Updated: Mexican Air Safety Rating to be DowngradedBy Sofía Hanna | Mon, 05/24/2021 - 16:06
Update: On Tuesday, the FAA downgraded Mexico’s air safety rating.
US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) may downgrade Mexico’s air safety rating in the coming days. President Ándres Manuel López Obrador said in his morning press briefing that his administration is reviewing the case and claimed that Mexico has met all requirements.
FAA’s decision to downgrade the Mexican air safety rating has been coming for some time, unnamed sources told Reuters. The US agency had long discussions with Mexican aviation regulators to reach an agreement but “these concerns had not all been addressed following an in-country assessment.” This decision is not rooted in safety issues but in Mexico’s oversight of air carriers. As previously mentioned by MBN, there have been several discrepancies in the sector such as failing to meet hiring requirements and issues with the new air routes that were put into practice to incorporate the new Santa Lucia airport.
This downgrade, from Category 1 to Category 2, would make Mexico’s aviation industry unable to launch new international flights or airline-to-airline marketing practices, such as selling seats on each other’s flights. It would also affect Mexico’s tourism sector, as Mexico is the top vacation destination for US tourists. The last time Mexico received a downgrade in its aviation rating was back in 2010 due to “suspected shortcomings within its civil aviation authority.” The downgrade did not last long and the level was restored four months later.
President López Obrador addressed the issue in his morning press conference “Mañanera,” where he mentioned that, “All the rules are being met (...) we have been complying with all the requirements, we feel that this decision should not be carried out because we are up to date.” He also said that this quick decision may follow desires to help US airlines. If the downgrading were to occur, said President López Obrador, it would not affect Mexican airlines so it is “not something people should be worried about.”