Pilots planning to fly their aircraft to Mexico must be equipped with a 406 MHz emergency locator transmitter (ELT) beginning June 30.
The requirement was ordered by Mexico’s Direccion General De Aeronautica Civil (DGAC), ending a series of extensions requested by AOPA since the mandate was originally scheduled to take effect on Jan. 15, 2002.
Mexican authorities have notified airports that the rule is set to take effect, and pilots should be prepared for a possible ramp check upon arrival at Mexico destinations as of June 30.
The United States, Canada, and Caribbean nations are continuing without 406 MHz ELT requirements, Duke added.
AOPA has opposed attempts to mandate or otherwise require replacement of 121.5/243 MHz ELTs with 406 MHz units, but supports installing them on a voluntary basis.
AOPA recognizes the benefits that can be derived from advanced ELTs now available, but the benefits should be balanced against cost and the needs of aircraft owners.
Individual owners may opt to invest in accident-prevention technology such as Non Required Safety Enhancing Equipment (NORSEE) as an alternative to spending similar amounts of money on a 406 MHz ELT, which is only effective once an accident has occurred, Duke said.
With recent advances in general aviation focused on reducing the cost of producing and equipping GA aircraft, a strategic decision about replacing an ELT should be left to the aircraft owner, he said, adding that AOPA supports and participates in educating pilots and aircraft owners about the limits of 121.5/243 MHz ELTs and the benefits of 406 MHz units.