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Top 5 things every pilot must know before flying to Mexico

By Rick Gardner
Top 5 things every pilot must know before flying to Mexico

Whether you are travelling for business or pleasure, flying to Mexico might seem like a daunting task. Pilots must remember to bring their ARROW documents (yes, that includes the Radio Station License and Radio Operator Permit). While it is always better to go through this process with a handler who not only knows the regulations, understands the culture, speaks the language and is up to date with the latest requirements at each airport, you can also do it yourself, provided you keep in mind the following 5 important things every pilot must know before flying to Mexico:

1. Insurance

Liability Insurance is required. Private aircraft may use their regular policy provided it states Mexico in the territory coverage, provides at least $ 300,000 USD of liability coverage and that it remains in effect the entire time the aircraft is in Mexico. Although not legally required, depending on the airport, some authorities may ask for an insurance policy issued by a Mexican company. Thus, it is always better to confirm in advance that your aircraft and crew documents will be accepted by the local authorities.

2. BasicMed

The good news is that Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) has lobbied for the acceptance of BasicMed with the Mexican Government. Starting December 10, pilots will be able to fly to Mexico under BasicMed. Again, it is always better to confirm beforehand that the authorities at your destination airport are aware of this new agreement and that they will accept your certificate.

3. Notarized Letter

If your aircraft is registered in the name of an LLC or if the aircraft you plan to use is co-owned, rented or borrowed, you should bring a notarized letter from the owner(s) authorizing you to use the aircraft for a PRIVATE international flight during the period of time that you will be flying outside the USA. The letter should be in company letterhead and it should specify the cities visited and the crew and passengers who will be aboard.


Private general aviation flights must file a Mexican APIS manifest with Mexican Immigration for flights to and from Mexico. This APIS must be submitted twice; first, within 24 hours of the flight and then, 30 minutes before takeoff.

5. Entry Permit

Upon landing, you will need to obtain a Single-Entry Permit or Multiple Entry Permit. Aircraft cannot remain in Mexico more than 180 days regardless of the type of permit obtained. Entry Permits are only valid when accompanied by the receipt of payment. The Single-Entry Permit is valid for 180 days or until the aircraft leaves the country, whichever comes first. The Multiple Entry Permit is valid for a calendar year and it will expire on December 31st regardless of when it was issued.

As seen on FltPlan FltBrief (2019)
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