Now just guessing, you are going to be thinking that Jim is suggesting Cd. Obregon because the staff at the DGAC, Commandancia, Fuel Truck, Immigration and Customs are all friendly, OR, that they have a wonderful runway and ramp parking plus crystal clear controller English, or that it’s in nearly a direct line with routes from Arizona to Alamos? Right? Well your guesses are good but they are not the ‘three’ that I have in mind.
My four reasons for clearing, at least into the country especially for your Multi-Entry form the first of the year, are ‘Hector’, ‘Carlos’ , ‘Lauro’ and ‘Rogelio’, all who are the ones who process the Multi-Entrys and do the final ‘stamp’ procedure on your flight plan before you continue your journey.
Why are they so great? Twice in the past two weeks we have had some unique issues which were handled by the ‘Commandancia’ office at Cd. Obregon. One this week was regarding a new part-time DGAC person at Cd. Obregon who spoke no English and assumed a U.S. pilot had already entered Mexico at another airport. That pilot, on his way to Manzanillo, overnighted at Hacienda de los Santos. That’s when I discovered that he didn’t have a Multi-Entry and for some reason the DGAC person had given him bad information and even worse consequences had he continued his flight south of Sonora. Calling the ‘Commandancia’, and sending the pilot back to CEN the next morning everything was handled and corrected. (By the way this isn’t just a matter of creating a Multi-Entry, but he had to be taken out of the DGAC system as having a Multi for his flight to Alamos (which he didn’t), but also correcting things with Migracion and Aduana. Everyone cheerfully cooperated and sent the pilot and his passengers on to Manzanillo.
The second experience was an error, by yours truly, and made me a real believer in the value of having competent, and caring, staff at the AOE where you have your Multi-Entry created each year. The first day of January, not wanting to delay things, I requested my new Multi at CEN on a flight from Alamos to Tucson, via CEN. In order to expedite the process they copied all of my necessary documents, plus took my payment, and said they would have everything ready to pick-up on my return flight to Mexico a few days later. Now that’s service! What could go wrong? Nothing, unless yours truly or the officer in the Commandantes office wasn’t the one in charge on my return flight. It was a different person and I didn’t ever think about not having the Multi-Entry paperwork in my possession until I was ready to leave Guadalajara International two weeks ago. Guess what? I was not leaving without that necessary paperwork and they would not accept my offer to buy and create a new one. I was in the country illegally without any question until I could prove that I, in fact, did pay and receive one in 2013. One call to ‘Hector’ at CEN took care of the problem. He pulled my information from the Cd.Obregon Airport archives, emailed it to the Commandante at Guadlajara and all was fine.
Oops, that’s not the entire story. When returning to Cd. Obregon on our next flight to the U.S., Hector said, “By the way, your medical expired a month ago, do you have a new one?”. I pulled the new one out, freshly signed by Dr. David Bryman of Scottsdale (also our guest speaker at the Spring Club Pilotos 2014) and he was pleased to see it. He suggested that he make a copy of it and put it with my Multi-Entry file, just in case I ever am in a bind again anywhere in Mexico.
Now that’s Service!
(Don’t forget to sign-up for our August and October fly-in’s. Joe Coogan will tell about flying a 182 from California to Russia…and back)