Effective January 26, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will be requiring all passengers arriving in the United States from a foreign country, flying by general aviation, to get tested no more than 3 days before their flight departs, and to provide proof of the negative result or documentation of having recovered from COVID-19. More details and requirements can be found in the article here.
The Mexican border is closed until May 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.
The Mexican Secretariat of National Defense (SEDENA) (Army) has been performing ramp checks at MMAN- Del Norte International Airport. This has lead to increased processing times for both arrival and departure procedures.
SEDENA is also reviewing aircraft and crew documents before the Civil Aviation Authorities approve Entry Permits, increasing the times of permit approval to up to a week. If you are flying to this airport, be prepared to be received and checked by military personnel. If you apply for a Multiple Entry Permit or plan to fly to a different Mexican airport, you must allow enough time (up to a week) to receive it before departing Monterrey.
Remember that you MUST obtain an Entry Permit at the first airport where you land and you cannot fly to another Mexican airport without an Entry Permit. If you already hold a valid Multiple Entry Permit then you can use it to fly to MMAN.
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:
Regarding experimental aircraft: Due to a recent policy change, the operation of U.S. registered amateur built aircraft is currently prohibited in Mexico. AOPA has asked the civil aviation authorities in Mexico to reverse this recent policy change. AOPA will update this notice and notify the membership when this change occurs.
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.