Mexico: Reform of Mexican aviation legislation as a measure to regain Category 1 status

In brief

The Civil Aviation Law and its Regulations (collectively, "Aeronautical Legislation") were amended in response to Mexico's downgrade to Category 2 by the Federal Aviation Agency of the United States of America (FAA) as a result of its failure to comply with the safety standards established by the Convention on International Civil Aviation of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). Through the amendments to the Aeronautical Legislation, the Mexican Federal Civil Aviation Agency (AFAC) intends to facilitate the incorporation of and compliance with the standards issued by the ICAO, with which Mexico could recover its Category 1 status.

In Detail

On 22 January 2022, reforms to the Aeronautical Legislation became effective, enabling the AFAC  to strengthen the regulatory framework for aviation safety in Mexico. The reforms include provisions that (i) allow the AFAC to grant a special airworthiness certificate to aircraft that do not comply with the requirements established in Mexican regulations to allow aircraft to conduct a safe flight, (ii) make concessionaires, permit holders and aircraft operators jointly and severally liable with the commander or pilot in command of an aircraft, (iii) designate the Ministry of Infrastructure, Communications and Transportation (SICT) as the agency in charge of the investigating civil aircraft accidents and incidents, (v) regulate the provision and development of air transportation services offered by Mexican airlines, (vi) regulate the exploitation and use of Mexican airspace, (vii) allow the granting of exceptions, exemptions and extensions to the obligations and requirements established in the Aeronautical Legislation, among others.

As established in the reforms to the Aeronautical Legislation, the SICT must have a state safety program in place aimed at safety management for Mexico, to achieve an optimal level of safety performance in civil aviation. Such state program will go alongside the issuance of the State Program Manual issued by the SICT that will contain the policies, objectives, processes, procedures and responsibilities of the State to develop safety activities. In addition, such amendments intend to modify the Aeronautical Legislation to incorporate ICAO provisions on safety matters, with the purpose of recovering Category 1 in aviation safety.


The amendments made to the Aeronautical Legislation were issued in response to Mexico's downgrading to Category 2 by the FAA after determining that Mexican aviation does not comply with the safety parameters imposed by the ICAO. With the implementation of the measures set forth in such reforms, the AFAC seeks to regulate specific aspects of aeronautical and airport safety, to establish international safety standards in Mexican aviation to recover the Category 1 status that Mexican aviation used to have.

More information

At Baker McKenzie we remain at your disposal to assist you in any matter associated with this publication, as well as any other matter.

Copyright © 2022 Baker & McKenzie. All rights reserved. Ownership: This documentation and content (Content) is a proprietary resource owned exclusively by Baker McKenzie (meaning Baker & McKenzie International and its member firms). The Content is protected under international copyright conventions. Use of this Content does not of itself create a contractual relationship, nor any attorney/client relationship, between Baker McKenzie and any person. Non-reliance and exclusion: All Content is for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal and regulatory developments. All summaries of the laws, regulations and practice are subject to change. The Content is not offered as legal or professional advice for any specific matter. It is not intended to be a substitute for reference to (and compliance with) the detailed provisions of applicable laws, rules, regulations or forms. Legal advice should always be sought before taking any action or refraining from taking any action based on any Content. Baker McKenzie and the editors and the contributing authors do not guarantee the accuracy of the Content and expressly disclaim any and all liability to any person in respect of the consequences of anything done or permitted to be done or omitted to be done wholly or partly in reliance upon the whole or any part of the Content. The Content may contain links to external websites and external websites may link to the Content. Baker McKenzie is not responsible for the content or operation of any such external sites and disclaims all liability, howsoever occurring, in respect of the content or operation of any such external websites. Attorney Advertising: This Content may qualify as “Attorney Advertising” requiring notice in some jurisdictions. To the extent that this Content may qualify as Attorney Advertising, PRIOR RESULTS DO NOT GUARANTEE A SIMILAR OUTCOME. Reproduction: Reproduction of reasonable portions of the Content is permitted provided that (i) such reproductions are made available free of charge and for non-commercial purposes, (ii) such reproductions are properly attributed to Baker McKenzie, (iii) the portion of the Content being reproduced is not altered or made available in a manner that modifies the Content or presents the Content being reproduced in a false light and (iv) notice is made to the disclaimers included on the Content. The permission to re-copy does not allow for incorporation of any substantial portion of the Content in any work or publication, whether in hard copy, electronic or any other form or for commercial purposes.