by Chad Trautvetter
The Mexican government is now allowing general and business aviation pilots to file advanced passenger information system (APIS) manifests directly when arriving in or departing from the country, eliminating the previous requirement to use a third-party flight-planning provider to do so. Mexico expanded its APIS requirements on January 1 to include general and business aviation flights arriving or departing the country to enhance security and more accurately account for taxes paid by arriving and departing passengers.
In a communiqué sent earlier this month to Caribbean Sky Tours–AOPA’s authorized representative for the Caribbean, Mexico and Central America–Mexico’s immigration agency, Instituto Nacional de Migración (INM), stated that general and business aviation pilots conducting private flights can now file the APIS form themselves under an interim process. According to AOPA, “A manifest must be filed by completing an approved Excel spreadsheet that is similar, but not identical, to a spreadsheet used by Arinc for Mexican APIS filings.”
AOPA noted that the timing of APIS filings has also been modified. The manifest must be emailed within 24 hours of departure and resubmitted 30 minutes before takeoff to confirm the flight. The INM will confirm receipt by email. Meanwhile, the Mexican government is working on a free public portal for pilots to use in filing APIS information without the need for the spreadsheet.