In one year, the implementation of the airspace redesign in the Valley of Mexico, necessary for the integration of the Felipe Ángeles International Airport (AIFA), went from congratulations to recent incident reports from pilots, airlines and air traffic controllers, which are related to that topic.

The results of facilitating and speeding up air operations have not yet arrived, the complaints have.

On March 25, 2021, the head of the Secretariat of Communications and Transportation Infrastructure (SICT), Jorge Arganis, publicly recognized “the extraordinary” work of the Navigation Services staff in the Mexican Air Space (Seneam), by putting in The first phase of the redesign is underway, whose first hours of operation were as planned, according to what was reported by the then director Víctor Hernández.

That day, a further step was taken in the plans of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador in air matters after canceling the construction of the Texcoco airport.

“Since December 2018, the SICT, through Seneam, has developed a master plan for the modernization and restructuring of the country’s airspace, through Performance-Based Navigation (PBN), which allows evolve air navigation through the current and future use of ground infrastructure, also taking advantage of satellite and digital technology, as well as advanced technological systems in the flight deck, so that aircraft can navigate more precise, direct routes and efficient”, it was explained then.

The implementation of PBN was necessary for the reconfiguration of the airspace in the center of the country and includes the airports of Toluca, Mexico City, Santa Lucía, Morelos and Puebla. However, a federal government plan already existed before, as referred to in the Performance-Based Navigation (PBN) Implementation Plan in Mexico’s airspace, 2015, prepared in collaboration with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). ).

In the required restructuring, the authorities were assisted by the company NavBlue, a subsidiary of Airbus, and Víctor Hernández (who submitted his resignation on May 6, after hearing the complaints from participants in the sector) was the direct link. Today it is known that there was no interest in asking him to stay on the part of the head of the SICT, despite the fact that he was invited to occupy that position in the current administration.

“Among the results of the new operation is, for example, that there are already more entry and exit airways to the Mexico City International Airport (AICM) with its characteristics to consider. It could even be that some are found and must be reviewed in detail. It is assumed that there was a simulation before to guarantee its use and obtain the corresponding authorization. It is evident that there was a rush to start everything. Between corridors it is said that the approaches were not published in a timely manner so that pilots from all over the world would know them and that is part of the disagreements that we see today”, commented an official close to the subject.

From his point of view, there is time to make the necessary adjustments, because everything is perfectible, but it is a fact that some things could have been avoided, among them, the sending of a letter by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) in which he asks the former owner of the Seneam: Urgent action to prevent potential accidents/incidents (…).

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