On Oct 16th 2019, the Civil Aviation Authority in Mexico (DGAC) became the Civil Aviation Federal Agency (AFAC). CAA is under a comprehensive restructure process and it is possible that some procedures or departments experience changes, nevertheless, there have not been official modifications to laws or regulations just yet.
Talking specifically about charter operators, review and scrutiny of documents has increased and made more evident. Although this is nothing new or extraordinary, these changes or improvements in administrative processes have historically adjusted from one Administration to another. Some local handlers have shared their impressions about document review and specific areas where authorities have been looking closer lately.
INSURANCE POLICIES – For 135 Operations, both Worldwide and Mexican Insurance Policies have been requested. Mexican Insurance Policy is being reviewed deeper and closer by the Department of Insurances and Bonds of the AFAC. A digital copy must be clear, legible, in color, as some signs like pixelated or blurry signatures, overlapped stamps, etc. could be considered as signs of a duplicate, therefore, an Original (physical hard copy) could be requested, delaying the process at hand. It is critical to verify that the Mexican Insurance Policy does not show any of the aforementioned signs.
Power of Attorney – For every process and application submitted to AFAC, all foreign operators must name a legal representative through a Power of Attorney, duly notarized and apostilled (Apostille for those signatory countries of the 1961 Hague Convention and legalized for those which are not members of the said Convention). If you’re applying for a Single Landing Authorization in short notice, a digital notarized copy is enough as long as there’s a commitment to follow up by sending the original copy with its corresponding apostille, once available.
When it comes to procedures, something worth being reminded of is that AFAC keeps a record of each operator’s application for landing authorizations, what this means to Charter Operators is that at some point, it will become necessary to obtain an Indefinite Blanket Permit (IBP) to continue having the ability to fly into Mexico without hassles. Applying for an IBP is not complicated, however, it is time consuming, and a process that involves several steps. Nevertheless, an operator won’t have to wait until the IBP is issued and can continue to fly into Mexico obtaining as many landing authorizations as necessary while the permit is underway.
An Indefinite Blanket Permit will pay great benefits in the long term:
• It will cover an entire fleet, not only a tail number
• it will reduce the operational cost
• It will save time, as there will be no further need to submit an application each time you fly.
• Keeping it current is relatively easy and with minimum effort (a Yearly Verification is all you need).
• It can be modified or amended as many times as you need, to add or remove aircraft from your fleet.
It is not an easy or a fast road, but it is definitely worth it.
As a friendly reminder, operators must bear in mind that in spite of holding either a Single Landing Authorization or an Indefinite Blanket Permit issued by AFAC HQ, each airport at each location has its own local AFAC authority which is why it is so important that all documentation is always on board considering that paperwork has to match those initially submitted to central AFAC.
There are no official statements for changes at this time, yet there might be differences coming up. All of our team at Manny Aviation and our 20+ years of experience in Corporate, Private and Executive Aviation in Mexico, will continue to keep you informed and will remain available should you have any doubts, questions or need further assistance.