Printed headline: EU-Mexican Harmonization
To further a partnership to align Mexico’s aviation oversight system with the European framework, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the Directorate General of Civil Aeronautics (DGAC) of Mexico signed a “working arrangement” that secures EASA resources to help modify DGAC standards. In exchange, DGAC will accept or “validate” EASA-issued type and supplemental type certificates, major and minor design-change approvals, and major and minor repair-design approvals.
The agreement recognizes DGAC’s “restructuring process” aimed at aligning aviation safety regulations with those of the European Union (EU). Provisions specifically cite DGAC’s intent to pursue “regulatory convergence,” the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) effort to foster harmonization of air transport regulations and remove market restrictions.
In addition to DGAC acceptance or validation of certificates and approvals issued by EASA with respect to products, parts, appliances and repair data, the agreement provides assurance to the EU that Mexico will accept an EASA Form 1 issued by an EASA Production Organization Approval (POA), for any new engine, part or appliance.
Under the agreement, EASA will provide resources, training and technical expertise to help the DGAC conform to EU standards. EASA will conduct on-site fact-finding audits and assessments in Mexico and assist in Mexico’s response to ICAO audit findings to support harmonization activities.
The parties have also committed to developing Implementing Procedures for Airworthiness (IPA) that will further specify the validation or acceptance process by DGAC.
The agreement advances the intent of the Partnership Project EU-Latin America and Caribbean Aviation Partnership Project (EU-LAC APP), a four-year, €7 million ($7.8 million) initiative to promote EU standards throughout Latin America and the Caribbean and to strengthen regulatory cooperation and market access between the regions.
The EU-LAC APP and the regulatory and technical assistance activities in the working agreement are fully funded by the EU. The Europeans have a lot to gain from a harmonized system with Latin America; air traffic in the region is expected to double in the next 15 years. The International Air Transport Association sees the projected growth threatened only by the region’s failure to promulgate smart regulation and infrastructure development, risks the EU hopes to mitigate through the partnership.