Mexico to Recover FAA Category 1 Air Safety Rating

The US Federal Aviation Administration is to restore Category One status to the country, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced on Friday

An Aeroméxico airliner takes off from Mexico City's Benito Juárez international airport. Photographer: Luis Antonio Rojas/Bloomberg
September 08, 2023 | 05:05 PM

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Mexico City — Mexico has regained its Category 1 Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) air safety status, a decision that the US authority will formalize next week, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced during his morning press conference Friday.

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“Yesterday (September 7) in an unofficial way, because they are going to do the procedure next week, they informed Foreign Minister Alicia Bárcena. The Secretary of Transportation of the US government spoke with her to inform her that they have already decided to give Mexico Category 1″, AMLO, as he is known, said.

The president pointed out that Mexico fulfilled all the requirements to obtain the category.

“This is a sign, a sign that relations are very good,” he said.


Bloomberg Línea consulted the FAA, the US agency in charge of air safety, regarding the reinstatement of Category 1 status for Mexico, and the agency said it expected to conclude the process in the near future.

“We continue to provide assistance to Mexico’s civil aviation authority. We expect to conclude the process in the near future,” the FAA said in a written response.

Category 1 was withdrawn from Mexico more than two years ago, on May 25, 2021, preventing Mexican airlines from opening new routes to the United States. Neither can US airlines promote or sell code-share tickets with Mexican airlines.


Mexico is one of six countries in Category 2 of the FAA, out of a list of 80, according to the latest update published on May 8.

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Mexico’s rating is shared with Bangladesh, the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States, Russia, Thailand and Venezuela.

Category 2 means non-compliance with the standards established by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), which are evaluated by the FAA.

The loss of the Category 1 status was the result of an evaluation made of Mexico’s Civil Aviation Agency between October 2020 and February 2021, where the FAA identified several points of non-compliance.


Mexico implemented a series of measures to recover this level, which is anticipated by airlines such as Volaris, Viva Aerobus and Aeromexico.

“Once the US authorities announced the upgrade, we are prepared to use the flexibility of our business model to redeploy approximately 5% of our total capacity to international markets in the fourth quarter,” Enrique Beltranena, CEO of Volaris, said at a conference with analysts and investors in July.

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