Aviation Expert Warns Santa Lucia Airport Will Be Inoperable

Photo: Aeropuerto Internacional Felipe Ángeles


Based on what is known so far of the new government-sponsored Felipe Ángeles Airport in Santa Lucía, State of Mexico, it will essentially be inoperable due to its poor design, former Mexican air traffic controller María Larriva Sahd warned Wednesday, Dec. 1.

“The resign of the (former military) airport will make for longer routes and more fuel expenditures, which will negatively affect the operations of any airlines that want to use it,” said Larriva Sahd, who was an air traffic controller for more than 27 years and is currently a researcher on aviation safety at the University of Southern California.

“Moreover, there have been no safety tests conducted at the new airport, just airshows. This is not normal.”

Larriva Sahd also said that it would be dangerous to have both the Santa Lucía Airport and Mexico City’s current Benito Juárez International Airport operate simultaneously at their maximum capacity because to do so would increase the risks of in-air collisions.

Because Mexico City is surrounded by mountains, she said, there simply in not enough space for both airports to operate at the same time.

“Any airspace redesign has to be carefully practiced in simulators, and that has not happened in the case of the Santa Lucía Airport,” she said.

“There have been no tests conducted.”

Consequently, the new airport poses serious potential hazards, she said, and should be deemed inoperable.


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