The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association has announced that pilots flying under BasicMed will be able to travel to Mexico in their aircraft starting December 10, 2019, under a policy letter signed by Mexico’s Directorate General of Civil Aeronautics on October 11, 2019.
In recognizing BasicMed, Mexico joins The Bahamas as a BasicMed-friendly destination. The Bahamas recognized BasicMed soon after the new form of aviation medical certification took effect in May 2017.
Today, more than 51,000 U.S. pilots are safely flying under the BasicMed program, which requires pilots who have previously passed a third-class medical exam to take an online medical education course and then go to a state-licensed physician for the required BasicMed physical exam.
“I would like to thank Director General Rodrigo Vásquez-Colmenares Guzmán of Mexico’s Dirección General de Aeronáutica Civil for his work and leadership that made this possible, ” said AOPA President and CEO Mark Baker. “It is clear that Mexico and The Bahamas recognize that thousands of pilots are safely flying under this program, and we hope Canada will soon follow,” Baker continued.
According to Secretary General of the International Council of Aircraft Owners and Pilots Associations, Mexico’s welcome for BasicMed pilots comes as good news for general aviation on both sides of the border because Mexico is the most popular international destination for U.S. pilots, accounting for more than 30 percent of international GA flights.
BasicMed allows eligible pilots to fly aircraft authorized to carry up to six occupants and with a maximum certificated takeoff weight of no more than 6,000 pounds. Pilots can fly up to 250 knots indicated airspeed and up to 18,000 feet MSL. A pilot in command operating under BasicMed must have a comprehensive medical examination using an FAA-approved medical examination checklist given by a state-licensed physician every 48 months (calculated to the exact day). Pilots must also complete an online medical-education course every 24 calendar months (calculated to the last day of the month) and maintain records of their compliance with the requirements.
AOPA credits the FAA’s professionalism and support throughout the implementation of BasicMed for bringing about real savings in time and expense for GA pilots.
For pilots interested in learning more about BasicMed, AOPA has a number of resources under its Fit to Fly page. Pilots can also contact AOPA’s Pilot Information Center for assistance via email or by phone (888-462-3976).