The 406 MHz ELT requirement for Mexico is extended until December 31, 2011 for private aircraft operations and December, 2010 for commercial aircraft operations.

406 MHz ELT

The deadline for the 406 MHz requirement was initially set at April 2, 1010 but because of the efforts of Central America, Rick Gardner of Caribbean Sky Tours, and AOPA’s Authorized Representative for the Caribbean, the deadline was extended. For 2 years, they have made negotiations and presentations to DGAC (Mexico’s Dirección General De Aeronáutica Civil) to extend the deadline and finally their request was granted.

Woody Cahall, AOPA vice president of the Pilot Information Center said “AOPA has been working with Mexican Civil Authorities for two years in an effort to extend the compliance deadline for the ELT requirement for private aircraft. We are very pleased to see that the DGAC has taken the information presented into consideration and delivered their decision to extend the deadline. Pilots now have more time to consider options and alternatives better suited to their individual flying needs, and the extension removes the immediate possibility of a negative impact on aviation tourism to Mexico that the earlier deadline may have caused.”

ELT or Emergency Locator Transmitter is equipped in an aircraft for emergency purposes. The emergency locator transmitter that you use in your aircraft will be dependent on the type of craft you are flying and how far you are planning on traveling but all of the latest models are now equipped with GPS devices. One of the reasons for requiring aircraft owners to upgrade their current ELT is because pilots operating with a 243 MHz (121.5) ELT will have more risk flying in remote areas because in the event of a crash, the pilot can only rely on CAP (Civil Air Patrol) to be dispatched assuming a flight plan was on file and the aircraft is now overdue. Or someone is monitoring 121.5 and they call it in. The use of the new ELT will improve Search and Rescue (SAR) capabilities. The 406 MHz ELT will be more suitable for cases like this since it is equipped with Cospas/Sarsat technology and utilize the latest GPS equipment.

With the extension of the deadline, the DGAC is distinguished between commercial and private aircraft operations. Aircrafts that are being used exclusively for private flights will now have until Dec. 31, 2011, to replace their existing 121.5-MHz ELT with a 406-MHz ELT model or until their existing 121.5-MHz ELT needs to be replaced, whichever comes first. On the other hand, commercial aircraft owners would have until Dec. 31, 2010, to equip their aircraft with the new device or until their ELT battery or existing 121.5-MHz ELT have to be replaced, whichever comes first.

As of now, 406-MHz ELTs are not required by the FAA for flights inside the United States. AOPA is maintaining the decision to continue flying with 121.5-MHz ELTs or to upgrading to the 406-MHz ELT must be based upon a number of factors such as equipment needed, type of flying done, and the type of terrain over flown.

APLUS AVIONICS offers 406-MHZ Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT) for a wide range of aircrafts. Please visit our website or contact us at +1.310.649.0400 (888.649.0080 toll free U.S.) e-mail to receive additional information.

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