14 Points Added to the Mexican Aviation Legal Framework.

On June 18, 2018, a decree that amends several articles of the Civil Aviation Act and the Airports Law (the “Decree”) was published at the Official Journal. The Decree became effective on June 19, 2018.

The purpose of the Decree was to acknowledge and define various terms that were not legally contemplated by the above statutes and uniform the references to determine the amount of fines as a result of the breach of duties established by the law, among other items.

The main points added to the Civil Aviation Act and the Airports Law are listed below:

First. The following terms are defined:

“Unmanned Aircraft” as the one that flies without a pilot on board.

“Autonomous Aircraft” asthe unmanned aircraft that does not allow the pilot involvement in the flight management.

“Model Aircraft” as the unmanned aircraft, controlled by remote control, manufactured to scale reduced from the real size of a manned aircraft, for recreational use only.

“Unmanned Free Balloons” as the unmanned aerostats, propelled by non-mechanical means, in free flight.

“Remotely Piloted Aircraft System” as the remotely aircraft, its station or connected stations of remote piloting, the required links of command and control and any other component.

Second. The scope of the “Airport” term is extended so that it includes within its services, not only the receipt and dispatch of aircraft, but also of passengers, cargo and service mail of air transport with the modalities established by the law.

Third. References to the Federal Criminal Code are homologated for crimes committed on aircraft, and to the Federal Civil Code regarding births and deaths on board of aircraft, as well as the acknowledgment of such civil code as supplementary law.

Fourth. New authority is given to the Secretary of Communications and Transports to:

  • Grant permits to establish aeronautical workshops and development and training centers, as well as production certificates to establish manufacturing companies of aircraft and their components.
  • Issue, apply and verify the compliance of Mexican official standards pertaining to operational safety.
  • Issue and apply measures and Mexican official standards pertaining to certification, operation and manufacturing of civil unmanned aircraft and state aircraft except for military aircraft.

Fifth. It will be required the permit of production certificate for the establishment of manufacturing companies of aircraft and their components.

Sixth. Regarding permits to operate international scheduled air transport, they can only be granted for an undefined term when there exist reciprocal international conventions for such aim, otherwise the permit will be granted for a maximum term of one year.

Seventh. A ground is added to revoke permits and concessions when conditions of operational safety are breached.

Eighth. The capacity of aircraft authorized for air taxi is extended from 15 up to 19 passengers albeit the restriction of 3,500 weight kilograms is still maintained.

Ninth. It is included in the law the duty of recording at the Mexican Aeronautic Registry all documents by which the legal title, possession and else rights in rem on civil remotely piloted aircraft are acquired, transferred, amended, encumbered or cancelled.

Tenth. All legal provisions relating to the unit of measurement to calculate indemnifications are homologated. Such compensations shall be paid by concession and permit holders (air operators) for damages to passengers, for the loss or damage of cargo, for luggage destruction or damage, for damages to individuals and objects on surface. That is, the reference to minimum wages is replaced by Measurement and Updating Units.

Eleventh. It is also uniformed the factor to calculate the penalty amount applicable to infractions committed by concession and permit holders, owners or holders of aircraft, as well as by behaviors of pilots and commanders of civil aircraft. That is, the reference to minimum wages is replaced by Measurement and Updating Units.

Twelfth. A provision is added to contemplate fines for holders and/or owners of  civil unmanned aircraft and/or state aircraft except the military ones, for breach of their obligations established by the law, regulations, as well as by the relevant permits and authorizations. These sanctions may be the suspension or revocation of any permits, registrations, authorizations or licenses.

Thirteenth. It is added the obligation for concession and permit holders of public service aerodromes to certify them.

Fourteenth. It is replaced the minimum wage by the Measurement and Updating Unit as the reference unit to determine the amount of sanctions for the infringements contemplated by the Airports Law.

The executive branch has a term of 180 days counted as from June 18, 2018, to amend the applicable regulations and issue provisions on remotely piloted aircraft and operational safety.

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