FAA: Mexico does not meet ICAO safety standards

U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) (Washington) yesterday (July 30) 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.

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.

A Category 2 rating means a country either lacks laws or regulations necessary to oversee air carriers in accordance with international standards, or that its civil aviation authority – equivalent to the FAA for aviation safety matters – is deficient in one or more areas, such as technical expertise, trained personnel, record-keeping or inspection procedures.

As a result AeroMexico issued this statement:

“Regarding the announcement released today by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which informed Mexico’s downgrade from a Category 1 to a Category 2 in their safety ranking, Grupo Aeroméxico issues the following statement:

1.      The downgrade to Category 2 is a result of an audit performed by the FAA to the Civil Aeronautics Board (DGAC) of Mexico. The result of this audit exclusively refers to the Mexican aeronautics authority and does not reflect the level of safety that national airlines maintain.

2.      Aeromexico and its affiliate company Aeroméxico Connect are routinely audited by the FAA in all of its outbound operations to the United States, as is its affiliate, Aeromexico Connect and the highest international standards of operational safety are always fulfilled. Aeromexico is the first Mexican airline that has received its third consecutive IOSA (IATA Operational Safety Audit) re-certification given by the International Air Transport Association, IATA.

3.      Aeromexico collaborates with American authorities in other safety programs such as the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) “Prevention Against Acts of Illegal Interference Program” and the Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) “Security Program”.

Cargo operations have been certified in theft and terrorism prevention by the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT), and the airline is an active member of the International Society of Air Safety Investigators (ISASI), a world-wide association committed to promoting the prevention of accidents and air incidents.

4.      As founding member of SkyTeam, the global airline alliance, in which 13   airlines participate, Aeromexico is required to comply with security standards in order to operate the codeshared flights with other partners.

Within this alliance, US carrier Delta Airlines performed annual security-related audits to Aeromexico from 1994 until 2006. The global security standard IOSA was established as a requirement since 2006 and Aeromexico proudly holds this standard since its inception.

The measure announced by the FAA, doesn’t imply any changes in the operations to / from the United States by Aeromexico and its affiliated companies and all flights continue to operate normally.

Aeromexico will cooperate with the aeronautics authority to reestablish the Category 1 rating and will work hard to mitigate the effects and inconveniences that this measure could cause its passengers in Mexico and the US.

All domestic operations of Aeromexico as well as flights to Central and South America, Europe and Asia will remain unaffected.”