Now What: Airplane Immigration Records
6/11/2014
Do records exist for immigrants who came on planes? Expert answers for your genealogical questions.
Q. Are there immigration records for people who flew to the United States?
 
A. Because commercial trans-Atlantic air travel didn’t begin until after the restrictive Immigration Act of 1924, airplane passenger records typically aren’t an important source for genealogists. If your ancestor did arrive by air, however, you can use NATF Form 81 from the National Archives <archives.gov/genealogy/immigration> to order copies of inbound federal passenger arrival manifests for airplanes, just as with ships, through 1959. Microfilmed airport-arrival records available from the National Archives include San Pedro/Los Angeles, Miami, Milwaukee, Houston, Seattle, Baltimore and Portland, Ore.—dates vary.