Member Guide

AOPA member services that keep you flying

November 1, 2009

Answers for Pilots: Flying to Mexico

If the beaches of the beautiful Mexican resorts or some other Mexican attractions call you south, be sure to thoroughly plan your trip first. AOPA’s online “ Answers for Pilots” offers a summary of what you need to know:

  • All pilots flying from the United States to Mexico (or to any other country) are required to use eAPIS—CBP’s Electronic Advance Passenger Information System. Take the AOPA Air Safety Foundation’s free online tutorial, Understanding eAPIS—A Pilot’s Guide to Online Customs Reporting .
  • AOPA continues to work with Mexican officials to prevent 406 MHz ELTs from being mandated for GA flight in Mexico. Check AOPA Online for the latest information.
  • Verify that you have insurance coverage for flight into Mexico and that the policy specifically states that liability insurance in Mexico is provided. Bring the original policy along with two additional photocopies.
  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) requires an annual user fee decal ($27.50). Allow a few weeks for delivery. 2010 decal renewals are available now and CPB encourages all applicants to use the online renewal process. Preprinted paper applications will be mailed only by request, not automatically sent as in previous years.

And, of course, call AOPA’s Pilot Information Center with questions Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern Time, 800-USA-AOPA (872-2672).

Why should I support the AOPA PAC?

The AOPA Political Action Committee (PAC) provides members with another collective tool to ensure the needs of general aviation pilots are recognized in Congress. By contributing to the AOPA PAC, your dollars are pooled with contributions from other pilots and aircraft owners nationwide. This means that each dollar you give carries far greater weight than if you contributed on your own. By acting through the PAC, you are part of a focused and effective campaign to achieve maximum returns from limited dollars. To learn more about the AOPA Political Action Committee visit the Web site.

No ‘clunker’ program

Don’t forget that the original stimulus plan still allows for benefit in a 2009 aircraft purchase with a business use—and it’s no “clunker” program! Even though an aircraft used at any percentage for business can take business deductions (see your accountant), the stimulus program allows for faster first-year depreciation as long as the aircraft is used in business at least 50 percent of the time. The big plus is, of course, that depending on the price of the aircraft, new or used, you may be able to deduct up to 100 percent of the cost in the year the aircraft is placed in service. New carry-back/carry forward provisions may allow use of some of this deduction against profits.

AOPA’s resources online provide extensive information about the various aspects of ownership and aircraft purchase. AOPA Aircraft Financing is the perfect place to start to finance your aircraft purchase.