The commercial UAS industry in Mexico has become a complex ecosystem composed of technology, product, demographic, and market issues. The diverse applications, data and use that can be obtained from UAS operation is already changing the way companies do business in a large number of sectors, such as logistics, inspection, security, mining, agriculture, safety and other industrial applications that UAS can make more productive and economic.
According to the Mexican National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI), there are approximately 450 registered organizations, including private companies and governmental entities that are using UAS in Mexico. Some of the governmental entities using UAS in their operations are the Ministry of National Defense, the Ministry of Navy, the Center for Research and National Security, as well as the Ministry of Public Security.
Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) is one of the hot topics in the UAS world and commercial/industrial application. Many countries all around the world are modifying their UAS regulations regarding BVLOS and Mexico is no exception. Within the Mexican Regulation, BVLOS is defined by the Mexican Official Standard NOM-107-SCT3-2019 (the “NOM”), regulating RPAS that can go beyond the visual line of sight of the pilot in a horizontal distance of 1500ft (457 meters). The real question is when will we be able to see BVLOS for commercial application in Mexico? In the meantime, systems and other tools are evolving to warn and assist UAS pilots to see traffic like any other air pilots and to alert and ensure that other UAS/aircraft are detect to avoid them.
Additional issues around registering and obtaining permits to operate UAS from Mexican Civil Aviation Authority. This new technology requires careful preparation and coordination with the Mexican authorities to obtain needed authorizations.