FAA to lower Mexico aviation-safety rating: report

FAA to lower Mexico aviation-safety rating: report
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The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is reportedly planning to lower Mexico’s aviation safety rating due to falling short of international standards.

Sources close to the matter told The Wall Street Journal that the FAA has determined Mexico’s oversight has dropped below accepted international standards and will be designating the country to a Category 2 from Category 1.

The Journal reports that FAA officials took issue specifically with Mexico’s lacking legal authority as well as its training and compensation for air-safety regulators. The announcement could come as soon as this week.

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The change would bar Mexican carriers from expanding service to U.S. cities, the Journal notes, and restrict marketing agreements with airlines in U.S.

A U.S. official told the Journal that the U.S. would acknowledge that have addressed some of the concerns already and have offered to help in resolving the other issues that have been cited.

The FAA has previously downgraded Mexico's aviation safety rating in 2010, the Journal notes. A few months later, it was upgraded to Category 1 after American officials said corrections had been made.

The U.S. and Mexico currently have the largest air-traffic market between two nations, the Journal reported, with over 2.3 million passengers flying in between the two in the past month.

Mexican airlines like Volaris and Grupo Aeromexico would be the most affected by a downgrade, the Journal reports. Grupo Aeromexico has a marketing agreement with Delta Air Lines and a downgrade would require Delta passengers to rebook directly with the Mexican airline if they are scheduled to fly on one of its planes.