AOPA works to end confusion over flights to Mexico

December 31, 2013

The Mexican government is set to implement a new law requiring advanced passenger information for flights to and from the country similar to U.S. eAPIS requirements. The measure, passed in 2010, and published in Mexico’s federal register in November this year, is causing confusion among U.S. aviation companies and operators.

The regulation, as published, states that advanced passenger information (for passengers and crew) is required for all scheduled and non-scheduled international airline and maritime vessels arriving and departing Mexico and does not specify that general aviation or private flights are included in the requirement. The Mexican government’s contractor in charge of the program, Maryland-based ARINC, has indicated to AOPA that the regulation will apply to commercial and private flights.  This information, however, has not been released officially or verified by the Mexican government.

AOPA is aggressively pursuing the issue on multiple fronts and working with Mexican government officials, representatives of ARINC, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials to clarify the policy. Once AOPA receives concrete information, the association will share it with pilots and provide tips for planning flights to and from Mexico.

While the effects of this program are being vetted through official channels, AOPA recommends pilots use an abundance of caution when traveling to Mexico without the aid of an international general aviation service provider or handler. The rule goes into effect Dec. 31, and no one can be certain how individual airport officials will handle implementing the new rule. AOPA offers online resources for planning flights to Mexico.