Getting Airborne in the Islands of the Bahamas
For many, the jewels of The Islands of The Bahamas lie onshore among the palm-fringed beaches or beneath the surface of the pristine turquoise waters. Pilots, however, find their treasure miles above ground in the clear blue skies bathed in perennial sunshine.
The number one overseas destination for U.S. private pilots, the 700 Islands of The Bahamas are easily accessible, with Freeport just 55 miles from the U.S. mainland and a 35-minute flight from Ft. Lauderdale. In fact, flying to any island in The Bahamas is simple, well within the capabilities of the lightest single engine aircraft.
To make navigating from island to island easier, the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation and The Bahama Out Islands Promotion Board have published two documents for pilots to reference. One resource, the 2018-2019 VFR Flight Planning Chart, provides aeronautical profiles of The Islands of The Bahamas with suggested routes between flight destinations and ports of entry for each island.
Another useful resource, the Private Pilot Guide, outlines rules and regulations pilots and co-pilots need to be aware of upon entering and leaving The Bahamas. The guide includes information on filing mandatory International Flight Plans upon entry to and departure from The Bahamas, as well as a checklist for inward and outward bound flights, a cruising permit, a customs declaration form and airport information for Nassau and Paradise Island, Freeport and airports throughout the multiple islands and cays of the destination. An FAQ provides quick information on airport operations, fees, fuel availability and other services essential to private pilots.
Bahamas Fly-In events are scheduled throughout the year and a lead pilot is available to assist others with the necessary paperwork required for getting to and from The Bahamas quickly and safely.
ABOUT THE BAHAMAS
With over 700 islands and cays, and 16 unique island destinations, The Bahamas lies just 55 miles off the coast of Florida offering an easy fly away escape that transports travelers away from their everyday. The Islands of The Bahamas have world-class fishing, diving, boating and thousands of miles of the earth’s most spectacular water and beaches waiting for families, couples and adventurers. Explore all the islands have to offer at www.bahamas.com or on Facebook, YouTube or Instagram to see why It’s Better in The Bahamas.
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General Manager, Global Communications
Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation