Mexico: Amendments to the regulations of the Civil Aviation Law - Drones

In brief

The Civil Aviation Law Regulations (RLAC) were amended in response to Mexico's downgrade to Category 2 by the United States Federal Aviation Agency (FAA). These reforms propose measures to improve the safety of Mexican aviation and seek to correct the lack of compliance determined by the Federal Civil Aviation Agency (AFAC) with the safety standards imposed by the Convention on International Civil Aviation of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). In addition, the reform incorporated provisions related to the operation of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems, better known as drones.

In Detail

On 22 January 2022, the reform to the RLAC went into effect, establishing the creation of an international safety database by the AFAC, that must comply with international aviation safety standards.  One of the consequences for drone owners, whether Mexican individuals or legal entities, is that they will now need to register the drones they intend to operate with the AFAC.

Because of the growing presence of unmanned aircraft, certain provisions on this matter were incorporated to the RLAC. These include (i) the classification of unmanned aircraft into model aircraft, autonomous aircraft, unmanned free balloons, and remotely piloted aircraft systems and unmanned aircraft, (ii) the obligation to comply with the requirements established by the aeronautical legislation, applicable to domestic and foreign manufacturers and owners of remotely-piloted aircraft systems that intend to be operated in Mexico, and (iii) the cases in which authorizations, approvals or certifications granted to manufacturers, owners or holders of unmanned aircraft may be revoked.

It is worth mentioning that some of these provisions were already contemplated in Mexican Official Mexican Standard 107-SCT3-2019 ("NOM 107"), so as a result of the reform unmanned aircraft, as well as the provisions of NOM 107 these are now  incorporated and recognized in the aeronautical legislation.


Technological advances in the aeronautical sector, including the drone industry, have generated changes to ICAO regulations. Consequently, the Mexican government has been faced with the need to update its national legislation to comply with international standards.

More information

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