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Why a US FAA Pilot Certificate?

The basic minimum requirements for obtaining pilot certificates are similar all over the world and mostly consistent with recommendations published by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO, OACI in Mexico) which is part of the United Nations. These recommendations are adopted by “Member Contracting States” of which Mexico and the United States are both members.

We understand that you as a student or as an experienced pilot want to complete your training in the least amount of time and money as possible. We understand that you also want to emerge from your training with confidence in your knowledge, skills, and abilities to operate your aircraft safely and competently.

Alas de San Miguel shares those goals…

There are indeed certain advantages to obtaining a US FAA pilot certificate and receiving that training in English:

The United States is by far the world leader in both quality and quantity of flight training facilities and, largely due to lack of interference by governmental bureaucracies and “user fees”, leads the world in the development and maintenance of infrastructure (airports, air traffic control, and navigational systems), and the number of general aviation and commercial operations. “General Aviation” is all that activity that is NOT scheduled airline or military operations;

SAFETY: Underlying all US FAA training requirements is safety. The US FAA administers many aviation safety initiative programs, many of which been developed through cooperation with academia and the professional flight training community: FAAST (FAA Safety Team), the WINGS-Pilot Proficiency Award Program, and FITS (Flight Industry Training Standards). Additionally, the US FAA publishes numerous safety-oriented periodicals such as FAA Safety Briefing, available free on-line every month and Advisory Circulars. The Joseph T. Nall Report is issued yearly by the AOPA Air Safety Institute and shows trends in aviation accidents while the National Transportation Safety Board investigates all aviation accidents and issues findings on “probable cause”. All of these initiatives and reports have helped the United States to become the world’s leader in aviation safety. As SAFETY is the basis of our training, Alas de San Miguel incorporates these initiatives, publications, and reports in all of our programs.

The requirements for obtaining your certificate and the operating rules are CLEARLY stated in the US FAA regulations (14 CFR Part 61 and Part 91) and are updated periodically and easily available in printed form or on-line;

For US FAA certificates and ratings, you are NOT required to attend a minimum amount of classroom instruction (except for the ATP certificate). Your “ground training” or “ground school” will only be that time spent reviewing questions you have developed from your self-study, time discussing the operations and maneuvers to be performed that day, a “de-brief” after the flight, and that time in and around the aircraft that is not logged as “flight training”. Your ground school may be conducted in our office, your place of business, in the hangar, or over a meal! You can start flying IMMEDIATELY, subject to AFSP requirements (see Preliminary Matters above).

As an example of the flexibility you can enjoy in your training, we offer a 3-4 day training course in the beautiful Barra de Potosi area, south of Zihuatanejo. Click here to learn how you can complete up to one-half of your training requirements while you (and your spouse or a friend) enjoy the beauty of a tranquil Pacific coast beach in a beautiful, small beach resort!

The language of aviation in the entire world is English. Studying and training in English gives ALL pilots a level of confidence and competitive advantage whether they fly for business, recreation, or professionally in the US, Mexico, or anywhere in the world;

Once received, your US FAA pilot certificate NEVER expires. There are NO fees required by the US FAA to commence your training or to maintain your certifications/ratings;

There are NO periodic pilot logbook certifications or reviews required by the US FAA. To maintain your currency there are specific, common sense requirements such as a bi-annual Flight Review, recent landing and takeoff experience in order to carry passengers, and medical certification. YOU, and not the government, are responsible for assuring your currency, proficiency, and “fitness to fly”;

Your medical certification remains valid for up to three years (<40 years old). Under Basic Med, it is even possible to fly in the United States without traditional medical certification requirements;

For all US FAA certificates or ratings, you are free to select an independent flight instructor (14 CFR Part 61) for maximum flexibility in your training program or to enlist an approved flight school (14 CFR Part 141) offering highly-structured training regimens. You are encouraged to train with multiple independent flight instructors as your needs dictate-you’ll learn something new from each of them;

All eligible training time received from previous certified instructors and pilot-in-command time can be credited toward your new certificate or rating whether or not that training was provided by a foreign instructor or in another country;

No “Cedula Profesional” or other “professional accreditation” is required for Commercial (or Airline Transport Pilot) certificates by the US FAA;

If you decide to purchase and own an “N-registered” (US-registered) aircraft under a trust, you are allowed to perform preventative maintenance on your aircraft without employing the services of an approved (Airframe and Powerplant) mechanic, subject to well-defined constraints and documentation requirements. These 30+ approved tasks cover maintenance items that do NOT “involve complex assembly operations”. 

The US FAA does NOT require the owner/operator to present periodic proof that aircraft maintenance under 14 CFR Part 43 has been performed, to pay fees, renew Airworthiness certification, or solicit certification stamps in the aircraft engine, airframe, or propeller logbooks. As the Pilot-in-command YOU are responsible for the airworthiness of every aircraft you fly;

Once received, your US FAA pilot certifications and ratings allow you to operate an N-registered aircraft in US or Mexican airspace and may be co-validated by the DGAC in Mexico to allow the operation of Mexican-registry aircraft (XA-, XB-, and XC-). The process to receive a DGAC pilot certificate based on your US FAA pilot certificate may require additional training, documentation, accreditations, and fees.


1). For information on US FAA and other safety initiatives and publications see:

2). For information on receiving credit for flight training received from non-US certified Flight Instructors (CFIs or CFIIs), see 14 CFR Part 61.41:

3). For information on the FREE co-validation of non-US pilot certificates and ratings in order to receive a US FAA Private Pilot Certificate, see:


4). For information on preventative maintenance tasks that a US FAA pilot can perform on a US-registered aircraft, see Appendix A to Part 43, section (c):

and paragraph 4 (c) of Advisory Circular 43-12A:

5). For information regarding foreign ownership of US-registered aircraft under a Trust see:

Please call us with any questions!
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