The United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) awards category 2 to countries that do not provide safety oversight of their air carrier operators.
Following the degradation of Mexican aviation to category 2 granted by the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), for not complying with the safety standards of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), Mexico it became part of the ‘club’ of countries with this category.
This list includes Venezuela, Ghana, Pakistan, Thailand, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Curacao and the countries that are part of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States.
According to the FAA, category 1 includes those countries that were supervised and evaluated by inspectors of said administration and that consequently determined to grant licenses, as well as supervise the airlines in accordance with the aviation security standards of the ICAO.
While category 2 includes countries that, once evaluated by the FAA, were determined not to provide safety supervision of their air carrier operators in accordance with the minimum safety supervision standards established by ICAO.
Category 2 rating is awarded to a country in the following situations:
* In the event that the country lacks the necessary laws or regulations to support the certification and supervision of airlines in accordance with minimum international standards.
* If the Federal Aviation Administration lacks the technical expertise, resources and organization to license or supervise the operations of air carriers and also if it does not have trained and qualified technical personnel.
* If the supervised country lacks documentation and certification records, as well as continuous supervision and surveillance in the operations of air carriers.
Anticipate fewer trips and more delays in flights between Mexico and the United States by FAA report
Passengers will also be affected by the degradation of Mexico in air safety by the United States, as there will be a lower supply of routes and flights, as well as possible delays due to the supervision of airplanes, specialists on the subject said.
Given this, the United States authorities could carry out checks on Mexican airline planes arriving in that country, which would cause delays in upcoming flights operated with that same fleet, said Rogelio Rodríguez, an expert on aeronautical issues.
He recalled that in 2010, when Mexico was also downgraded from Category 1 to Category 2 in air safety, the FAA made reviews on the platform that it does not currently carry out.
“The United States could say that it is going to review, for example, since the Mexican authority does not guarantee, it is going to review if the aircraft properly has its maintenance programs, operations, manuals, if pilots have licenses.
“Reviews that I would not do today, this element of credibility exchange is broken. The North American authority putting security in the middle, can carry out functions as an authority ”, he commented.
Rodríguez explained that the FAA will also request that the US airlines Delta Airlines and Frontier, which have shared codes (an agreement between two airlines to sell the seats of the same flight that is operated with the plane of one of them) with the Mexican Aeroméxico and Volaris, carry out audits to the latter.
“And that they inform the authority to determine if they are able to continue approving these shared codes, they will not stop operating, but they will ask them to verify them,” he mentioned.
In the immediate term, rates for flights between Mexico and the United States will remain, but given the limitations that Mexican airlines will have to grow, rates could be increased, Rodríguez estimated.
“Because rates go down when there is competition, as there are no new markets to open or new frequencies to offer, there is no incentive to lower rates to lower the market,” he said.
The routes and frequencies that Mexican airlines already operate will continue, but new routes cannot be opened or frequencies that were suspended due to the pandemic will be reinstated, said Eugenio Herrera, a partner at WolfBoomerang and an expert in aviation issues.
“(Passengers) are eventually going to face the consequences of a restricted supply in the face of growing demand,” he said.
Herrera added that it is necessary for all those involved in the industry to close ranks with the aeronautical authorities, without regard or political objectives, on their way to comply with international recommendations for Mexico to return to Category 1 as soon as possible.
The airlines of another country that operate or intend to operate in the United States, or share a code with a United States airline, must comply with the security standards established by ICAO focused on critical elements such as surveillance obligations, qualification and training of technical personnel and security problem solving