I work in the States and I'm thinking to go visit my friend in Canada. I have access to an Icon A5 and was thinking to fly from my closest lake in Vermont to his house which is also on a lake. What would be the protocols for doing this? Customs wise. Since I believe I would have to file a flight plan. How would immigration work since I am not planning to land at an airport and I'm also not a citizen of either the US or Canada?

  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to aviation.SE! This question has a lot of relevant information, and this one might be helpful too. AOPA has an entire guide on flying to Canada. Your final question about immigration rules for non-citizens would fit better on travel.SE. And note that right now the US-Canada border is closed. $\endgroup$
    – Pondlife
    Commented Aug 5, 2020 at 15:07
  • $\begingroup$ You might get some good tips here, but make sure you research from original sources like: cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/prog/canpass/privateair-eng.html. Ditto on what Dean said about the port of entry. That is the key takeaway. You can't just land anywhere. Call ahead, file a flight plan, etc. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 5, 2020 at 15:38
  • $\begingroup$ Separately from the aviation aspect, have you addressed Canada's COVID travel restrictions (see also this page)? Visiting for tourism is not permitted, and even if you meet one of the exceptions to be allowed in, there's a 14 day mandatory quarantine requirement. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 5, 2020 at 22:56

1 Answer 1


Whenever you land in the US from a departure point not in the US, you have to land at an Airport of Entry as your first US destination airport. It does not have to be a big airport. There are plenty of Class D airports that qualify. You can verify which airports are AOEs in the US Chart Supplement. Some (big ones) are also marked as such on the sectionals.

When crossing the US border, you will need to have arranged customs clearance with the US CBP beforehand if you are landing at a small AOE. You may also need a US CBP DTOPS decal for your aircraft. Then, of course, there is the flight plan. Once you have cleared US CBP, you can fly to any other US domestic destination of your choice.

I would think that when flying into Canada, the TCCA would have similar rules.

  • $\begingroup$ You know, while great info, this really doesn't answer the question. Can one cross the CAN border with a floatplane??! $\endgroup$
    – Fattie
    Commented Aug 5, 2020 at 16:55
  • $\begingroup$ @Fattie, yes, if a port of entry exists on a seaplane base. Up here in the PNW Beavers go back and forth regularly. There is a US Customs office right next to the dock at the lake a few miles from my house. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 5, 2020 at 17:03
  • $\begingroup$ @Fattie: Sure it does. It's just that it only answers the question for southbound crossings. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 5, 2020 at 18:48
  • $\begingroup$ It works the same going the other way too. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 5, 2020 at 20:17
  • $\begingroup$ @Fattie - To be clear, you can fly a floatplane from the US to Canada. Whether you can fly a seaplane from the US to Canada, and land it on a Canadian lake as your first destination point is another story. That would depend on the status of the lake upon which you land. Is it a port of entry? And, has customs been arranged beforehand? It can’t just be a random body of water. $\endgroup$
    – Dean F.
    Commented Aug 6, 2020 at 11:43

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