Photo: Unsplash

By KELIN DILLON

On the tail end of yet another controversial weekend for Mexico’s airspace, a number of national airline carriers servicing the Mexico City International Airport (AICM) have agreed to move a total of 204 flights to the nearby (and newly constructed) Felipe Ángeles International Airport (AIFA). As of now, the AIFA only services 13 daily operations.

The initiative comes after a near-collision between two planes – an unfortunately repeated trend in Mexico’s current airspace design – at the AICM prompted Mexico’s federal government and aviation industry leaders to mutually agree to reduce the AICM’s operations by 25 percent; with the new support flight operations at the AIFA, Undersecretary of Transportation Rogelio Jiménez Pons said there will no longer be a need to limit the flight schedules at the AICM. 

Beginning in July 2022,  Mexican airline carriers Aeroméxico, Volaris and VivaAerobus will transfer 110 of their operations to the AIFA, while most international airlines, when prompted, declined to divert their scheduled flight paths away from the AICM.

For its part, the Secretariat of the Interior (Segob) said that while the summertime transition out of the AICM will be slow at first, there will be a marked uptick in flights at the facility come Aug. 15, particularly as airlines with more than a year’s worth of debts to the AICM will be forced to leave operations at the AICM for an alternative airport. 

Many experts in the aviation industry are placing the blame for the AICM dysfunction squarely on the shoulders on Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) and former President Enrique Peña Nieto for their diversion of necessary operational funds away from the AICM into the construction of their respective airport projects, AMLO’s AIFA and Peña Nieto’s contentiously canceled New Mexico City International AIrport (NAICM).

Now, despite many residents of the Mexico City metropolitan area already having expressed their distaste in using the difficult-to-access AIFA over the AICM for their travel needs, it seems the AIFA has finally found two legs to stand on in the wake of the AICM’s airspace chaos.

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