Technical assistance

Mexico Fails Latest Tech Review, FAA Keeps Country in Tier 2

Mexico has failed the latest technical review, which would pave the way for reinstatement of its Category 1 status provided by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The latest setback could mean Mexico could remain in Category 2 for the rest of the year, directly impacting the aviation industry, particularly Aeromexico, Viva Aerobus and Volaris. Let’s investigate further.

Stay in Category 2 status

During the last technical review, which took place between June 13 and 17, the FAA found new shortcomings within the Mexican civil aviation authorities, which will lead the American authority not to restore the old category 1 status.


Being in Category 2 status implies that the Mexican government does not meet International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) safety standards. Mexico has been downgraded to category 2 since May 25, 2021.

Following the technical review, Mexican authorities released a statement saying,

“After seven meetings that have taken place with specialists from the United States FAA, Mexico is continuing its process of returning to category 1 in terms of aviation safety in the coming months.”

The results of the last technical review will be published within the next 30 days. According to the Ministry of Infrastructure, Communications and Transport (SICT), the results will provide a first stage of analysis ahead of the next International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA) which will take place in the coming months.

Nevertheless, the restoration of category 1 status could be delayed until December 2022, and the process could be dragged very easily until 2023.

Mexico was downgraded to Category 2 in May 2021. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Single flight.

What was found?

During the review, the FAA reviewed some of the following areas: aviation legislation, financial resources and budget, hiring of adequate and sufficient personnel, certification and surveillance, and operation of various technical and aerial inspection systems.

No date has yet been set for the next review with the FAA, but a maximum of ten reviews have been established since inception, seven of which have been completed so far.

For the STIC,

“The ultimate objective is not only to recover category 1 in aviation, but to give continuity to the process of administrative, financial and training improvement, which guarantees the safety of the millions of Mexicans who use the services of air navigation, both domestic and foreign airports.. In addition, we seek to be prepared for any examination that the FAA or any other international aviation institution may wish to conduct in the future.

The FAA sent the following statement to Simple Flying,

“The FAA and AFAC meet regularly in Mexico City to enhance international aviation safety. The FAA and AFAC signed a technical assistance agreement on July 23, 2021 to work together to improve Mexico’s aviation safety oversight system to meet the standards established by the International Civil Aviation Organization ( ICAO). The FAA will continue to provide technical consultation and advice to help bring Mexico’s aviation system back into line with international standards.

Being in category 2 has had an impact on Mexican airlines. Photo: Guillermo Quiroz Martínez via

The impact

Being in Category 2 prohibits all new services and routes from Mexican air carriers. Additionally, US airlines may not market and sell tickets with their names and designator codes on flights operated in Mexico.

After more than a year of downgrading to Category 2, the Mexican airline industry has felt the impact. Mexican carriers have lost a significant fraction of market share between Mexico and the United States. The stake of Mexican airlines fell from 31.6% to 17.6%, which also had a financial impact on the airlines, and they lost approximately $242 million in capacity that could have been allocated to flights. to this country.