Against all odds, that is, despite the open opposition of the National Air Transport Chamber (Canaero), the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the National Tourism Business Council (CNET), the reduction of air operations at the International Airport in Mexico City will be a reality from the last day of next October.
The number of air operations that airlines will be able to carry out will decrease from 52 to 43.
The companies will have a couple of months to prepare to comply with the regulations of the Federal Civil Aviation Agency (AFAC) headed by General Miguel Enrique Vallín Osuna.
Today (August 31) will be published in the Official Gazette of the Federation the AFAC order that the Mexico City International Airport (AICM) will have to abide by, directed by retired Vice Admiral Carlos Velázquez Tizcareño and Navigation Services in the Mexican Air Space (SENEAM) directed by Javier Alonso Vega Dour.
Today Velázquez Tizcareño will inform the airlines of the provisions decreed by the AFAC.
On this occasion, the circumstances between the AICM and the airlines will be different because there will not be as much time for negotiation and preparation.
Airlines will have to cancel hundreds of flights. Canaero warns that there will be a massive cancellation of flights and CNET assures that it will be chaotic in terms of connectivity and flight availability.
IATA reminded the Secretary of Communications and Transport Infrastructure commanded by Jorge Nuño that the reduction in air operations must be taken based on expert analysis and under international standards.
Despite the warnings, the AFAC made the decision that today will be published in the Official Gazette of the Federation and will be communicated personally by the director of the AICM to the airlines.
The intention of the AFAC is that the reduction in air operations enters into force with the entry of the winter season.
And the central objective, from the point of view of the airport authorities, is to alleviate the risky saturation of the AICM.
This is a new reduction in the number of air operations.
On the first occasion they were reduced from 61 to 52. Now they will go from 52 to 43 operations.
The AICM should ideally have a flow of 40 million people.
In addition to this order, additional measures are being analyzed.
The saturation of the AICM is a reality.
However, what is also evident is the intention of the Mexican government to force airlines to have more operations since AIFA continues with very low numbers of air operations and passengers.
It is clear that what it is about is fulfilling the presidential wish that the Santa Lucía terminal have a greater influx.
We saw it with the transfer of the load from the AICM to the AIFA.
It was noted with the remodeling of T-2 and T-1 of the AICM.
And even with the request of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador to the President of the United States, Joe Biden, so that during his visit to Mexico, he would come to AIFA.
In what is happening today, the airlines and organizations such as Canaero and IATA have a certain responsibility because of the open opposition they had in the past regarding Santa Lucía, with the arrival of the Lopez Obrador government, they kept silent and even went so far as to affirm that there was compatibility between the AICM and the current AIFA.
Today the problem is that, forced by the reduction of operations in the AICM, they will very likely have to increase their operations from the AIFA.
Additionally, the loss of category 1 in air safety has affected aviation companies and with the reduction in air operations from the AICM, their problems will increase.
It will undoubtedly be a blow to all, although for some more than others and in the end, it will have a negative impact on the economy, tourism and passengers.
Op-ed by Marco A. Mares
Source: El Economista