Electrical Power Interruption Affects Mexican AirspaceBy Emilio Aristegui | Thu, 12/02/2021 - 11:04
Navigation Services in the Mexican Airspace (SENEAM) reported an electric failure that prevented communication between air traffic controllers and pilots at Mexico City International Airport (AICM) with adjacent airports, causing some flights to be delayed.
On Nov. 29, an electrical failure cut communication at AICM. “Between 9:56 a.m. and 10:04 a.m. The electrical power was interrupted in a remote repeater, an event which did not impact air operations with other airports due to the punctual activation of redundant air traffic services equipment,” according to SENEAM’s twitter account. In 2020, despite the pandemic, SENEAM registered 1.47 million operations, with 2.5 million forecasted for 2021.
While no accidents happened, the nine-minute communication pause put services and lives at risk, claim security experts. SENEAM “is responsible for the service and safety of the people and it has to give an explanation that we can understand and detail why (the electrical failure) occurred and what they have to do so that it does not happen again,” Maria Larriva, Security Expert and Air Traffic Controller told A21.
“If this occurs on a Friday at six in the afternoon in the summer with adverse weather conditions where the pilots need to deviate, we could not even measure the consequences of the failure plus other aggravating factors,” said Larriva.
SENEAM clarified on Twitter, “SENEAM, like never before, is in the process of technological modernization throughout the Mexican republic. During this process, redundant equipment is used without affecting air operations of airports. SENEAM watches over your safety.”
This issue adds to SENEAM’s previous scandals as it redesigns Mexico’s airspace to incorporate operations at Santa Lucia International Airport. Mexico’s airspace is also struggling to regain the Category 1 following the FAA’s downgrade. Earlier this year, the Ministry of Communications and Transport (SCT) and SENEAM denied rumors of a suspected crash between two aircraft caused by SENEAM’s redesign of Mexico’s airspace via a press release.