Image credits: Leio McLaren
News Article

IFALPA Warns Pilots for Possible Accidents at AICM

By Fernando Mares | Mon, 05/09/2022 - 15:36

The International Federation of Air Line Pilots’ Associations (IFALPA) warned pilots of potential incidents airplanes that could occur while arriving at Mexico City International Airport (AICM). The occurrences are associated with the redesign of the airspace in the Valley of Mexico.


IFALPA expressed its concerns regarding reports of a plane that almost had a Controlled Flight into Terrain (CFIT), which means that the aircraft is unintentionally flown into the ground, a mountain, a body of water or an obstacle, typically without the crew being aware of the issue. The organization recommended planes to carry additional fuel to deal with unplanned waiting periods or diversions before landing at AICM.


IFALPA mentioned that this situation could be caused by deficient training for air traffic controllers regarding how to operate the Valley of Mexico airspace, which was modified following the inauguration of the Felipe Angeles International Airport (AIFA). “Crews have received clearances that do not adhere to terrain avoidance restrictions on the Standard Terminal Arrival (STAR). Additionally, proper International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) phraseology is not being used, adding to confusion on altitude restrictions,” reads the statement.


The National of Aerotransport Chamber (CANAERO) said that it will not allow that the security of crews, passengers and aircraft in the country is compromised. In addition, it stated that during the redesign of the area’s airspace, it maintained communication with authorities, particularly with the Mexican Air Traffic Control Services (SENEAM) and the Federal Agency for Civil Aviation (AFAC), to assure higher standards. CANAERO urged SENEAM to address IFALPA’s report and take immediate measures. 


AICM has experience saturation for over 20 years. In 1H21, 30 percent of flights from and to the airport reported delays of over 15 minutes. AICM manages 60 operations per hour. For this reason, the federal government announced it will issue a decree to reduce them to 42 operations per hour. The government plans to move the excess flights to AIFA and Toluca International Airport, which have a combined capacity of over 28 million passengers a year. Authorities are working on an incentive package that includes a tax aid program, discounts on airport costs and jet fuel incentives. 


Experts argue that a direct reduction of operations could be problematic. Cuitláhuac Gutiérrez, Country Manager, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said that airlines have tried to establish dialogue with the government to make a different plan to address the airport saturation. 

The data used in this article was sourced from:  
LatinUS, El Universal, MBN
Photo by:   Leio McLaren
Fernando Mares Fernando Mares Junior Journalist and Industry Analyst