The Mexican border is closed until December 21st for non-essential travel between the United States and Mexico amid the coronavirus pandemic. The restrictions mean that U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents who go to Mexico on business or some sort of emergency can cross the border back into the United States. Commercial traffic continues to flow between the two countries. U.S. residents are only supposed to go to Mexico for essential or emergency reasons. Mexican officials at various ports of entry have set up medical checkpoints where a traveler’s temperature is taken and they are questioned about flu-like symptoms or coughing. AOPA suggests that pilots call their port of entry to confirm if their reason to enter would be approved.
Effective 05/24/2019, Mexico's Civil Aviation Authorities (DGAC) have implemented ramp checks at Mexican airports. For any flight to Mexico, in addition to the normally required aircraft documents listed on this page and required by FAA regulations, additional documentation is required under Mexican law. To be on the safe side, be sure to have the following on board:
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 Caribbean Sky Tours.
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 Directorate General of Civil Aeronautics (DGCA) has requested the survey. The survey is intended to gauge pilots' experiences with and make improvement in everything from fixed-base operation services to customs and immigration to airport security.
Pilots willing to submit their comments can complete the Airport Service Quality survey online. The survey is in Spanish and English, and should take only a few minutes to complete.
The pilot in command must have a current:
All U.S. registered aircraft must have:
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 Caribbean Sky Tours web site.
Clearance procedures involve returning your tourist visa(s) and departing from an airport of exit.