Dec. 10, 2019

The Federal Civil Aviation Agency (AFAC) of Mexico recently increased random ramp inspections of foreign aircraft visiting Mexico. Part 91 private and Part 135 commercial operators conducting flights to Mexico are encouraged to prepare for ramp inspections.

AFAC is essentially following International Civil Aviation Organization recommendations, so pilots familiar with international operations should already be prepared. However, a few key additional documents are required for foreign aircraft flights to Mexico.

“It is important be ready for a ramp check,” said Nelson Garcia, operations manager at Manny Aviation Services of Mexico. “Ramp checks are a reminder of some of the requirements and paperwork that must be carried on board, and are a way to keep all operators and permit holders on their toes, if you may, but it is mainly an effort to make sure every airplane that enters our country is in compliance with current laws and regulations.”

Before departing for a trip to Mexico, Manny Aviation Services of Mexico recommended verifying the following are onboard:

  • Airworthiness certificate
  • Registration certificate
  • Worldwide and/or Mexican insurance (certificate must indicate whether private or charter operations are covered – Part 135 must have both worldwide and Mexican insurance)
  • Airman certificate(s)
  • Airman medical certificate(s), appropriate to type of flight and pilot’s age
  • Multiple entry authorization, if appropriate, plus payment receipt
  • Maintenance log (copies of last page or latest entries are acceptable – originals not necessary)
  • Aircraft radio station license/authorization
  • Aircraft flight manual
  • Noise certificate
  • Minimum equipment list, if applicable
  • Mexican Aeronautical Information Publication
  • Preflight checklists
  • Weight and balance manifest
  • First aid kit
  • Life raft and/or life jacket, if required by routing
  • Charts appropriate to flight (paper or electronic)
  • Part 135 charter only:
    • Valid air operator certificate – copies are acceptable.
    • FAA OST 4507 Form. Copies are acceptable. Alternatively, the appropriate exemption document, Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity, is also acceptable.
    • If you hold a Mexican Indefinite Blanket Permit, it should be accompanied by the Mexican AOC and the yearly verification (including payment receipt). Copies are acceptable.

In an effort to crack down on illegal charter operations, Part 91 private flights also must carry a letter stating the purpose of the flight, including the name of the lead passenger and connection to aircraft. This letter does not need to be notarized.

Nelson cautioned there are no formal, consistent instructions provided to inspectors so an individual inspector might as for more or fewer documents than those listed above.