ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – It’s been a few years since the Albuquerque International Airport offered international commercial flights to passengers. That may soon change thanks to a recent ruling from the Federal Aviation Administration. Travelers flying out of Albuquerque may soon be able to take trips out of the country and more specifically to and from Mexico.

It comes after the FAA returned Mexico’s aviation safety rating back to the highest level which allows airports to start discussions with airlines from the country about potential routes. Mexico’s aviation safety rating was downgraded in 2021 after failing to meet international aviation safety standards. “We now have an opportunity to proactively engage Mexican carriers, to talk to them about establishing service between Albuquerque and Mexican destinations,” said Manny Manriquez, Innovation and Commerical Development Manager.

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Though international travel is not guaranteed and will take some time to put into place, airport officials said this is the first step in turning a possibility into reality. “Mexico definitely has been on our radar, and we are very interested in establishing service between Albuquerque and Mexican destinations, but it’s a conversation that will take some time,” said Manriquez.

The Sunport has offered international routes to Mexico in recent years but said that business dealings at the time weren’t great which forced the airport and carrier to part ways. “There was a business model issue with the carrier, the previous carrier, so they pulled out,” said Manriquez.

The airport said it will be looking for carriers that bring a positive economic impact to both Albuquerque and its respective international location. Officials said there is not a specific timeline of when a deal may be made but that conversations are underway. They also said that the ruling will not impact day-to-day operations at the Sunport.

The airport is still considered “international” due to its federal inspection station, international cargo, and charter flights that come into Albuquerque.