The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced that Mexico complies with international safety standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), based on the results of a November FAA review of Mexico’s civil aviation authority.
Under the leadership of Secretary Juan Molinar and Director General Hector Gonzalez Weeks, Mexico has made significant progress and is now upgraded from the Category 2 safety rating the country received in July 2010 to Category 1. At Mexico’s request, the FAA will continue to provide technical assistance to support and maintain the changes the civil aviation authority has made.
A Category 1 rating means the country’s civil aviation authority complies with ICAO standards. A Category 2 rating means a country either lacks laws or regulations necessary to oversee air carriers in accordance with minimum international standards, or that its civil aviation authority is deficient in one or more areas, such as technical expertise, trained personnel, recordkeeping or inspection procedures.
With the International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA) Category 2 rating, Mexican air carriers could not establish new service to the United States, but were allowed to maintain existing service. Now with the Category 1 rating, Mexican air carriers can again add flights and service to the United States.
As part of the FAA’s 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.
Countries with air carriers that fly to the United States must adhere to the safety standards of ICAO, the United Nations’ technical agency for aviation that establishes international standards and recommended practices for aircraft operations and maintenance.