Flying Your Plane To The Bahamas

fly your plane to the bahamas video

Flying The Islands Of The Bahamas is truly simple and well within the capabilities of the lightest single-engine aircraft. Leaving the east coast of Florida, first landfall occurs at Grand Bahama Island (60nm) or Bimini (50nm). While conditions are typically VFR, GPS is the most reliable and accurate method of navigation, and GPS will get you to even the most remote of our islands. Nassau, New Providence Island and Freeport, Grand Bahama Island are the major population centers. Flight operations are conducted within the equivalent of a U.S. TCA with radar coverage. There are approach control, tower and ground frequencies. Nassau and Grand Bahama offer Flight Service facilities. Nassau is the seat of Government, the hub of commerce and the busiest airport with the most airline traffic.
– Bahamas Private Pilot Guide

Entering The Bahamas

Pilot Requirements

  • Passport

  • C7a Bahamas Cruising Permit Form – 3 copies [download]

  • Bahamas Immigration Card – One per person

Leaving United States

  • File a flight plan

  • File eAPIS (watch video for detailed instructions)

  • One life jacket for every passenger (a life raft is recommended but not required)

  • Activate flight plan

  • Prior to landing, close your flight plan with Nassau radio on 124.2 or 128.00. In order to close you may call 1-800-WXBRIEF or Nassau 1-242-377-7176. You can also use the blue phone at your disposal at your airport of entry free of charge.

  • Must land at Bahamas Airport of Entry (AOE) – You do not need to depart from Airport of Entry in United States

  • Bahamas Customs processing fee – $50 per aircraft

Leaving The Bahamas

Entering United States

  • File eAPIS minimum 1 hour prior to flight

  • Depart from Airport of Entry

  • File The Bahamas Customs General Declaration Outward Form (C7) – One copy [download]

  • Pay Bahamas departure tax – $29 per person six years and older

  • Call and advise US Customs of your ETA via a land line and get “code” from the Customs Officer

  • File an International Flight Plan (242-377-7116 or 1-800-WX-BRIEF). If in the air, call Nassau Radio on 124.2, 128.0.

  • Activate your flight plan with Nassau on 124.2, 128.0 (Nassau Radio) or 122.3 (Freeport Radio). If you are unable to do this, activate with Miami Radio 126.7, 126.9 or 118.4. In Bimini, activate your flight plan on 122.1 (Miami Remote no voice) or listen to Bimini VOR 116.7.

  • VFR flights must receive a discrete transponder code from FSS 126.7 (Miami Radio) before penetrating the ADIZ zone. Flight Service is responsible, not Approach Control.

  • Prior to landing, close your flight plan on 126.7. If you are not able to, close at Customs office with 1-800-WX-BRIEF.

  • You must land at an Airport of Entry on the east coast

  • Take all baggage out of airplane and proceed directly to Customs

  • Prepare the necessary documents, US Arrival Report (pilots only) and Customs Declaration cards (1 per family)

Phone Numbers

FXE Customs (open from 8 AM — Midnight)

FLL Customs

Customs USA (after hours contact)


Out of Country FSS

Banyan Air Service

Banyan Pilot Shop


FXE Tower

FXE Ground

FXE Clearance


MIA Radio*
126.7 / 126.9 / 118.4

MIA Departure

Nassau Radio*
128.0 / 124.2

Freeport Radio*

Bimini VOR
122.1 to receive 116.7

Banyan Unicom

*Reception at altitude of 3,000 ft.

Survival and Safety products Bahamas flying

Flying The Islands Of The Bahamas will more than quench your thirst for adventure and Banyan Pilot Shop has all the safety equipment you need, including:

  • Life Jackets (mandatory for everyone on board) – Available for rent
  • Rafts – Part 91 and Part 135 are available for rent and include:
    • canopy
    • canopy mast
    • 3 flares
    • 1 flashlight
    • 1 raft repair kit
    • 1 first aid kit
    • 1 sea dye marker
    • 1 signal mirror
    • 1 food ration
    • 8 water rations
    • 1 signal whistle
  • Personal Locator Beacon (PLB)
  • Flare Gun
  • Survival Kit

Please fill out the form below to receive a free Bahamas Kit

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Dear Aviator,

Fifty miles off the coast of Florida lies a chain of 700 islands strewn over 5,000 square miles of turquoise seas, with blue skies of perfect visibility.

We invite you to come and explore The Islands Of The Bahamas.

It’s often said that the true beauty of The Bahamas is to be found in its surrounding seas. As an aviator, you will command the best view to savour the exquisite beauty and shifting hues of our aquamarine and turquoise waters, so translucent that they have wowed astronauts orbiting earth.

Ashore you’ll find modern airports, facilities and amenities to make your arrival process hassle free and your stay satisfying. Your visit to our various islands will be made memorable by sights, attractions, tours and excursions that leave you with the most enriching experience. Be sure to check our calendar of events for sailing regattas, festivals, home-coming extravaganzas and other cultural events that take place on the various islands throughout the year.

As you island hop in The Bahamas, one observation you’ll make is that each island you visit is distinct in personality and offers a unique experience. That is the charm of the Bahamas. The one quality that is unchanged from island to island is the warm hospitality of our people.

We are close by, and we extend to you an open invitation to come and visit us any time. We look forward to seeing you again and again.

Hon. Obediah H. Wilchcombe, MP
Minister of Tourism

The information provided in this publication is for VFR planning and enroute reference only. The planning chart section shows dash lines between flight destinations to indicate suggested VFR routing, using VOR radials. Solid lines indicate NDB course lines or the necessity for dead reckoning procedures. All depicted course lines are magnetic (true course, adjusted for local magnetic variation). Distance between points is shown in nautical miles.

Bahamas VFR Flight Chart Excerpt

Flying the Islands of The Bahamas is truly simple, well with the capabilities of the lightest single engine aircraft. On leaving the Florida east coast first landfalls occur at Grand Bahama Island (60 NM) or Bimini (50 NM). Overlapping VOR/DME of NDB signals provide course guidance from the U.S. coast and throughout the most frequently traveled routes in The Bahamas.

Banyan Air Service, your gateway FBO to The Bahamas and Caribbean, gives you access to more than 7,000 islands, inlets, reefs, and cays. These islands are part of the larger West Indies, which consists of the Greater Antilles on the north, the Lesser Antilles on the south and east, as well as The Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands.

We work with The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation to provide a check list that will make your flights to and from the Islands a pleasant experience. Our Bahamas Kit includes: Airport information with airports of entry, important phone numbers and some of the most frequently asked questions about flying to The Bahamas. Click the Free Bahamas Kit link to have one mailed to you.