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Mexico’s home airline trade in shambles

MEXICO CITY — Mexico’s home airline trade is in shambles, affected by security issues, a rankings downgrade by the US Federal Aviation Administration, and vandalism.

This week alone, passengers missed connections as a result of thieves reduce the fiber optic cables main into the Mexico Metropolis airport, forcing immigration authorities to return to utilizing gradual paper kinds.

The web outage Wednesday got here virtually one month after aviation and transportation authorities had been pressured to droop medical, bodily and license renewal exams till 2023 as a result of the Transportation Division’s pc programs had been hacked.

After a near-miss between two planes on the Mexico Metropolis airport on Could 7, issues simply received worse. Authorities revealed that one of many airport’s most important terminals is sinking and wishes emergency work to shore it up.

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s reply has been to suggest permitting international airways to fly home routes. However the security downgrade — the FAA dropped Mexico from Class 1, which most international locations have, to the decrease Class 2 in 2021 — prevents Mexican airways from opening new routes to america.

Thus, Mexico’s struggling airways face competitors of their residence market, with no entry to new worldwide routes. Specialists say all of it seems to be like a catastrophe for home aviation, a sector López Obrador had positioned particular emphasis on growing.

“It’s not very encouraging for funding or the prospect of recovering Class 1 within the brief or medium time period,” aviation knowledgeable Rodrigo Soto-Morales wrote within the commerce journal a21, referring to the web outage and hacking.

Authorities mentioned the Mexico Metropolis airport web cables had been reduce by thieves who mistakenly thought the fiber optic cables had been salable copper. They confused it occurred outdoors airport property however, the truth is, it was a cable conduit that leads immediately into the airport from lower than a mile away.

Rogelio Rodriguez Garduño, an aviation knowledgeable who teaches aeronautical legislation at Mexico’s Nationwide Autonomous College, mentioned the occasions mirror a decadeslong decline in Mexico’s aviation regulation. Mexico, in contrast to most international locations, does not have an unbiased aviation company.

“If one thing goes mistaken, they examine themselves and say they do not bear any accountability,” mentioned Rodriguez Garduño.

It does not bode properly for López Obrador’s promise to get well a Class 1 security score.

“It appears attainable that this can be a course of the place we’re taking steps backward,” Rodriguez Garduño mentioned.

Think about the incident on Could 7, when a Mexican airliner was cleared to land on a runway the place one other airplane was about to take off. They got here inside just a few hundred yards of one another.

The one one who seems to have been fired for the near-miss was a member of the crew of one other airplane who filmed the incident on her cellphone, accompanied by the phrases, “No no no no,” and a phrase roughly equal to “ unbelievable.”

“The issues we’re seeing, for instance, in air visitors management the place planes are on the verge of colliding … the failure of the immigration system, the issues with coaching and upkeep supervision, the issuing of permits, it is a recurring factor that Did not begin yesterday with this administration,” Rodriguez Garduño mentioned, “although this administration additionally hasn’t taken the required steps.”

It’s all an odd place for a president who positioned a lot emphasis on the airline trade that certainly one of his administration’s largest initiatives was to construct a brand new Mexico Metropolis airport to alleviate strain on the overcrowded previous terminal.

López Obrador has requested the military to supply civilian home flights, and has publicly acknowledged a want for a state-run airline in Mexico. However the president doesn’t like spending cash on the type of unbiased regulatory our bodies that many say are wanted to make sure security.

Over the previous 12 months, there have been at the very least 17 incidents of ground-proximity warning system alerts for planes approaching the Mexico Metropolis airport. The Worldwide Air Transport Affiliation, which represents 290 airways, wrote to the Mexican Airspace Navigation Companies expressing concern in regards to the shut calls.

“Mexico wants an autonomous company with authorized standing that ensures independence,” Rodriguez Garduño mentioned.

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