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News Article

Safety Key to a Peaceful Co-existence Among Airports

By Andrea Villar | Wed, 11/27/2019 - 11:45

Every day, there are between 8,000 and 20,000 airplanes in midflight across the globe. A large number of flying aircraft at any given time is a constant challenge for pilots, airports, airlines, regulators, MROs and many other players in the aviation industry. While the sector is relentless in its pursuit of safety, the industry’s rapid growth will only bring more challenges.

In light of this situation, Mexico should grab the opportunity to offer a safer service through technology, especially with the expected Santa Lucia airport, Toluca and the Mexico City International Airport (AICM) working simultaneously, panelists said at the Mexico Aerospace Forum on Wednesday at Mexico City’s Hotel Marquis.

Deputy Director General of Aerocharter Benjamin Mejía pointed out, however, that the country has no growth plan other than air terminals, although the saturation in airports such as Guadalajara and Nuevo Leon will peak in 2021 and 2023, respectively. Some airlines, he noted, are already reporting 20 percent growth in passenger numbers.

Between 2017 and 2018, the number of accidents increased by 2.6 percent. But Mejía sees that as a marginal increase and believes the industry’s safety rating is still high. 

However, as companies in Mexico grow at an accelerated pace and increase their capacity, there is a greater need for a couple of infrastructure and security. “Talking separately about infrastructure and security is not right. In Mexico, the aerospace industry has been constantly growing for 10 years,” Mejía added. 

Gunthar Barajas, Vice President of Dassault Systèmes de México, suggested a key concern in terms of safety was the increasing prevalence of cyber attacks. “Currently in the sector, everything is connected. We must ensure that the information is not hacked. It is imperative to work on security issues,” he said. 

While coordinating as much as possible, it is also imperative for Mexican companies to resolve these issues independently, added Mejía, who added that more educational facilities were needed. There are agreements with Airbus to develop high-level certifications at schools, but the number of schools is insufficient, he said. 

Developing talent should be a priority if the industry is to continue growing, and more is needed in this area, said Barajas. “More pilots, engineers, flight attendants and other professionals are needed to continue driving the aerospace sector." 

Speaking to the cancelation of the Texcoco airport project that rattled investors after the election of López Obrador, International TAX Partner at PwC Luis Muñoz said that it was imperative that the country regain the trust of investors. “Investors take into account connections and the ability to move passengers, which so far in 2019 total 80 million and represents a market of US$200 million. We need response, agility and strategies.”

Andrea Villar Andrea Villar Journalist and Industry Analyst