September, 2014: Private general aviation flights must file a Mexican APIS manifest with Mexican Immigration for flights to and from Mexico. The APIS can now be filed via an excel spreadsheet without the need of a third party. Click here for details.
The Mexican government has extended the deadline for installing 406 MHz ELTs in light aircraft. AOPA requested the extension during a March meeting with the leader of the Mexican Civil Aviation Authority. The extension, which was published Aug. 10, 2015 gives aircraft operators until June 30, 2018, to install the equipment in piston-powered privately owned aircraft with a maximum takeoff weight of less than 12,566 pounds. Read more here.
Update: December 16, 2015. Here is the latest activity in Mexico regarding the new GAP rates. The efforts by the Mexican Federation of Pilots - FEMPPA has resulted in a significant reduction in the original GAP fees. Please call AOPA at 800-USA-AOPA (872-2672) for the new rates for landing, ramp and parking (per day) for the airports listed below.
November, 2015: Mexico has increased rates for landing, ramp and parking at certain airports operated by Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacífico (GAP) by over 400%. These rates are based on MTOW. However, GAP is also now assessing ALL aircraft a minimum MTOW of 11,000 lbs which further impacts the cost increase. In the case of Tijuana, aircraft are assessed rates with a minimum of 22,000 lbs MTOW. GAP has a concession granted by the Mexican Federal Government to operate certain airports in Mexico. A significant percentage of the ownership of GAP are Spanish investors. These rates were approved by Mexico's DGAC.
Airports operated by GAP are:
This two-minute video gives an overview of the process, as well a brief description of many of the items.
The pilot in command must have a current:
All U.S. registered aircraft must have:
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) requires:
Mexican NOTAM A 0313/08 is still in effect and has been incorporated into the Mexican Aeronautical Information Publication (AIP): Effective Feb. 1, 2008, any general aviation aircraft that plans to land in Mexico on a flight that originated in the Caribbean or Central and South America, must make their first landing in either Cozumel (MMCZ), or in Tapachula (MMTP). Both airports operate on a 24-hour schedule. This NOTAM is in effect until further notice. Note: It has been reported that occasional flights from the Bahamas, as well as from other countries, may be diverted to land at one of these airports.
VFR night operations are not permitted, with the exception of approved flights headed to the United States departing from these border airports: Ciudad Juarez, Matamoros, Nuevo Laredo, Reynosa, Tijuana, and Mexicali. Even these flights are subject to the following requirements:
For any IFR night operation, the pilot should call ahead to ensure the destination airport will be open.
Mexico’s DGAC has modified the procedures for issuing and maintaining a Single-Entry or Multiple-Entry permit. While overall there is not a significant change to the procedures, there are some new requirements and steps being taken by the DGAC that are worrisome. The changes are clearly aimed at operators conducting illegal cabotage using U.S. registered aircraft and also demonstrates greater collaboration between Mexico’s DGAC and Mexican Immigration and Mexican Customs. However, under these new guidelines there are potential situations for law-abiding operators of U.S. registered aircraft to have issues flying to/within/from Mexico. Those situations especially at risk are:
For more information, visit the Caribbean Sky Tours web site.
Clearance procedures involve returning your tourist visa(s) and departing from an airport of exit.