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Flying your Drone in Mexico

Flying in Mexico

 


Mexico Drones/RPAS Regulations

Interesting points worth noting:

No flying at night without relevant authorisation

Limited regulations covering drone use if the weight is underneath 2kg - aside from avoiding use at night. 

Drones should not be operated from moving vehicles; unless moving over water!

This one, I struggled to get my head around at first: if flying over 161km/hour the minimum height the drone must travel at is 500feet (152meters) AGL.

Key Organizations:

  • SCT: Secretaria de Comunicaciones y Transportes
  • DGAC: Dirección General de Aeronáutica Civil

Key Regulation Document Access

The express purposes for these regulations are to maintain public safety and the safety of operators due to the increased usage of RPAS/drones in Mexico.

Weight Categories

  • 2Kg or less: Micro RPAS
  • Between 2 and 25 Kg: Light RPAS
  • More than 25Kg: Heavy RPAS

Uses Classifications:

  • Recreational
  • Commercial

Airport/Airfield/Heliport Rules

  • Unless the operator has a strict and prior coordination with the Servicios de Tránsitos Aéreo/air traffic control operations/flights may not take place closer than:
    • 2 km (5 nautical miles) from any controlled airports.
    • 7 km (2 nautical miles) from any uncontrolled aerodrome.
    • 900 meters (0.5 nautical miles) from any heliport.

Restrictions applicable to all RPAS/drones

  • The operator must maintain control of the flight path/trajectory of flight at all times.
    • This is interesting in terms of using automated drone paths and will as it currently stands, commercial drone deliveries will need express permissions 

  • The operator is responsible for its operation, and in the event of an accident, also of any damages or harm caused by the drone.

 

  • The operator must comply with all laws, regulations, and norms, whether federal or local, related to national security, public safety, and the protection of privacy, intellectual property among others.
    • make sure to check for any local rules and regs before flying - this could be challenging depending on which area within Mexico. 

  • Operations may only occur during daylight hours unless specially obtained authorization.

 

  • No operation may occur if the operator cannot perform it safely
    • make sure to have proof that when you planned your flight, it was safe to have taken off. 

 

  • No operator can allow the falling or throwing of any object or material from a drone that could cause damage or harm to any person or property. 

 

  • No operations/flights allowed in prohibited, restricted, or hazardous areas.

 

  • No transporting of dangerous materials or illegal substances, or transportation of arms or explosives.

 

  • The operator must yield the right of way to any manned aircraft unless the RPAS/drone and the other aircraft are under positive control of the Servicios de Tránsitos Aéreo/air traffic control.

 

  • RPAS/drones may not be operated from moving vehicles unless they are on water

 

  • Foreign registered RPAS/drones or RPAS/drones operated by foreigners with scientific objectives must apply for a permit from the Secretaría de la Defensa Nacional.

Additional requirements and limitations for micro RPAS/<2kg drones

  • 2Kg or less: Micro RPAS
  • Do not require DGAC authorization.
  • Maximum height of operations is 122 meters (400 feet).
  • Minimum height of operations is 46 (150 feet).
  • The drone must be operated within the light of sight and within a horizontal distance of 447 meters or 1,500 feet from the operator.
  • The drone is required to be made of material that breaks easily on collision and is designed with the objective of minimizing risk to any person or object that it collides with
  • If used for commercial purposes, the operator must have an applicable insurance policy covering harm to third persons.

Additional requirements and limitations for light RPAS/Drones

  • Between 2 and 25 Kg: Light RPAS
  • For commercial use, DGAC authorization is required.
  • For recreational use, Light RPAS may only be used within approved model flying clubs and are subject to the limitations applicable to those clubs.
  • The speed limit of 161 Km/hour requires a minimum height of 152 meters (500 feet)

Additional requirements and limitations for "heavy" RPAS/Drones

  • More than 25Kg: Heavy RPAS
  • Same regulations are applicable to recreational use of light drones described above.
  • However for commercial use:
    • The operator must be a commercially licensed pilot
    • A permit is required which is inclusive of personal identification information as well as proof of a valid insurance policy.
    • A certificate of enrollment is also required and aircraft must have the flag of their nationality, registration and identification information fixed on the RPAS/drones themselves for identification purposes.

Finally, if carrying out any commercial operations, make sure that you have a valid Operations Manual with aforementioned prescribed regulations included. 

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