The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has returned Mexico to Category 1, its highest aviation safety status, following two years of “close work” between civil aviation authorities in Mexico and the US.

It is hoped the return will allow the Mexican aviation industry to kickstart again, after restrictions had stunted its recovery.

The International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA) programme evaluates the civil aviation authorities of all nations whose airlines fly to the US.

Following the restoration of its high-level status, Mexico will be able to introduce additional services and routes to the US.

Similarly, US airlines can begin promoting and selling tickets on Mexican-operated airlines using their names and designator codes, known as codesharing.

According to the FAA, it “downgraded Mexico’s IASA rating to Category 2 in May 2021 after finding the country did not meet International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) safety standards.”

The FAA provided expertise and resources to Mexico’s Agencia Federal de Aviacion Civil via technical assistance agreements in order to correct the safety issues that led to the downgrade.

The FAA further stated that a team of aviation safety specialists was sent out to assist with the job.

This announcement was further welcomed by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), who aims to maintain permanent collaboration with the authorities to enable medium and long-term industrial growth.

IATA’s regional VP of the Americas Peter Cerdá emphasised the importance of this announcement and how it will allow the Mexican aviation market to grow: “The connectivity between Mexico and the United States is one of the most important in the world and contributes significantly to the social and economic development of the country.

“With the return of Category 1, Mexican airlines will leave behind the prior restrictions, which have considerably affected the post-pandemic recovery and their ability to grow their service in the Mexico-US market.”