Tips, Trips, and Opinions
This section of information offers opinions, tips, and trips from members of AOPA's International Alliance, which is a group of international service providers who are very familiar with operations in Mexico and who can share their information here.
This content reflects the opinions of the providers, including occasional operational tips and experiences. Some of the perspectives expressed here may not reflect AOPA's position, but they bring a valuable viewpoint members should be aware of when traveling internationally. Questions or concerns should be directed to the information providers, whose names are hyperlinked below for easy access.
Tips (and Updates)
04/07/14. Rick Gardner, Caribbean Sky Tours. Since the implementation of the Mexico APIS on December 31, 2013, we have been looking for solutions to provide a reasonable option to those pilots who wished to comply with the new law. At the same time, we have reached out to Mexican government officials to find ways to make it more practical and economical for pilots to comply. We have been fortunate that the Director General of Verification and Control for Mexico’s National Institute of Migration (INM) has granted us several opportunities to meet with him and his staff since the beginning of the year to discuss our concerns about the Mexico APIS implementation and the challenges it presents for GA pilots. These meetings occurred in Mexico City on January 14, 2014, February 04, 2014 and again on April 04, 2014. During our meeting on April 4, we were advised that the legal administrative process for modifying current regulations in Mexico has begun. Read more here.
03/25/14. Jack McCormick, Baja Bush Pilots: Mexico' Daylight Savings start, end times. Daylight saving times start for Mexico on April 6 and end on October 26. Excluded from change is the entire state of Sonora, which does not observe Daylight Savings Time. In addition, the cities of Acuna, Anahuac, Juarez, Matamoros, Mexicali, Nuevo Laredo, Ojinaja, Piedras Negras, Reynosa, and Tijuana all follow the same Daylight Savings Times as the U.S.
03/17/14. Jack McCormick, Baja Bush Pilots: Current Aircraft Registration for Aircraft Required. There have been two aircraft in Mexico that were grounded this last weekend because they lacked a current registration certificate. The pilot(s) and their passengers had no choice but to leave their aircraft and go back to the US via commercial means. And.... this could happen to you. MX officials have been instructed at some MX AOE Airports to check the FAA database of all aircraft arriving to confirm their registration is current. If it is not current, they have been instructed to ground the aircraft until a current registration is produced....
This is where it gets ugly. I have been in contact with FAA - OKC regarding the renewal process and right now, it takes about 45 days from when they receive the application to when they generate a new one. And, they cannot/will not expedite the process. Period. A request comes in, it is put in the que and when the request works up to the top of the list, it is handled.
The cost to renew your registration is US$5.00. The cost to renew an expired registration is US$5.00 plus the grounding of your aircraft, depending on OKC"s backlog, for up to two months. And this could happen anywhere. When I had my ramp check in KOLS about two years ago, the man with the gold badge asked to see my registration. No problem, I was good.
The FAA is sending the BBP the required forms to renew an expired registration, to renew a registration that has not expired can be done on the FAA website. For more information, contact the Baja Bush Pilots at 480 730 3250 or go to the BBP Website.
01/22/14. Rick Gardner, Caribbean Sky Tours: Regarding Mexican APIS. I met with the Director of Immigration Verification and Control on January 14 to discuss issues with the APIS process as it applies to private, general aviation flights. The Mexican authorities were responsive to Gardner’s comments, but did say that the system does apply to private flights and is in “evaluation mode” and urges all APIS users to comply. A follow-up meeting is planned for next month.
12/13/13. Thierry Pouille, Air Journey: In regard to Mexico, we have not taken any journeys there in 2013 but we have sent some individual clients. At each airport handling is different with some very fast and efficient and some very slow and too bureaucratic. It is important to note that effective at the end of this year, December 31, Mexico will implement an eAPIS system like the US and noncompliance will end up with $5,000 fee. It will be great to have additional information on this new requirement to share with the AOPA membership going to and from Mexico.
These are upcoming private aviation trips to Mexico sponsored or escorted by an international service provider.
Baja Bush Pilots. Sun and San Felipe Beach Party, May 2 –4, 2014, MMSF
Yep, we are doing it again. It is time for another quick and easy three day run down to San Felipe to get a “Mexico Fix”
As in the past, the BBP will be at the airport to meet and walk you through the procedures. Then it is off to our beachside resort hotel to start day one of our fix. Things to do include nothing, beach walking, quad riding, slot gambling, Mexican eating, song, dance, laughter, and drink. Only with the BBP and only in Mexico.
Opinions and Experiences
These are solely the opinions or experiences of the ones to whom they are attributed. Occasionally, you may see conflicting opinions or differing experiences.
Member List: AOPA's International Alliance
Air Journey: Escorted flying journeys to destinations around the world. Travel in a small group on a pre-arranged itinerary, or customize a trip.
Bahamas Aviator: Bahamas flying and resort information for private pilots.
Bahamas and Caribbean Pilots Guide: Publish guide books for pilots: The 2014 Bahamas Pilot's Guide and 2014 Caribbean Pilot's Guide.
Bahamas Ministry of Tourism. The official travel site of the Islands of the Bahamas.
Baja Bush Pilots: A membership organization providing information, resources, and escorted flights for private pilots in Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean.
Canadian Owners and Pilots Association: A membership organization that protects personal aviation and promotes it as a valued, integral and sustainable part of the Canadian Community.
Caribbean Sky Tours: A membership association providing information, resources, and escorted flights to Mexico, Central America, the Bahamas, and the Caribbean.
Pilot Getaways: Pilot Getaways is the bimonthly travel magazine for pilots and their families, focusing on fun flying to destinations from backcountry strips to exclusive fly-in resorts.