Mexico-bound business aircraft witness increase in ramp checks

 Foreign business aircraft arriving at Mexican airports have noted an increase in ramp checks by authorities. According to flight-planning firm OpsGroup, operators, particularly of N-registered aircraft, have reported being subjected to inspections at Monterrey, Loreto, Tampico, and Veracruz, while southern entry ports such as Tapachula and Cozumel are likely to be affected as well. The company advised, “If you are flying anywhere in Mexico over the next month or so, you should prepare for a ramp check!”

Mexican ground handler Manny Aviation Services has issued a memo to its customers warning them to ensure they are carrying their original aircraft and pilot documents, including airworthiness certificate, proof of insurance (when flying under Part 135 both worldwide and Mexican insurance is required), pilot licenses (with aircraft type ratings), pilot medical certificates, and if they are holding multiple-entry authorization, it must be onboard. Part 91 operators must also show a document stating the purpose of the flight, the name of the lead passenger, and declare their connection with the aircraft.

During charter operations, the list also includes an air operator certificate, the aircraft maintenance logbook, flight manual, minimum equipment list, preflight checklist, weight and balance manifest, FAA OST 4507 form, aircraft radio-station license, first aid kit, a liferaft and/or life jackets if a portion of the flight took place over the ocean, Jeppesen manuals (at least in electronic format), and a Mexican Indefinite Blanket Permit, if the operator has one.

While Manny Aviation believes the Mexican Civil Aviation Authority has instituted the inspections to ward off cabotage, Ops Group noted that the scrutiny comes in the wake of the fatal crash earlier this month of a US-registered Challenger 601.

The organization also advised that Mexico-bound operators check with their local handler before departure, as, in some cases, authorities have indicated in advance which incoming aircraft they are planning to ramp check.