Airliner aborts landing in Mexico to avoid another plane


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Mexico City (AFP) – An airliner attempting to land in Mexico City aborted its approach at the last second to avoid hitting a plane taxiing on the runway, an airline official said Sunday.

Video circulating on social media showed the near-miss involving two Airbus planes belonging to Mexican low-cost airline Volaris on Saturday night at Benito Juarez airport, the busiest in Latin America.

The airline did not disclose flight numbers, the exact model of the plane or the number of passengers on board.

“Thanks to the training of our pilots (…) no passenger or crew member was in danger during the incident reported on the night of May 7,” Volaris CEO Enrique Beltranea wrote on Twitter. .

Mexican news outlets said Victor Hernandez Sandoval, a senior Communications Ministry official who redesigned air traffic patterns over the sprawling city so it can operate two airports, had tendered his resignation.

The video shows a plane about to land when it suddenly stops to avoid hitting the taxiing airliner.

Due to the saturation of current facilities, the previous government launched the construction of a second airport in Texcoco, a suburb of the city.

But President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador scrapped that plan after taking office in favor of turning an existing military base into an airport. It now operates on a limited basis, with a few flights on mainly domestic routes.

Aviation experts have questioned the idea of ​​operating two airports in a city surrounded by mountains and located 2,200 meters above sea level.

The International Federation of Airline Pilots Associations said last week that crews would face problems if the city’s airspace model was changed to handle two full-size airports.

Among other things, the planes would spend a lot of time holding circuits and land with little fuel, the federation said.

In May 2021, the United States lowered its aviation safety rating for Mexico City, citing what it said was inadequate oversight.

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