June 21, 2024

Operators flying to Mexico should be mindful of policy changes impacting business aviation. Some apply to all flights to, from and within Mexico, while others apply to specific airports.

U.S. operators entering Mexico must now receive Single Entry Authorizations (Autorización de Internación Única in Spanish, abbreviated to AIU). These new authorizations, though called “Single Entry,” are typically valid for multiple entries during a 180-day period, though some local authorities might issue an authorization for a longer period.

To receive an AIU, operators must submit a layout of passenger accommodations (LOPA) from the weight and balance manual or aircraft flight manual. The LOPA must reflect the actual aircraft seating configuration, not a generic depiction. At Cabo San Lucas International Airport (CSL), only an exterior photograph is required.

Mexico’s eAPIS processes have also changed. Ruben Barbosa, of ground handling and FBO service coordinator MANNY, recommends utilizing this Excel spreadsheet to submit eAPIS information.

“Since the criteria and procedures are not consistent in all locations, the Excel spreadsheet is still needed and we highly suggest you submit it to avoid any surprising penalties or fines by INM [National Institute of Migration],” said Barbosa.

“These policy changes impact all airports in Mexico and some policies and processes are in flux, subject to change. NBAA provides several resources to keep members up to date,” said Brian Koester, CAM, NBAA director flight operations and regulations. “Other policies are applicable to specific airports, so operators should verify the latest requirements for a particular airport prior to arrival.”

For example, at CSL, all Part 91/private operators are required to provide a letter affirming flights are conducted under Part 91.

San Luis Potosi International Airport (SLP) now requires a noise certificate and radio license, and this requirement may be expanded to additional airports in the coming months.

Finally, Tulum Airport/Felipe Carrillo Puerto Airport (TQO) was previously restricted to VFR operations only for Part 91 and 135 operations, and now both VFR and IFR operations are permitted for all types of operations.

“These airport-specific requirements demonstrate the need to do your homework, talk with colleagues who have recently visited a specific airport and check in with experts prior to your next trip to Mexico,” said Koester. “NBAA will continue to monitor and communicate changes for business aircraft operations to Mexico.”