In a move to deter cabotage activities, Mexican authorities have launched a ramp check program, set to be in effect from now until mid-January 2024. This initiative closely mirrors a similar surge in ramp checks conducted during the corresponding period last year. For flight operators planning trips to Mexico, being thoroughly prepared for these checks is paramount to ensure seamless operations amidst these regulatory measures.
Key Considerations for Flight Operators:
- Duration and Fines: Anticipate these checks to span up to 40 minutes. Non-compliance or the absence of essential documents can lead to substantial fines, underscoring the critical need for meticulous preparation.
- Comprehensive Documentation: The list of required documents is extensive and varies based on the nature of the flight, whether private under Far Part 91 or charter under Far Part 135. Essential documents include Airworthiness and Registration Certificates, appropriate insurance coverage, pilot’s licenses and medical certificates, and Multiple Entry Authorization (MEA) along with payment receipts, if applicable.
- Additional Requirements for Charter Operations: Charter flights necessitate additional documents such as the Air Operator Certificate (AOC), FAA OST 4507 FORM or equivalent, and the Mexican Indefinite Blanket Permit (IBP) along with verification receipts. Copies of these documents are generally accepted.
- Maintenance and Operational Records: Keeping the maintenance logbook updated with the latest information is crucial. Operational documents like the aircraft radio station license, flight manual, noise certificate, and Minimum Equipment List (MEL) must also be on board.
- Safety and Compliance Equipment: Depending on the flight route, safety equipment like life rafts and life jackets may be mandatory, particularly for flights involving ocean overflights.
- Flight Purpose Declaration: For Far Part 91 – Private flights, carrying a document declaring the flight’s purpose, detailing the lead passenger and their connection to the aircraft is mandatory.
- Special Attention for Mixed-Use Aircraft: Aircraft registered for both private and charter use may require additional proof to confirm the flight’s private status. A notarized letter from the legal owner specifying the nature of the flight and authorization for the crew and passengers can be pivotal in such cases.
In conclusion, thorough preparation and adherence to these requirements are indispensable for smooth operations in Mexican airspace. Flight operators are strongly advised to meticulously review and ensure the presence of all necessary documentation to preempt delays or penalties during these ramp checks. Embracing this proactive approach not only ensures regulatory compliance but also contributes to the overarching safety and efficiency of international aviation operations.
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