Customs expands hours of entry at Northway Airport 

By Tom George, AOPA Alaska Regional Manager 

Last season, pilots entering Alaska from Canada at the Northway Airport (PAOR) reported that they were only allowed to clear Customs twice per day, at 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. For aircraft coming to Alaska along the Alcan Highway route, a typical departure point is Whitehorse (CYXY). When following the highway, that is typically a 260+ nautical mile trip. Between challenges with weather, and availability of services in Whitehorse, this could result in multiple days of delay before conditions line up to successfully complete the trip. While Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has been generous, in some circumstances, to allow making a fuel stop at Tok (PFTO), and proceeding to Fairbanks or Anchorage to clear Customs, this adds additional pressure and more opportunities to encounter unforecast weather along an even longer route. 

AOPA and the Alaska Airmen’s Association reached out to the supervisor of the Alcan Border station, who was responsive to our concerns and has made some changes on a trial basis. Aircraft wishing to clear Customs at PAOR are now allowed to do so between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Alaska Time. In addition to filing the standard eAPIS report online, one needs to call the Alcan station between 7:30 and 9:00 am Alaska Time to secure permission to arrive. This allows CBP time to dispatch an agent to make the drive from the Alcan station to the airport. Pilots may be asked to adjust their arrival times slightly so that CBP can process multiple aircraft with one trip from the Alcan station. They encourage pilots to call as far in advance as possible and to be flexible in order to make this work. Our hope is that this trial effort becomes a permanent practice. For AOPA’s web story, and the link to CBP’s Alcan port of entry website, see: As you travel this summer season, let me know how it goes. 

Tom George serves as the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association’s Regional Manager for Alaska. He resides in Fairbanks and owns a Cessna 185. He may be reached at or 301-695-2092 

The new CTAF Area is expected to become effective on January 28th, with changes to twenty-five individual airport CTAF frequencies. A diagram of the area is planned for the March 21st edition of the Alaska Chart Supplement. 

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