Mexico: Downgraded to Category 2 by the FAA, even though it enacted internal amendments to the Civil Aviation Law

In brief

Mexico has been downgraded to Category 2 by the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), because it failed to comply with safety standards imposed by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). Mexico must now make all efforts to comply with the suggestions imposed by the FAA to recover Category 1.


In Depth

On May 25, 2021, the FAA published the result of the audit carried out by the International Aviation Safety Assessment Program (IASA), to the Mexican Civil Aviation Authority Agencia Federal de Aviación Civil (AFAC). As a result of the audit performed by the FAA, Mexico was downgraded from Category 1 to Category 2, because Mexican aviation does not meet ICAO's safety standards.

This downgrading represents a constraint on airline operations, which will not be able to (i) add new routes, (ii) aircraft to their AOC or (iii) seek codeshare agreements. Mexico may regain Category 1 status once it complies with FAA recommendations and ICAO requirements.

Mexico was downgraded, even though it published an amendment to the Civil Aviation Law in the Federal Official Gazette on 20 May 2021, incorporating certain changes to the law. The amendment was intended to solve the deficiencies pointed out by the FAA by including aviation safety, aviation medicine and other attributions of the authority, but such efforts were in vain.


Given this situation, it is now important for the Mexican Government to make the necessary investments to comply with the changes required by the FAA as soon as possible, to cause the least possible harm to the Mexican aviation market.

More Information

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