The United States has downgraded Mexico from a Category 1 to Category 2 International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA) rating.Â U.S. regulations prevent air carriers from Category 2 nations from launching new services to the United States, although they are allowed to maintain existing services.
The U.S. Federal Aviation Authority, under the IASA program, assesses the civil aviation authorities of all countries with airlines 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.
A Category 1 rating means the countryâ€™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 international standards, or that its civil aviation authority â€“ which is equivalent to the FAA for aviation-safety matters â€“ is deficient in one or more areas, such as technical expertise, trained personnel, record-keeping or inspection procedures.
The FAA says it found that, while Mexico has been responsive to the FAAâ€™s findings and has made significant improvements in recent months, it was unable to fully comply with all of the international safety standards. Â The agency says it is committed to working closely with the Mexican government and providing technical assistance to help Mexico regain its Category 1 rating.
While Mexican carriers are allowed to continue normal operations to and from the United States, US carriers must terminate codesharing with Mexico-based carriers.Â US carriers cannot put their own name and flight number on a flight operated by a Mexican carrier.Â This will affect passengers booked on American Airlines codeshares with Mexicana, and Delta codeshares with Aeromexico.Â Â Both carriers are offering to reissue tickets using the Mexican carrier’s name and flight number.Â There should be minimal disruption to passengers.
Countries with air carriers that fly to the United States must adhere to the safety standards of ICAO, the United Nationsâ€™ technical agency for aviation that establishes international standards and recommended practices for aircraft operations and maintenance