Mexico-Canada aviation: strong grounds, lack of formal agreements
There is no secret how much has the Mexico aviation industry grown. We are talking about double-digit growth in the past 10 years and more than 300 companies established throughout the country, particularly in a dozen states, including Baja California, Chihuahua, Sonora and Queretaro. The latter offers education that supports the industry via the Aeronautical University of Querétaro (UNAQ).
The curious thing is that, despite a spectacular growth in this specific industry niche, the country does not have a state policy on a national level that would deliberately aim to develop aerospace sector. The industry has grown thanks to several interlinking factors, among them the work of the federal entities and international treaties on the matter.
In 2007, Mexico and the United States have signed the Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreement (BASA), an instrument through which it become possible to develop a good part of the aerospace industry in recent years. Basically it is a bilateral cooperation agreement in various areas that include maintenance, air operations and environmental certification.
Although BASA is an agreement between two governments (Mexico and the United States) for aviation security purposes, it has evolved and in addition to quality certifications of manufactured products, now includes certification of flight simulators, approval to develop aeronautical parts and components, establishment of training centers, etc.
For both this type of agreements and the commitment of several state governments and companies, our aerospace sector is today an example of growth and maturity.But nowadays, the most important aviation businessmen of the industry and more than few Secretaries of Economic Development of the states, acknowledge the importance of facing future challenges from integral perspective. It includes, for example, signing international treaties that provide legal framework with other countries that are important players in the sector. One of these countries is Canada.
Although Canada is one of the countries that have established its aviation in Mexico for decades, there are no agreements to cover what is already done and accommodate growth.
The Mexico Aerospace Fair 2019 (FAMEX) will gather officials and executives (from SCT, Economía, Proméxico, FEMIA, the aerospace clusters of various states, MRO Mexicana, etc.) and the Government of Ontario, Canada, to formalize an agreement that allows companies of both nations to have greater commercial exchange.
The agreement would allow Mexico to receive Canadian airlines passenger and cargo aircraft for maintenance, as well as to explore other opportunities with aviation and aerospace technology companies.
The paradox is that the text has been awaiting approval for eight years at the offices of the Directorate General of Civil Aeronautics (DGAC), although signing it would detonate an important business and jobs creation. What is more, it is hard to understand why a country, with which we have a Free Trade Agreement (that has just been renewed), does not have an agreement to promote such an important industry. It is urgent to do this in March, at FAMEX 2019, where Canada is going to participate.