Starting November 8th, the US/Mexico border is open for tourism travel. For requirements for foreign nationals and US citizens, see here.
Mexico’s ADS-B mandate mirrors the US requirement. The only approved equipment is the 1090 MHz ES in controlled airspace. For details, see here.
AOPA has become aware of an issue that has occurred at the Chihuahua International Airport (MMCU). Mexican Customs at MMCU is applying a poorly written and unclear portion of the Mexican customs and commerce codes which they are interpreting to indicate that all private aircraft must also present an APIS to Mexican Customs. The law specifies that the APIS must be presented using US/EDIFACT or UN/EDIFACT, but provides no other specifications which essentially makes it impossible to comply with the law. However, the person in charge of customs at MMCU has interpreted this law to indicate that the notifications must be made via email to a personal email address at MMCU with no confirmation email reply. We have been advised that multiple pilots have been fined $4,000 USD apiece for not providing the requested notification and for not providing the officials with their solicited bribe.
The Mexican Secretariat of National Defense (SEDENA) (Army) has been performing ramp checks at MMAN- Del Norte International Airport. This has lead to increased processing times for both arrival and departure procedures.
SEDENA is also reviewing aircraft and crew documents before the Civil Aviation Authorities approve Entry Permits, increasing the times of permit approval to up to a week. If you are flying to this airport, be prepared to be received and checked by military personnel. If you apply for a Multiple Entry Permit or plan to fly to a different Mexican airport, you must allow enough time (up to a week) to receive it before departing Monterrey.
Remember that you MUST obtain an Entry Permit at the first airport where you land and you cannot fly to another Mexican airport without an Entry Permit. If you already hold a valid Multiple Entry Permit then you can use it to fly to MMAN.
The Mexican Authorities have informed AOPA that as of July 20, 2021, the high season will begin and with it, ramp inspections will begin nationwide by the Civil Aviation Authorities (AFAC).
We share with you the list of documents that will be requested:
Please allow enough time to go through this procedure and remember to verify that you have with you all the documents mentioned above.
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. Access the instructions and the excel spreadsheet, courtesy of CST Flight Services.
Piston-powered, privately owned aircraft, flying in Mexico with a maximum takeoff weight of less than 12,566 pounds must be equipped with a 406 MHz ELT.
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:
Regarding experimental aircraft: Due to a recent policy change, the operation of U.S. registered amateur built aircraft is currently prohibited in Mexico. AOPA has asked the civil aviation authorities in Mexico to reverse this recent policy change. AOPA will update this notice and notify the membership when this change occurs.
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 CST Flight Services web site.
Clearance procedures involve returning your tourist visa(s) and departing from an airport of exit.