Travel

Plane aborts landing in latest Mexico safety incident

Written by The Frontier Post

MEXICO CITY (AFP): A jetliner aborted a landing in Mexico City because of another plane on the runway, an airline said Thursday — the second such incident within days at the congested airport.

Aeromexico said flight AM762 had performed a go-around on Wednesday evening because another plane was still on the runway at Benito Juarez International Airport, the busiest in Latin America.

It did not say how many passengers were on the plane, which according to flight tracking websites was a 160-seat Boeing 737-800 coming from Colombia.

The transport ministry described the go-around as a normal procedure that “did not represent any risk.”

A similar incident happened on Saturday when a plane operated by Mexican carrier Volaris aborted its approach to avoid hitting a plane taxiing on the runway.

Air safety concerns have emerged since Mexico City’s airspace was reconfigured following the opening of a second international airport, Felipe Angeles, on March 21.

Last week a pilot association reported that the changes had resulted in safety incidents including jetliners with low fuel and alerts that planes were in danger of flying into the ground.

Air traffic controllers appear to have received little training and support on how to operate the new configuration, the International Federation of Air Line Pilots’ Associations (IFALPA) said in a safety bulletin dated May 4.

Experts have highlighted the challenges of operating two airports in a city surrounded by mountains and at an altitude of more than 2,200 meters (around 7,300 feet) above sea level.

So far airlines are operating only a small number of daily flights from Felipe Angeles, a flagship project of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador built at a military air base north of the capital.

The government has denied that the airspace reconfiguration is the cause of the incidents and agreed with the main Mexican airlines to reduce operations at Benito Juarez by a quarter within a year.

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