By KELIN DILLON
Just one week after hacktivist group Guacamaya leaked the Mexican Secretariat of Defense’s (Sedena) intentions to create its own self-run airline to the public, Mexico’s in-power party, the National Regeneration Movement (Morena), proposed a legislative reform that would allow the Sedena to run both a commercial airline and operate the nation’s airports at the same time.
First presented to the Chamber of Deputies by Morena Deputy Omar Castañeda, the reforms to the Civil Aviation Law and Airport Law – which respectively stipulate that the military cannot own airlines outside of civil use and that Mexican airline operators cannot concurrently own airports in the country – would effectively legalize the Sedena’s intentions to own and operate a commercial airline alongside its present and pending airport oversight duties around the country.
The Sedena currently controls operations of the Felipe Ángeles International Airport (AIFA) and is similarly remodeling and constructing terminals in Tulum, Chetumal and Palenque, all of which are anticipated to be operated under the military’s jurisdiction upon completion.
According to Castañeda, the initiative could allow Mexico to regain its Category 1 airspace ranking by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the absence of which has been plaguing Mexican air travel and limiting the nation’s tourism sector for more than a year now.
“As long as Mexico is in Category 2 of the FAA, economic growth in the United States will be affected, so competitiveness, economic, social, labor and tourism growth will have complications, not to mention the continuous irregularities in aeronautical operations,” said Castañeda.
“Therefore, it is essential to ensure that there is more air traffic control in aim of ensuring the efficiency and safety of both air operations and users,” continued the Morena deputy. “The implementation of new airport companies is an ideal alternative to meet the demand for air transport, the development of economic and regional opportunities in Mexico.”