Outdated Regulation Hampers UAV AdoptionFri, 03/22/2019 - 18:11
While Mexico has regulatory and policy challenges to overcome, penetration of new aviation technologies and practices means new opportunities for local aviation companies. According to Yousefh Pineda, CEO of Cramex Aerospace, Mexico needs to develop a series of policies that support the adoption of new technologies and cater to the current needs of Mexican aviation.
“The federal administration needs to understand the importance of aviation for the Mexican economy,” says Pineda. “Even without the challenges brought by the cancellation of NAIM, Mexico needs a true aeronautics policy.” Pineda points out that Mexican aviation regulations require an urgent update as several of these norms are 20 years old and one even dates back to the 1950s. Similarly, projects to improve Mexico’s aviation authority, such as the restructuration of DGAC and its transformation into the independent Federal Aviation Agency (AFC), are long overdue.
Old regulations are among the main challenges preventing faster adoption of UAVs in the Mexican market, according to Pineda. There are a few scattered guidelines regulating these aircraft but a consolidated NOM would boost adoption of these highly sought-after tools. “We have seen significant growth in the adoption of UAVs in Mexico,” says Pineda. “The sector grew 30 percent between 2017 and 2018, which resulted in several opportunities for Cramex.”
As a DGAC-certified training center and heliport developer, Cramex has graduated around 130 licensed UAV pilots since it started offering its services in 2017. Cramex has become the top trainer of pilots for these aircraft in Mexico, which adds to the company’s 15 years of experience in the development of helipads.
Pineda says demand for these platforms increased in 2018 powered by the construction of new IMSS public hospitals in Chiapas, Nuevo Leon and Guanajuato, even though private developers reduced their demand. “Due to uncertainty related to the change in government in 2018, several real-estate developers put their projects on stand-by but this situation should change with time,” says Pineda. Cramex has kept a steady project portfolio despite that challenge thanks to a healthy backlog of heliport projects for corporate buildings agreed in 2017. “As these buildings enter the final construction stages, Cramex has guided developers in the development of their helipad platforms,” says Pineda. The company stands out in this segment thanks to its expertise in aeronautical engineering. “We understand the various safety and design elements that developing this infrastructure entails."