Mexican airlines and authorities see coveted U.S. security clearance months away

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An AeroMexico plane prepares to land on the runway at Benito Juarez International Airport in Mexico City, Mexico, May 9, 2022. REUTERS/Edgard Garrid

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ACAPULCO, Mexico, May 24 (Reuters) – A year after the U.S. Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) downgraded Mexico’s aviation safety rating, Mexican airline and government officials said that recovering the coveted Category 1 rating could still take months.

In a letter sent Monday to Mexico’s civil aviation agency, the FAA delayed a technical review needed for a possible restoration by weeks, dealing a blow to an industry already reeling from a series of incidents. safety in Mexico City airspace.

“I think the recovery will be reached by September or the end of November,” Deputy Transport Minister Rogelio Jimenez told local media El Financiero.

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Tourism Secretary Miguel Torruco said in an interview this week that the ministry hopes an upgrade will come “in the coming months”.

The FAA downgraded Mexico’s rating in May 2021. It argued that Mexico did not have “the requirements necessary to oversee the country’s air carriers in accordance with minimum international safety standards, or that the authority of the civil aviation is lacking in one or more areas such as technical expertise, trained personnel, record keeping, inspection procedures or the resolution of safety issues.”

The Mexican authorities had promised that the reconquest of the coast would be a “quick and easy process”, but that was not the case. Read more

“Unfortunately, it’s still not clear to us when this Category 1 recovery will happen,” Walfred Castro, director of corporate communications at VivaAerobus, told Reuters on Monday at the Mexico Tourism Conference in the resort town of ‘Acapulco.

Castro said VivaAerobus offered its flight simulators to improve flight safety, although a number of recent incidents in Mexico City airspace, including one videotaped in which two Volaris planes almost crashed , raised concerns. Read more

Despite partnering with US-based Delta Air Lines Inc (DAL.N), Aeromexico (AEROMEX.MX) is unable to expand routes to the US until Mexico recovers its rating, said Rodrigo Sandoval, director of banking and loyalty at Aeromexico.

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Reporting by Kylie Madry in Acapulco Writing by Brendan O’Boyle Editing by Matthew Lewis

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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