Video: “It was a deathly silence”: Passenger narrates the anguish before of near-collision at CDMX aiport

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Bruno Moya took a flight from Cancun to Mexico City last Saturday, but when he arrived in the Mexican capital his flight took up height again a few meters from touching the airport runway.

After reports from pilots about “messes” in the Mexican air space, one of the passengers who has had to live like a plane that was about to land at the Mexico City International Airport (AICM) and returned to take height, it was Bruno Moya, who recounted his experience for Atando Cabos.

He explained that he was traveling with his girlfriend on a Volaris airline plane, they were coming from Cancun on a delayed flight and were going to land in Mexico City.

This happened on May 7, around 9 at night; It was close to the time of another incident in which there was an approach between 2 planes of the same airline during the takeoff and landing of said flights.

Serio y alarmante el incidente entre dos aviones en AICM: Jiménez Pons

The passenger who was on the flight from Cancun said that they saw through the window how they were approaching to touch the ground on the AICM runway, when “from one moment to another” the aircraft rose again.

“A very aggressive noise began to sound, as if the plane was being forced, I have no technical knowledge, but I had never heard that noise in my life and the plane went vertically upwards,” he said in an interview with Grupo Formula.

He said they couldn’t see if there was another plane on the runway that would prevent the landing.

He pointed out that several children were traveling on the plane, so there was constant noise in the aircraft, but when the plane took altitude again, he pointed out that the atmosphere changed.

“The breath was cut off, it was a deathly silence and nervousness was felt at levels that I had not experienced in my life,” he said.

He considered that the pilot was slow to inform them of what they were experiencing, which left the passengers silent for a few minutes, including the airline staff, according to the statement.

He then reported that the pilot told them that they had had a “failed landing due to bad weather”, therefore, he said, they were going to change the route to enter through the south of CDMX. However, Bruno assured that he did not perceive that there were such weather conditions.

When they were finally able to land and “touch the ground,” he said that the entire crew applauded, as if it were a tribute.

“It was a minute in which the applause did not stop and it felt that people were with it, releasing the tension they felt,” he said.

Bruno made a call to recognize the work of the pilots who for some reason have had to face or overcome a situation in Mexican airspace; he also called for “consequences” for those responsible for the occurrence of incidents that can be considered risky.

Pilots accuse the lack of equipment for the work of air traffic controllers

The spokesman for the Trade Union Association of Aviator Pilots (ASPA) indicated the lack of radar in the Valley of Mexico and that it allows a better understanding of the conditions faced by flights in real-time.

There are opportunities to improve Mexico in terms of aeronautics and Mexican airspace, among them, for example, is the part of the infrastructure and a meteorological radar so that traffic controllers can better carry out their work.

This was stated in an interview with Joaquín López-Dóriga by the spokesman for the Trade Union Association of Aviator Pilots (ASPA) of Mexico, José Suárez Valdez.

According to Suárez Valdez, in the Valley of Mexico, where there are such diverse weather conditions, this radar is not available.

“Air traffic controllers can’t see what the real and current weather situation is while looking for vectoring services or directions to pilots,” he said.

He pointed out that the pilots can see these conditions because they perceive it from the plane and avoid flying through areas where they cannot, but the ideal, he said, would be for the controllers to have this equipment to have adequate planning about where the planes will enter and with information about what is happening in real-time.

After warnings from pilots about changes in the design of the Mexican airspace, the ASPA spokesman said that from the association they saw that this redesign that was made with a view to the operation of the airport in Santa Lucía works “on paper”, with the weather conditions ideals.

But he questioned its real effectiveness due to the very diverse climate conditions that are experienced in the Valley of Mexico, for example, in times of rain.

This situation implies that they deviate, and there is the possibility of approaching another of the arrival and departure paths of other flights.

“It begins to compromise, the idea is that the number of planes that approach the ground or planes that approach other aircraft begins to increase,” he commented.

Regarding the degradation of the category of air safety that Mexico lost last year by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) of the United States, Suárez Valdez urged to carry out the necessary processes and work to return to such qualification.

He also added that ASPA has attended meetings with federal authorities to review this issue.

Finally, he pointed out that since the pilots of the association are aware of approximately more than 40 reports in the last year of, for example, approach incidents between 2 planes or with the ground, without this necessarily meaning an impact, but rather complications such as weather issues.

Víctor Hernández irrevocably submitted his resignation from his post after incidents recorded in the airspace of the Valley of Mexico.

Víctor Hernández, head of Navigation Services in the Mexican Air Space (Seneam), presented this Sunday his irrevocable resignation from his position, amid reports of serious air incidents in the Valley of Mexico.

According to  En el aire , a portal dedicated to disseminating news related to aviation, the Air Traffic Control authorized the landing of the aircraft on runway 05L of the airport.

But this is not the only time that the AICM has presented some type of “risk”, since the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has notified at least 17 warnings as part of an alert system that notifies when an aircraft is in danger of crashing into the ground or another obstacle.

In addition, the International Federation of Air Line Pilots Associations (IFALPA, for its acronym in English) alerted on May 5 about reports of incidents in air traffic and said that a crew was about to have a controlled impact episode against the ground.

What is happening in the Airspace of the Valley of Mexico?

Airspace is the area where commercial or military aircraft transit, which is divided into lower (from the ground to 20 thousand feet) or higher (above 20 thousand feet). 

Currently, it has a simultaneous operation of the AICM, the Toluca International Airport (AIT) and the recently opened Felipe Ángeles International Airport (AIFA) in Santa Lucía.

For the birth of the AIFA, the airspace of the Valley of Mexico had to be redesigned. On March 25, 2021, the Ministry of Communications and Transportation (STC) started the first stage of the redesign, while the second and last came into force on March 21, 2022.

The main objective of the redesign was to achieve the coexistence of the three airports to avoid accidents.

However, the National Union of Air Traffic Controllers (Sinacta) warned, since 2021, about the risk in the modifications suffered by air traffic, apart from noting that there was no adequate training by the Seneam, the body in charge of air navigation aid services.

The Mexico City Post