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Sun, Jan 01, 2023

Ramp Checks to Increase Across Mexico

AFAC attributes the step-up to Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador

Mexico’s Federal Civil Aviation Agency (AFAC) has announced its intention to increase the number of ramp checks its agents perform on foreign business aircraft and crews traveling into and around Mexico between 20 December 2022, and 20 January 2023.

AFAC attributes the step-up to Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s decision to turn the enterprise of administering his nation’s airports to the Mexican military.

“The government might randomly check any business aircraft, whether a flight begins in North America, Europe or the Middle East,” said Fernando Apreza Valdés of Manny Aviation, a Toluca-based Mexican FBO chain with operations on the Toluca (TLC), Queretaro (QRO), San Jose del Cabo (SJD), and Cancun (CUN) airports. “The AFAC plans to look closely at commercial charter operators of aircraft with a MTOW greater than 13,000-pounds or with more than 19 seats.”

As Tapachula (TAP) and Cozumel (CZM) airports are mandatory stops for aircraft arriving from South America, Central America or the Caribbean, inspections at subject airfields are apt to be stricter than those conducted at other Mexican airports—in keeping with prevailing governmental attempts to curtail the flow of illegal drugs into the country.

Additional airports at which increased ramp checks may be expected include: Cancun (CUN), Oaxaca (OAX), Puerto Escondido (PXM), and Ensenada (ESE). In lieu of separate landing permits for each arrival airport, Señor Valdè set forth: “Manny Aviation recommends Part 91 operators get an annual multi-entry authorization (MEA) that allows as many landings as the operator requires.”

During a typical ramp check, local authorities will examine an aircraft’s airworthiness certificate, registration, and worldwide and/or Mexican insurance certificates stating that Part 91 aircraft are “private use” and Part 135 aircraft are “commercial use.” It is mandatory for Part 135 aircraft to carry both insurances – worldwide and Mexican. Aircrew-members must present their pilot certificates, medical certificates, and proof of age—or copies (both sides) thereof. Insomuch as surrendering original pilot and medical certificates is a hazardous business, copies occasion a more circumspect approach to the exigency of a ramp check. In the event the operator holds an MEA, this document must be on board the aircraft along with the applicable receipt, crew, and passengers lists.

Other documents required for commercial operations include:

  • The air operator certificate (AOC) and the FAA OST 4507 air taxi operator registration; (copies are acceptable provided they include all fleet tail numbers). Users of a Mexican indefinite blanket permit (IBP) must include the Mexican AOC’s yearly verification.
  • Each maintenance logbook must verify the aircraft’s airworthiness. In addition to each aircraft’s flight manual and weight and balance documents, a radio station license and noise certification are required—as is a first- aid kit, and, at a minimum, an electronic set of Jeppesen charts. A minimum equipment list is required when noted on the aircraft’s type certificate, as is a preflight checklist. Aircraft making overwater flights must carry numbers of rafts and life jackets commensurate with their occupancy.
  • Pilots of Part 91 flights must present a document clarifying the flight’s purpose, listing the lead passenger’s name and declaring his connection with the aircraft (owner, employee, etc.), as well as the relationship(s) of additional passengers to the lead passenger.

AFAC has also stepped-up enforcement of longstanding equipment mandates listed in 008-SCT3-2002, NOM-022-SCT3-2011 and NOM-069-SCT3-2010. Subject edicts are equivalent to the equipment mandates in FAA regulations. Commercial operators must prove the entirety of their aircraft (as listed in the air-carriers Operation Specifications) are provisioned with the following equipment:

  • Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT)
  • Transponder (XPDR)
  • Flight Data Recorder (FDR)
  • Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR)
  • Airborne Collision Avoidance System (ACAS) / Traffic Collision Avoidance System (TCAS)
  • Ground Proximity Warning System (GPWS) / Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System (EGPWS)
  • Automatic Dependent Surveillance–Broadcast (ADS-B)
FMI: www.gob.mx/afac


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