The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced that Mexico is not in compliance with international safety standards 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. What does that mean for the U.S. traveler: Mexican air carriers cannot establish new flight service to the United States, although they are allowed to maintain existing service, therefore no disruption for your travel plans at the moment. A Category 2 rating means a country either lacks laws or regulations necessary to oversee air carriers meet international safety standards and/or are deficient in one or more areas of safety.
As part of the FAA’s International assessment program, the agency assesses the civil aviation authorities of all countries with air carriers that operate or have applied to fly to the U. S. and makes that information available to the public. The assessments determine whether or not foreign civil aviation authorities in Mexico and other countries are meeting U.S. safety standards.
While Mexico has been responsive to the FAA’s findings and has made significant improvements in recent months, stated the FAA in a press release, 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, it was noted. The FAA is committed to working closely with the Mexican government and providing technical assistance to help Mexico regain its Category 1 rating.