The video of an incident in AIFA circulates on social networks due to the interruption of the takeoff of a flight to Mérida, Yucatán
Passengers on Aeromexico flight 874, with the AIFA-Mérida route, indicated that the Control Tower authorized the takeoff, although SENEAM assured the contrary.
In social networks, passengers on a flight to Mérida, Yucatán reported an incident at the Felipe Ángeles International Airport (AIFA) due to the interruption of the takeoff on the afternoon of this Wednesday, September 14.
Through his Twitter account, the user @ElPerro90543956 shared a video where three helicopters can be seen flying over the AIFA moments before the takeoff of the Aeroméxico flight from CDMX to Mérida.
“Incident of AIFA Aeroméxico flight 874 to Mérida. Takeoff aborted in full takeoff the plane is moored at the end of the runway to see helicopters at the end of it. Pilot explains that they are rehearsing, ”wrote the Internet user.
Was the AIFA flight to Mérida canceled due to helicopter testing?
The interruption of the Aeroméxico 874 flight to Mérida was due to the alleged rehearsal of the military helicopters that will participate in the Military Parade on September 16 in Mexico City, according to the Internet user.
According to reports by the journalist Manuel López San Martin, the Control Tower authorized the takeoff of the plane despite the presence of the helicopters, but the pilot interrupted it when he saw the aircraft.
In the video circulating on social networks, the pilot explains that they must wait for the plane’s brakes to cool down before taking off, in addition to thanking the passengers for their patience.
“Ladies and gentlemen, our entire system is correct, we are only going to wait for our brakes to have the right temperature for takeoff, right now they are hot […] to be able to return to takeoff safely,” said Aeroméxico personnel. .
In this regard, another Internet user argued that “Waiting for the brakes to cool down is because the takeoff process began when he saw the helicopters, then he braked suddenly. If you started the takeoff process, it is because the control tower authorized it. No aircraft initiates the takeoff process without authorization.”
AIFA authorities have not issued statements on the incident of the flight to Mérida this Wednesday.
AIFA: 4 controversies surrounding the new Felipe Ángeles airport in Mexico City, one of AMLO’s flagship projects
Felipe Ángeles International Airport (AIFA), located 50 km north of Mexico City, is the new aerodrome called to solve a saturation problem that has dragged the huge city for two decades.
It is also one of the four emblematic works in infrastructure of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador ( AMLO ), along with a refinery, a tourist train and an interoceanic corridor.
But since its very conception, the AIFA has been surrounded by the skepticism of airport specialists, which the president has fought for the last four years.
And it is that for its construction, López Obrador made the controversial decision – which he submitted to a popular consultation – to cancel the construction of another airport that was already 30% complete.
That brought a huge expense in compensation that the president and his team said was preferable to throwing resources into a “bottomless barrel” like that airfield, which, they claimed, would also cause flooding problems for the city and an ecocide in the place. of your building.
Instead, he opted for a more austere project, but located at a point far from the capital, which makes it unlikely that Mexico will have a “hub”, or large-capacity air operations center, as was thought with the canceled project. .
These are some of the controversies surrounding AIFA at its inauguration
1. A problem of two decades
For 20 years, in Mexico they have known that there was a problem of saturation in the air service of the Mexican capital, analyst Raymundo Tenorio, an emeritus professor of economics, explains to BBC Mundo.
The government at the time explored a project to provide a solution to the growing demand for arrivals and departures at the Mexico City International Airport (AICM), which was reaching its maximum capacity of 32 million passengers a year.
President Vicente Fox ordered the construction of an airport, but his poor planning was met with opposition from the affected inhabitants in the municipality of San Salvador Atenco.
The protests were brutally repressed by the Federal Police, an episode that left several deaths, sexual abuse and human rights violations, as documented by the National Human Rights Commission.
“There was a social uprising. Due to the protest uprising of those citizens, the project was not carried out,” recalls Tenorio.
Consequently, the AICM continued to support more passenger loads, until a new initiative by President Enrique Peña Nieto proposed a solution: create an airport hub on federal land, without affecting local farmers.
The New Mexico International Airport (NAIM) would become the main logistics center for passengers and trade in the country, although to build it it would be necessary to invest some US$13,000 million to adapt the land, which was the extinct Lake Texcoco, east of CDMX .
But social and political changes once again turned things upside down.
2. The cancellation of the NAIM
The citizens elected with an overwhelming majority (53% vs. 22% in second place) President López Obrador, who since his campaign had austerity and the fight against corruption as flags.
Therefore, his political platform aimed to eliminate the “pharaonic” Peña Nieto airport and create a more austere one at the Santa Lucía military air base.
“Until 2018 [the NAIM] was doing very well, with a 30% progress documented in a report by the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development),” explains Tenorio.
Criticism from analysts immediately arrived for the decision that not only represented stopping a work in progress, but also meant a considerable expense due to the cancellation.
The dispute over how much the decision has really cost Mexicans is contentious.
The Superior Audit Office of the Federation, an autonomous government oversight body, has presented various calculations in recent years. The most recent indicates that the cost of the cancellation has been just over US$9 billion .
The López Obrador government says it has actually only spent $5 billion.
But Tenorio maintains that, considering costs for compensation, bonds, interest on debt and scheduled payments until 2034, they add up to almost US$21 billion, that is, a sum greater than the cost that the first phase of the NAIM would have to start operating. .
“The reaction of the OECD, the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank and business leaders was that the possibility of having a great logistical potential, of tourism, of sources of work, was being destroyed,” says Tenorio.
The government, however, says that critics of the decision do not consider that the NAIM would consume more and more public resources , cause flooding by closing the area of water discharges in the rainy season that was there, and kill the species of the adjoining Nabor Carrillo Lake.
3. The new military work
Despite the fact that for a decade López Obrador expressed his distrust of the armed forces carrying out civilian tasks, such as public security, when he took office he turned his vision 180° and has entrusted the armed forces with his main national projects. .
The planning and execution of the work of the new AIFA was executed by the Armed Forces in an express manner, in less than three years.
And in parallel, groups of specialists have broken down technical skepticism about its operation, as many analysts claimed that the operation of the old AICM was “incompatible” with the AIFA, which has been resolved with a reconfiguration of the airspace .
In terms of money, however, the budget has had to be expanded on at least two occasions.
“According to the amount of money that has been made, both from the Expenditure budget and the reports from the Superior Audit Office of the Federation, what was spent at that airport is 125,000 million pesos, not 75,000 [US$6,250, US$3,750]” Tenorio points out.
“And 83% of civil works contracts , materials, equipment, etc., were awarded by direct award to suppliers, not by award competition as best practices dictate,” he adds.
In addition, the project was classified as a national security work, which makes it difficult to scrutinize the use of public resources.
However, López Obrador has insistently maintained that it is an exemplary work, which has been built with less than half the cost of the NAIM.
4. An empty and distant airport
What is indisputable for anyone are two facts: the AIFA begins operations this Monday with few scheduled flights , and it is located in a distant point of difficult access that few want to reach.
On the one hand, only two low-cost airlines (Volaris and Viva Aerobús) will operate domestic flights. The government hopes that more companies, such as Aeroméxico, will take their flights to that terminal, which has a capacity of almost 20 million passengers a year.
That would ease the burden of nearly 54 million users on the current AICM.
“The NAIM could have generated 1,400 operations on the three runways it would have on its first day of operation. And right now what we are going to add to the 800 daily operations of the AICM are 8 operations on its first day,” Tenorio stresses.
On the contrary, the López Obrador government emphasizes that the NAIM was already dragging a delay that would take its inauguration until 2023 and that its entry into operation implied closing the AICM and the Santa Lucía air base.
Regarding the airport work itself, criticism of its architectural design or its functionality has been diluted as the government has presented its progress.
Many potential AIFA users have complained about the long distance, which can exceed two hours in a high-traffic area, and the high cost of a taxi or carpool to access the terminal.