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International Operations Manual

Complicated? The actual flying part of international operations is easier today than ever and the rules are becoming more standardized. The hardest part, it seems, is facing the ramp inspector or the tax collector. I can't help you with the tax man but for the inspector you need to have a good SAFA plan.



G450 Sunrise HUD (Photo: Jeff Stafford)

U.S. Aircraft Regulatory Compliance

14 CFR 91. 14 CFR 91 pertains to all aircraft.

  • 14 CFR 91.703(a)(1) and (a)(2) require each person operating a US-registered aircraft to comply with ICAO Annex 2 when over the high seas and to comply with the regulations of a foreign country when operating within that country’s airspace.
  • 14 CFR 91.703(a)(4), 91.705, and Appendix C specify regulatory requirements and minimum standards for operation in North Atlantic (NAT) Minimum Navigation Performance Specifications (MNPS) airspace.

14 CFR 135. For operations under 14 CFR 135, 135.3(a)(2) specifies that while operating outside of the United States, operators must comply with:

  • Annex 2, Rules of the Air, to the Convention on International Civil Aviation
  • Rules of a foreign country when operating within that country
  • All the regulations of 14 CFR 61, 91, and 135 that are more restrictive than Annex 2 or the regulations of a foreign country when compliance with these US regulations would not violate requirements of Annex 2 or the foreign country.

Primary Source Material

Information Sources

[AC 91-70B, ¶2.3.1] You must adhere to U.S. regulations, ICAO SARPs, and the “flight and maneuver” regulations of the countries you overfly or in which you land. The Aeronautical Information Publication (AIP) from each country is an important source of information and reference. The U.S. AIP, for example, includes a detailed description of where U.S. aviation regulations differ from ICAO standards and recommended practices and procedures. You will see similar listings of “differences” in other State AIPs.

Advisory Circulars

Current and historical FAA advisory circulars are available at:

Aeronautical Information Publications

These are hard to find and often cost a lot of money to get. If you spend a lot of time in a particular country, it might be worth the investment if you can get it in a language you understand. Fortunately, the U.S. AIP is free:

European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA)

EASA Acceptable Means of Compliance (AMC) 20-24, Certification Considerations for the Enhance ATS in Non-Radar Areas using ADS-B Surveillance (ADS-B-NRA) Application via 1090 MHz Extended Squitter, February 5, 2008

EASA Air Ops Annex 1 to VIII, European Aviation Safety Agency, 09 May 2017

FAA Orders

FAA Orders 8400 and 8900 can be found at:

Federal Aviation Regulations

These are available at

  • § 1.1 Definitions
  • § 45.21 Nationality and Registration Marks
  • § 45.23 Display of Registration Marks
  • § 45.29 Size of Registration Marks
  • § 45.31 Marking of Export Aircraft
  • § 47.3 Registration Required
  • § 47.5 Applicants for Aircraft Registration
  • § 47.7 Certificate of US Citizenship
  • § 47.8 Voting Trust
  • § 47.9 Corporation not U.S. Citizen
  • § 47.11 Evidence of Ownership
  • § 47.39 Effective Date of Aircraft Registration
  • § 47.43 Invalid Registration
  • § 47.47 Cancellation of Certificate for Export
  • § 91.207 Emergency Locator Transmitters
  • § 91.509 Survival Equipment for Over water Operations
  • § 91.511 Radio Equipment for Over water Operations
  • § 91.703 Operation of Civil Aircraft of U.S. Registry Outside of the United States
  • § 91.705 Operations Within the NMPS Airspace
  • § 91.707 Flights Between Mexico or Canada and the United States
  • § 91.709 Operations to Cuba
  • § 135.43 Crewmember Certificate, International Operations: Application and Issue
  • § 135.98 Operations in the North Polar Area
  • § 135.145 Aircraft Proving Tests
  • § 135.165 Radio and Navigation Equipment: Extended Over water or IFR Operations
  • § 135.167 Emergency Equipment: Extended Over water Operations
  • § 135.183 Performance Requirements: Land Aircraft Operated Over water
  • § 135.381 En route limitations: one engine inoperative


Finding everything you need from the ICAO can be a challenge, so far the best source out there has been:

United States Customs Publications

The Customs and Border Protection website provides a few helpful documents:

Book Notes

Portions of this page can be found in the book International Operations Flight Manual, Part I.

Revision: 20170520