By KELIN DILLON
On Tuesday, Jan. 17, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) sent a new draft decree to Mexico’s National Commission for Regulatory Improvement (Conamer) proposing the elimination of the Mexico City International Airport’s (AICM) public cargo transport operations in favor of transferring cargo services to Mexico’s other airports – mainly, it seems, to López Obrador’s recently constructed and oft-controversial Felipe Ángeles International Airport (AIFA).
According to the decree’s initial draft, the Secretariat of Infrastructure, Communications and Transport (SICT) will be in charge of the review and modifications of Mexico’s changing cargo operations, while the Federal Civil Aviation Agency (AFAC) will oversee the review and modification of public cargo transport permits, both for regular and non-regular international air transport.
“The AICM is exclusively closed for the operations of concessionaires and permit holders that provide the service to the public of regular and non-regular national and international air cargo transportation,” read the decree.
However, companies that serve both cargo transport and passenger services will be exempt from the decree, so long as they continue to use the same aircraft for the dual-purpose trips.
The SICT said the decree is due to the oversaturation of flights at the AICM, claiming that the facility’s cargo operations pose a safety risk to both the airport’s services and surrounding Mexican airspace.
“In order to safeguard the safety of air operations and the integrity of the users who use the AICM, it is necessary to transfer the cargo to the airport network available in the country,” added the SICT.
With that being said, previous AICM reports reveal the airport only oversees approximately 32 cargo flights per day – around 3 percent of its total daily services.
Once the decree is officially published in the Official Gazette of the Federation (DOF) and enters force the next day, cargo concessionaires and permit holders will have a 90 business day period to relocate their cargo services to the area’s other airports, such as the AIFA or the nearby Toluca Airport.