Head of Mexican Air Space Resigns after Near Collision at AICM

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Víctor Manuel Hernández Sandoval, general director of the Office of Navigation Services for Mexican Air Space (Seneam), has resigned from his position effective  Monday, May 9, after having been accused by aviation experts of ignoring constant complaints from pilots and air traffic controllers about safety concerns and following a near collisions at the Mexico City International Airport (AICM).

According to reports, on the night of Saturday, May 7, an Airbus A320 headed to Guatemala nearly collided on takeoff  with another Airbus A320 that was landing from Mazatlán, Sinaloa, at the AICM runway.

Both airplanes belonged to the Mexican budget carrier Volaris, and the pilots were able to avoid a collision.

In the last few weeks, similar incidences have been reported by pilots and air traffic controllers, and last week, the International Federation of Air Line Pilots’ Associations (IFALPA) released a safety bulletin noting its concerns for aircraft arriving and departing from the AICM.

Last year, the airspace around Mexico City and the Valley of Mexico was redesigned to accommodate the newly opened Felipe Ángeles International Airport (AIFA), a controversial pet project of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) that has so far been met with cold shoulders from most international airlines.

Since April 2021, when the new airspace design went into effect, at least 17 safety close calls incidences have been reported at the AICM by the International Air Transport Association.

Also, numerous airplanes have experienced low fuel states due to unplanned holding, diversions and Ground Proximity Warning System (GPWS) alerts.

Mexico City International Airport has over 7,100 departures and landings every week, including nearly 1,200 from the United States.



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