Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. Photo: presidencia.gob.mx

By THE PULSE NEWS MEXICO STAFF

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) on Monday, May 9,  defended the redesign of Mexico’s airspace, implemented in April 2021 to accommodate his controversial Felipe Ángeles International Airport (AIFA), which so far has only a handful of flights daily and is used by only one international carrier, Venezuela’s Conviasa.

Insisting that there is no danger posed by the redesign, despite the fact that it has over the last 12 months contributed to at least 17 safety close calls incidences, according to the International Air Transport Association, AMLO said that Mexico’s air controllers “are very good.”

“There is no danger to the planes,” he said during his daily press conference when questioned about the incident, which involved two Volaris Airbus A320s nearly colliding on the AICM runway Saturday, May 7.

“Is there a problem with the redesign of the airspace?” López Obrador asked rhetorically. “No, it doesn’t exist. What does exist is resistance strongly encouraged by conservatism.”

Notwithstanding, the International Federation of Air Line Pilots’ Associations (IFALPA) released a safety bulletin last week noting its concerns for aircraft arriving and departing from the AICM, this due to the redesigned air space.

Moreover, Mexico’s National Union of Air Traffic Controllers (Sinacta) reported Monday that it has delivered at least 30 air incident reports in the last year, and not just one as the federal government claimed.

The president said that there is no need to retrain Mexico’s air traffic controllers, many of whom have, along with numerous pilots, warned that the new design is dangerous.

He said that his administration is reviewing the airspace layout.

“Mexico’s air operators are very good,” he said.

Later in the day Monday, Ricardo Torres Muela was appointed as the new head of the Office of Navigation Services for Mexican Air Space (Seneam), replacing Víctor Manuel Hernández Sandoval, who was forced to resign because of the Volaris incident.

Torres Muela has 43 years of experience as an air traffic controller and a degree in business administration.

 

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