app, as requested. But we couldn't submit our application through the app, because it's not set up to even accept a non-Canadian address as a final destination. Customs officials (who were very friendly and helpful, and even called the current Canadian situation a "police state") called their superiors, then the health department started telling them that we would be required to get another COVID test (barely 48 hrs after our last one) and quarantine for 5 days...after two hours, they told us they were making an executive decision, took down our information by hand and told us to get moving. What a clusterf-ck.
    Thanks JohnnyR, jrussl thanked for this post
    Likes Utah-Jay liked this post

  17. #17

    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    AK, ME, ID - what time of year is it?
    Posts
    591
    Post Thanks / Like
    Which port of entry?

    Quote Originally Posted by tedwaltman1 View Post
    I'm thankful for this report on Canadian customs from a week ago. Please continue to send me reports and I'll post here & on my website https://fly2ak.com/?page_id=24

    ===============

    Customs

    Huge nightmare, I don't recommend anyone trying to fly through Canada until major changes occur. Things are changing rapidly in the US with major progress on vaccinations, but my understanding is that Canada is way behind and obviously their government is always painful to deal with. We are both pilots and AK residents, and we spoke with the customs official 2-3 times / week for SIX WEEKS leading up to our trip, and she held our hands telling us exactly what we needed to do.

    Fast-forward to our trip. We've been told that we need a negative COVID test within 72 hrs of crossing the border, and that even one hour past 72 would result in us being turned away, so we planned to get the test along the way once it was clear that we could make it to Canada within that window without wx / plane / other issues. Canada will only accept PCR tests, and explicitly will not accept an antigen test. Since a polymerase reaction test is in fact an antigen test, and testing paperwork is not standardized, we had to spend 4 hrs finding a clinic in Price UT whose paperwork included only verbiage acceptable to Canadian officials.

    Problem solved....or so we thought. We arrive on the border with our data pre-populated in the ArriveCan app, as requested. But we couldn't submit our application through the app, because it's not set up to even accept a non-Canadian address as a final destination. Customs officials (who were very friendly and helpful, and even called the current Canadian situation a "police state") called their superiors, then the health department started telling them that we would be required to get another COVID test (barely 48 hrs after our last one) and quarantine for 5 days...after two hours, they told us they were making an executive decision, took down our information by hand and told us to get moving. What a clusterf-ck.

  18. #18
    tedwaltman1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Posts
    512
    Post Thanks / Like
    Kelowna, CYLW

  19. #19
    aktango58's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    18AA
    Posts
    9,523
    Post Thanks / Like
    I got home last night form Washington State with a cub. Had to use Kelowna for customs as Kamloops was closed on weekends.

    One thing I found is that not even the customs folks can keep up with changes. BE POLITE but know the rules. I was asked about Covid test- but was told by CANPAS I am exempt because I am a REQUIRED crew member... the Canadian Government does not differentiate Airline Jets from Super Cubs! So crew is exempt from lots of the stuff.

    Don't Take Passengers!! The plane's owner with an instructor is NOT REQUIRED CREW! In fact, if you are the owner you better have a letter showing employment in Alaska, or be from Alaska taking the plane home. As an owner you might actually need the Covid test, I was hired to move the plane so the questions became few once it was established I was flying in commerce.

    The Canadians use the term 'ESSENTIAL' as related to their country, not ours. They need jet traffic, but forget about the little guys- that is our loophole!

    My phone won't do the app, so they had a paper I filled out. They were nice about it, just a part of the requirements. My phone did not work in most of Canada.

    Things to know:

    Tech. Stops are allowed- meaning stops required for safety of flight. Overnight, fuel, oil check... all ok. Stops to go fishing not so much. Know the term Tech Stop.

    Canadians like Masks.

    Don't have passengers. A jet might get away with a claim of two pilots, but a cub or 180 is going to be an issue. Their view is it is a pleasure, or unrequited, flight if you need two people.

    Covid Test is NOT required for essential aircraft crew. be polite when you remind the Customs folks about that. I got asked, but they were pleasant and accepted my statement. Confirm with CANPASS when you call in though. (Again, ask about REQUIRED crew).

    When in Canada, please remember that how you treat the rules they set out for travel will directly impact those traveling behind you. Make haste and get through. Don't wander around town, even though no one is checking on you. The big border lockdown a year ago was because folks were found vacationing in their national parks, not traveling through as they were told. Let's not give them an excuse to separate little planes from Jets in their rules.

    FYI: Kelowna Customs took about 10 minutes, including having me fill out the form.



    On another note, Williams Lake is a $40 cab ride each way to town. Not spending another night there if I can help it. Nice people, but sucky tiedowns and expensive to go to and from town.

    Smithers allowed me to use grass to depart, so if you are going through there, you can ask for grass!



    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!
    Thanks JohnnyR, OLDCROWE, alaskaoe thanked for this post
    Likes NunavutPA-12 liked this post

  20. #20
    mvivion's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Bozeman,MT
    Posts
    11,452
    Post Thanks / Like
    I just spoke with the Acting Port Director of US Customs for Del Bonita in Montana. He said the strip is open, and both the Canadians and US CBP are clearing pilots through at Del Bonita. US Customs is NOT open on Saturday or Sunday. Not sure about Canada Customs.

    Del Bonita is a very friendly stop to clear going either way.

    Montana Pilots Assn and Montana Aeronautics, along with Alberta Flying Farmers are hoping to do a work party at Del Bonita in early June.

    More later.

    MTV
    Thanks JohnnyR, jrussl thanked for this post
    Likes DENNY liked this post

  21. #21

    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    65
    Post Thanks / Like
    Thanks AKTango, great information, sort of speak.
    I will follow up with details on my trip June 3rd.

  22. #22

    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Posts
    102
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by aktango58 View Post
    I got home last night form Washington State with a cub. Had to use Kelowna for customs as Kamloops was closed on weekends.

    One thing I found is that not even the customs folks can keep up with changes. BE POLITE but know the rules. I was asked about Covid test- but was told by CANPAS I am exempt because I am a REQUIRED crew member... the Canadian Government does not differentiate Airline Jets from Super Cubs! So crew is exempt from lots of the stuff.

    Don't Take Passengers!! The plane's owner with an instructor is NOT REQUIRED CREW! In fact, if you are the owner you better have a letter showing employment in Alaska, or be from Alaska taking the plane home. As an owner you might actually need the Covid test, I was hired to move the plane so the questions became few once it was established I was flying in commerce.

    The Canadians use the term 'ESSENTIAL' as related to their country, not ours. They need jet traffic, but forget about the little guys- that is our loophole!

    My phone won't do the app, so they had a paper I filled out. They were nice about it, just a part of the requirements. My phone did not work in most of Canada.

    Things to know:

    Tech. Stops are allowed- meaning stops required for safety of flight. Overnight, fuel, oil check... all ok. Stops to go fishing not so much. Know the term Tech Stop.

    Canadians like Masks.

    Don't have passengers. A jet might get away with a claim of two pilots, but a cub or 180 is going to be an issue. Their view is it is a pleasure, or unrequited, flight if you need two people.

    Covid Test is NOT required for essential aircraft crew. be polite when you remind the Customs folks about that. I got asked, but they were pleasant and accepted my statement. Confirm with CANPASS when you call in though. (Again, ask about REQUIRED crew).

    When in Canada, please remember that how you treat the rules they set out for travel will directly impact those traveling behind you. Make haste and get through. Don't wander around town, even though no one is checking on you. The big border lockdown a year ago was because folks were found vacationing in their national parks, not traveling through as they were told. Let's not give them an excuse to separate little planes from Jets in their rules.

    FYI: Kelowna Customs took about 10 minutes, including having me fill out the form.



    On another note, Williams Lake is a $40 cab ride each way to town. Not spending another night there if I can help it. Nice people, but sucky tiedowns and expensive to go to and from town.

    Smithers allowed me to use grass to depart, so if you are going through there, you can ask for grass!



    Thank you for the info. I have a question if you don't mind. I have my cub going up from Texas to Ak on May 12th. The pilot I hired is a commercial pilot and I hired his brother to work up in AK for me for the summer. He is a pilot too. My question is my pilots brother was going to fly up with him. He is going for work. Do you think they will let him through Canada? Thanks again for any help. Scott

Similar Threads

  1. Airline travel to Alaska
    By tempdoug in forum Cafe Supercub
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 02-04-2006, 10:03 PM
  2. Alaska Travel Recommendations Needed
    By wilbur in forum Cafe Supercub
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 05-25-2004, 09:44 PM

Bookmarks

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •