An commercial plane had to abort landing to avoid hitting another plane that was on the tarmac at the Mexico City airport on Saturday night, which led to the resignation of an aviation director.
According to information collected by the Mexican press, the air traffic controller at the Benito Juárez airport authorized the landing of a Volaris airline plane coming from Sinaloa, but on the runway there was another aircraft of the same airline that was about to take off to Guatemala.
In two videos reproduced by local media, the passenger aircraft, from the European manufacturer Airbus, is seen about to land, but suddenly resumes flight while another aircraft was located at the head of the runway.
It was the crew of the aircraft that was on the ground preparing to take off that alerted the plane that was about to land and the control tower that the runway was occupied.
“Thanks to the training of our pilots (…) no passenger or crew member was at risk during the situation reported at the #AICM (capital airport) on the night of May 7,” Enrique Beltranena, director of the Volaris airline, wrote on Twitter. , to which the aircraft involved belong.
Incident at the Mexico City airport prompts an official to resign
After the incident, resigned from his position Víctor Hernández Sandoval, director of Navigation Services.
“It is an incident that we cannot afford (…) these are very worrying events that we have to review,” said Rogelio Jiménez Pons, Undersecretary of Communications, on Milenio television.
“It is an event that has a lot to do with the weather,” said Jiménez Pons, ruling out that the cause was the redesign of the airspace to allow, from March 21, the operation of a second airport, Felipe Ángeles, in the megacity.
The Benito Juárez airport is the busiest in Latin America with a record movement of 50.3 million passengers in 2019 and 36 million in 2021.
The incident could affect the recovery of Category 1 in civil aviation for Mexico by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) of the United States, which Mexico lost a year ago, warns a report in the newspaper The universal.
Pilots had filed complaints about the handling of air traffic in Mexico City
This incident occurs after last Thursday the International Federation of Air Line Pilots Associations (IFALPA) pointed out alleged problems that the crews would face as a result of the redesign of the airspace.
IFALPA points out that the planes would have long waiting patterns, causing them to land with little fuel, and activation of the GPWS, an alert that warns that the aircraft is very close to mountains.
Communications assured on Friday that it has no reports of such situations and on Saturday it met with ASPA, the largest pilot union and which is affiliated with IFALPA, to review air safety measures.
Hernández Sandoval was in charge of developing the new air routes amid criticism from industry experts who warn of the complications of operating two airports in a city surrounded by mountains and at more than 2,200 meters of altitude.
The new airport operates a dozen daily flights against up to 61 per hour from Benito Juárez.
Given the saturation of Benito Juárez, the previous government built a new HUB-type airport in Texcoco, a suburb of the capital.
In May 2021, the United States downgraded Mexico’s air safety rating on the grounds that it lacks adequate air safety oversight.