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I am currently facing a challenge with a client who is experiencing difficulties while attempting to fly out of Canada. I posted about it a few months ago here - Canadian citizen likely on a US no-fly list. How do they avoid US airspace? What are flights from Canada that don't trigger APIS requirements?, but have still not been able to resolve the issue for them. Interestingly, they have been denied boarding on several flights out of Canada that seemingly don't pass through US airspace at all (Calgary to Frankfurt for example). The US deems many Canadian flights to be "overflights" even though they do not necessary fly through US airspace. We have confirmed however that Airlines have a list of all international flights originating from Canada that the US considers to be overflights - the US Secure Flight Overflight Table.

The US Secure Flight Overflight table is a list maintained by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) that provides information on whether certain international flights that overfly the United States are subject to the Secure Flight program. The Secure Flight program is a TSA initiative aimed at enhancing the security of commercial air travel through the pre-screening of passengers and matching them against government watch lists.

The Overflight table is relevant for international flights that do not originate or terminate in the United States but fly through US airspace. The table determines which of these flights are subject to the Secure Flight program's requirements. Airlines operating flights listed on the Overflight table must comply with Secure Flight regulations and submit passenger information for screening, even though the flights do not have a US airport as their origin or destination.

We have attempted to obtain a current copy of the Overflight table through Freedom of Information requests, but unfortunately, after many months, we have not received any results. This is why I am reaching out to the knowledgeable community here for assistance.

Having access to the Overflight table would be invaluable in helping us identify alternative flight routes that can bypass the need for Secure Flight clearance and ensure a smooth travel experience for the client. If any of you have a copy of the Overflight table or can provide guidance on where to find it, I would be extremely grateful.

Your assistance in this matter would be immensely helpful in resolving my client's travel issues, especially since our efforts through official channels have been fruitless so far.

Thank you in advance for any information you can provide.

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  • I'd suspect that list is secret, in the same regard of the TSA NoFly list. Maybe this is something that Transport Canada or CATSA may be able to get you Apr 28, 2023 at 15:53
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    @Nicolas Formichella No, the list is not secret. I know of colleagues that have been able to get copies of it through the TSA's Freedom of Information Request program. The issue is that there is a backlog and they have not received anything for the last couple of years. You can see here that the table is given out (Ctrl + F for "overflight"): tsa.gov/sites/default/files/foia-readingroom/… Apr 28, 2023 at 16:15
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    Have you asked any of the airlines? They must have access to this list and they are probably interested in selling your client a ticket.
    – Hilmar
    Apr 28, 2023 at 16:42
  • @Hilmar Yes, but we have not received any response. May 2, 2023 at 19:34
  • @Nicolas Formichella, It's frustrating to hear about the backlog with the TSA's Freedom of Information Request program. Have you considered reaching out directly to Transport Canada or CATSA for assistance? They might be able to provide some guidance or expedite the process.
    – puja dev
    Sep 16, 2023 at 20:33

1 Answer 1

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+500

I applied for re-release of such an FOIA and just got a reply from the TSA.

See https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:TSA_Secure_Flight_Overflight_Table_from_06JAN2014_to_28OCT2016.pdf

You could see there are many flights not regularly overflying the United States also listed therein. For example, Montreal to Shanghai. TSA is just abusing its power and collecting information of Canadian flights.

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  • Have you been able to get your hands on an updated version that is more recent? Mar 11 at 17:01

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