The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently announced that Mexico is not in compliance with international safety standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), following an assessment of the country’s civil aviation authority. As a result, the United States is downgrading Mexico from a Category 1 to Category 2 rating.
As part of the FAA’s International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA) program, the agency assesses the civil aviation authorities of all countries with air carriers that operate or have applied to fly to the United States and makes that information available to the public. The assessments determine whether or not foreign civil aviation authorities are meeting ICAO safety standards, not FAA regulations. With the IASA Category 2 rating, Mexican air carriers cannot establish new service to the United States, although they are allowed to maintain existing service.
While Mexico has been responsive to the FAA’s findings and has made significant improvements in recent months, it was unable to fully comply with all of the international safety standards. However, under the leadership of Director General Hector Gonzalez Weeks, Mexico continues to make progress. The FAA is committed to working closely with the Mexican government and providing technical assistance to help Mexico regain its Category 1 rating.