Miguel Pelaez
Director General
Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGAC)
View from the Top

Metropolitan Airports to Remain Key

Tue, 11/01/2016 - 14:48

Q: What is DGAC’s main objective as the country’s civil aviation regulating authority?

A: DGAC’s fundamental objective is aero security through vigilance and the application of aviation and airport laws and rules, in addition to applicable international norms. We have excellent and permanent coordination with other aviation agencies, like the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), Transport Canada and International Civil Aviation Organization (OACI), which emits civil aviation norms for 191 contracting parties. Our country has been a part of this since its creation.

Q: What are DGAC’s key priorities for private aviation in Mexico?

A: Our main priority is security, followed by quality and the implementation of appropriate regulation. We watch over security in diverse areas, including airport operations, entertainment centers, MROs and other maintenance and manufacturing centers in Mexico’s airports. The federal network of Mexican airports constitutes 76 aerodromes, whose administration is divided into four distinct airport groups: The Pacific Airport Group (GAP), the CentralNorthern Airport Group (OMA), the Southeast Airport Group (ASUR) and the Mexico City Airport Group (GACM), in addition to Airports and Auxiliary Services (ASA), a decentralized organization in charge of the administration of 19 airports. The four groups have five-year development plans detailing investment projects submitted to DGAC for approval. There are also a number of aerodromes that do not necessarily belong to this system and are the responsibility of state governments. Our role is to ensure all airports comply with safety, maintenance and conservation, national and international norms.

Q: How has Mexico’s aviation sector grown and what are the expectations for coming years?

A: Mexico closed 2015 with growth of 12.5 percent in passenger numbers, well over the 2 percent GDP growth. This surpasses global standards and was achieved thanks to the policies implemented by the federal government. In addition, although industrial activity grew 2.6 percent, transport cargo grew by 6.1 percent. Between 2013 and 2015, 186 new international routes were opened due to the 50 Bilateral Aero Transportation Agreements signed by DGAC. We also have worked on the approval, signature, negotiation and renegotiation of 23 bilateral agreements. From October 20, 2020, the date of the inauguration of phase 1 of the New Mexico City International Airport (NAICM), it is expected passenger capacity will be 50 million people and when it is completely finished, the airport is estimated to have a capacity of 120 million passengers. NAICM will be one of the biggest airports in the world.

Q: How will metropolitan airports nearby Mexico City International Airport (AICM) be impacted?

A: The metropolitan airport system serves as relief for AICM, a problem we hope to solve with the finalization of NAICM. Once finished, these airports will not disappear. We hope they will grow with the quantity of new passengers NAICM will attract. Within the Metropolitan Airport System, Toluca Airport is the most conveniently located to serve as Terminal 3 for AICM. For people in the West of the City it is simpler and faster to get to Toluca than to Mexico City’s airport and for this reason Toluca would work well as a third terminal for the capital’s airport. It has the advantage of being closer to the West of the Valley of Mexico and has allowed the birth of airlines that have had formidable success, which would allow them to use this airport as a platform to Mexico City. Civil aviation agreements such as that signed between Mexico and the US in December 2015 also will push the growth of the metropolitan airports, which will continue to support operations in Mexico City when weather conditions incapacitate the capital’s airport.