We have told you in the past about the escalation of ramp inspections in Mexico over the past year. There have been several interesting developments over the past few months that have made this topic go from a nuisance to a full-blown operational concern going forward.
The following has been published by Manny Aviation, an established ground handler in Mexico.
“Civil Aviation Authority in Mexico (fka DGAC) has changed its name to AFAC (Civil Aviation Federal Agency) as of October 16th. As part of its change, part of broader overhaul authorities are undergoing, some departments within the agency have changed the way they operate and some procedures are being modified.
Unfortunately, it is yet too soon to brief you accurately on specific changes. Moreover, some changes might be overturned in the end due to its lack of practical application. What we can share with you so far is the following:
In a continuous effort to mitigate the risk of traffic conflict caused by non-normal events (i.e. aircraft navigation errors, height deviation errors and turbulence induced altitude-keeping errors), arrives an amendment to SLOP within the release of NAT Doc 007 v.2019-3. With the density of traffic only increasing in the NAT, provisions needed to be made that would further reduce the risk of conflict when leaving an assigned track.
Effective immediately with FAA Order N8900.491 and no later than June 30, 2019, the Federal Aviation Administration has decommissioned OpSpec/MSpec/LOA A153 & A353 for ABS-B Out Operations. The measure discards requirements for ADS-B Out operational approval and removes the administrative burden on operators needing to apply for and maintain the OpSpec/MSpec/LOA for ABS-B Out Operations.
As so often happens after an incident, regulators and local airport authorities call for increased levels of inspection. In this case, we are talking about Mexico.
The recent incident in Mexico involving a foreign-operated Challenger with a mechanical problem brought several other issues to light. The significant mechanical failure served as a catalyst for making local customs officials aware of the aircraft’s poor maintenance record and recordkeeping. Furthermore, it was discovered that this aircraft was operating as a private flight when clearly it was a charter.