Article Mexico: President Introduces Bill to Protect Mexico's Airspace from Organized Criminal Activities

On April 28, 2022, Mexico’s president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, sent to the Mexican Congress a bill aimed at protecting Mexico’s airspace from organized criminal activities.

Background to the Bill

The preamble of the bill proposes to enact the Law to Protect Mexican Airspace to counter the increase in illegal aerial operations conducted by criminal organizations. Such operations include transporting narcotics, weapons, and bulk cash throughout Mexico and delivering illegal drugs to other countries.

The bill explains that, in addition to committing these illicit acts, criminal organizations that engage in unauthorized aerial operations put civilian air traffic at risk. Investigations on this issue have revealed that drug traffickers engage in risky air maneuvers to avoid detection, do not coordinate their flights with civil aviation authorities, and land on unauthorized air strips and even on rural roads. Furthermore, the crews that operate these flights often do not have appropriate training and use aircraft that are not properly maintained. Thus, these acts put civilian flights at risk of colliding with illegal aircraft due to the latter’s noncompliance with applicable air traffic procedures.

Main Proposal of the Bill

The bill proposes to create an appropriate institutional and legal framework by combining the capabilities of the Mexican armed forces with civilian aviation authorities and improving the rules that govern their collaboration in the fight against illegal aerial criminal activities.

Specifically, the bill proposes guidelines to address situations in which private flights engage in certain irregular acts, such as turning off transponders, changing preauthorized routes without apparent reason, not communicating with or ignoring instructions provided by air traffic controllers, erratically changing speed or altitude, and flying through restricted areas.

In instances where flight crews fail to properly coordinate with civilian authorities, the latter can alert the armed forces (or the armed forces can act on information obtained on their own, if appropriate) to initiate pertinent communications, navigation and interception procedures, if necessary, which will be regulated in detail by Mexican aviation authorities within six months following the enactment of the proposed law.

Since late May 2022, this bill has been under review by congressional committees.

About this Item

Title
Mexico: President Introduces Bill to Protect Mexico's Airspace from Organized Criminal Activities
Online Format
web page

Rights & Access

Publications of the Library of Congress are works of the United States Government as defined in the United States Code 17 U.S.C. §105 and therefore are not subject to copyright and are free to use and reuse.  The Library of Congress has no objection to the international use and reuse of Library U.S. Government works on loc.gov. These works are also available for worldwide use and reuse under CC0 1.0 Universal. 

More about Copyright and other Restrictions.

For guidance about compiling full citations consult Citing Primary Sources.

Credit Line: Law Library of Congress

Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Mexico: President Introduces Bill to Protect Mexico's Airspace from Organized Criminal Activities. 2022. Web Page. https://www.loc.gov/item/global-legal-monitor/2022-06-13/mexico-president-introduces-bill-to-protect-mexicos-airspace-from-organized-criminal-activities/.

APA citation style:

(2022) Mexico: President Introduces Bill to Protect Mexico's Airspace from Organized Criminal Activities. [Web Page] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/global-legal-monitor/2022-06-13/mexico-president-introduces-bill-to-protect-mexicos-airspace-from-organized-criminal-activities/.

MLA citation style:

Mexico: President Introduces Bill to Protect Mexico's Airspace from Organized Criminal Activities. 2022. Web Page. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/global-legal-monitor/2022-06-13/mexico-president-introduces-bill-to-protect-mexicos-airspace-from-organized-criminal-activities/>.

More Articles like this