Mexican Judge Suspends Airspace RedesignBy Sofía Hanna | Tue, 04/27/2021 - 18:18
The redesign of air routes in Mexico has risen concerns regarding the time it will take to reestablish them and the lack of environmental and noise studies. Given this situation, a federal judge ordered the temporary suspension of the airspace redesign in the Metropolitan Area of the Valley of Mexico.
The Ministry of Communications and Transportation (SCT) launched the first stage of the airspace redesign for the Mexico Valley on Mar. 25, as previously reported by MBN. The redesign involves the airports of Mexico City and Toluca. After the new routes were opened, two planes were on the verge of crashing and a resident from State of Mexico filed a claim for protection arguing that the redesign lacks the necessary environmental and noise studies. Considering these matters, the federal judge suspended the new routes arguing that “The provisional suspension is granted for the purpose of ordering the aforementioned authorities to immediately suspend the execution of the redesign of the Area of the Valley of Mexico airspace that they exposed in the communications 045-2021 and 046-2021 and proceed to reestablish the former routes,” reports A21.
In response to the judge’s decision, representatives of the Mexican airline industry said that the operations are safe and important. Román García, Head of the Legal Affairs Unit of the Ministry of Communications and Transportation (SCT), mentioned that operations could not be suspended from one moment to the next because, technically, doing so would require training air traffic controllers mentioned in the same A21 article.
There have already been several not minor problems during the short time that these new routes have been operational, so some industry members claim that the reconfiguration is not a good idea. José Alfredo Covarrubias, General Secretary of the Controllers Union, stated that there have been two incidents where aircraft almost collided midair. Also, he stated that controllers were concerned about possible sanctions against those involved in the incidents, according to another A21 article.
The redesign is expected to generate reductions of up to 16 percent in the average flight time in aircraft, provide greater efficiency in routes and reduce operational delays, fuel consumption and the workload of pilots and controllers.