A significant number of aviation groups have voiced concerns about a number of security issues concerning air traffic in Mexico City.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA), which represents some 290 airlines, said in a letter to Mexican aviation authorities that there have been 17 Ground Proximity Warning System (GPWS) warnings in the past 12 months, which occur when a plane could crash if action is not taken quickly.
According to the letter, this has happened to flights entering Mexico City’s Benito Juarez International Airport.
“As you know, these alarms, without the quick action of the flight crew, can lead to a scenario of controlled flight into terrain, CFIT, considered by the industry to be one of the highest risk indicators in operational safety, and with the highest accident rate, as well as fatalities,” the letter said.
On Friday, the Mexican agency forwarded a request for comment to the Transportation Minister.
According to the organization, the main cause of the incidents seems to be that air traffic controllers fail to use “conventional phraseology” in their interactions with aircrews. The organization, therefore, called for an urgent meeting with Mexican aviation authorities.
The International Federation of Air Line Pilots’ Associations immediately issued a safety alert highlighting similar incidents, as well as aircraft landing low on fuel after being forced to circle unexpectedly or diverted to other airports due to significant delays.
It also mentioned “significant” ground proximity warning system alerts, including a “near collision.”
IATA’s letter requested a meeting with Mexican aviation authorities to find the best solution to the current problems.
Meanwhile, the International Federation of Air Line Pilots warned its crews to carry extra fuel in case the aircraft is diverted or has to hold for an extended period of time before landing. The organization also advised its pilots to “exercise heightened terrain situational awareness” when flying into and departing Mexico City airports.