IATA rejects transfer to AIFA of air cargo operations

After the decree announced on January 17, 2023 in which it is planned to transfer the operations of cargo planes from the International Airport of Mexico City (AICM) to Felipe Ángeles International Airport (AIFA) within 90 business days, there has been widespread concern from the airline industry. The International Air Transport Association (IATA, for its acronym in English) ruled before the decree.

It was first the National Chamber of Air Transport (CANAERO) which ruled before the decree arguing that migrating operations to other sites requires a minimum period of 360 calendar days, that is, practically one year, since otherwise “the security of the operations of air cargo in the country”.

To which the president questioned: “Do you think I’m sucking my finger?” In this framework, he considered that 90 days are enough for cargo airlines to start moving from the airport, such as the company DHLwhich will begin to operate from February at the AIFA.

now is the IATA which through a release requested the Government of Mexico to develop “a joint transition plan to facilitate the transfer of dedicated cargo operations from the Mexico City International Airport (AICM) to other air terminals in the country.”

Peter Cerdá, IATA Regional Vice President for the Americas, also stated: “Most of the cargo operations in the Mexican market are currently handled at the AICM. Neither the airlines nor the associated cargo supply chain can simply pack up and move to an alternate airport. This whole process is complex and must be well planned to avoid any operational interruption. For this we need all interested parties to work in a coordinated manner, thus guaranteeing the safe and efficient flow of cargo inside and outside the country”.

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This statement argues that in order to transfer cargo flights to AIFA, it is first necessary to have the infrastructure necessary, since they are currently needed:

  • Third party certifications that are required by the operators of the terminal(s), for example (ACC3-RA3) for cargo transported to Europe;
  • Adequate equipment of cargo warehouses, authorized by the Mexican Civil Aviation Authority (AFAC);
  • Operational customs system;
  • Sufficient customs agents to dispatch the imported cargo;
  • Registration of cargo agents for the AIFA;
  • Ground transportation to and from AIFA

Finally, Peter Cerdá said that “The industry will continue the dialogue with the authorities on a viable transition plan to ensure that the delivery of critical goods by air is maintained for the residents of Mexico and the airlines cargo can operate safely and efficiently.


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