The Mexican government hinted at it in December 2022, and IATA got involved and said “please don’t do that”, but then the government decided to do it anyway.
So here is a little summary on the Cargo Conundrum at MMMX/Mexico City for all those who fly cargo into Mexico. And also for anyone who flies into Mexico because we have added some other handy things in for you too.
The Cargo Ban
MMMX/Mexico City will no longer allow cargo operations. This means scheduled and Ad-hoc cargo only ops.
This doesn’t apply to belly cargo on passenger flights. You are still fine to head in.
The Presidential order came out sometime around 18 February, and gave airlines 90 days to shift their operations. It was then extended to 107 days because folk pointed out that 90 days would be a bit tight.
Anyway, by sometime in May/June you won’t be able to operate cargo flights into MMMX/Mexico City.
Good news though – right up the road (literally about 40km) is MMSM/Felipe Ángeles International Airport, and they would love to handle your cargo.
No-one likes MMSM though…
OK, that isn’t entirely true. The problem is, according to IATA, that it lacks the infrastructure and getting the entire cargo chain to up sticks and move in 90 (or even 107) days is problematic and challenging.
Why do we care if we don’t fly cargo?
Well, on the one hand it might be good news for you because it will mean more capacity at MMMX/Mexico City, and that is something it is definitely lacking.
On the other hand, it might cause issues for operators who carry belly cargo in on passengers flights in large quantities, because cargo handling companies might not want (or be able) to maintain the capacity and standards to handle it across both airports, and the cargo only airport is going to get priority.
For operators who fly both dedicated freighters and cargo on passenger flights it also means one more airport now having to be operated into, with all the support, contacts, coordination and what have you to worry about.
There are questions over whether MMMX/Mexico City will accept diversions from MMSM/Felipe Ángeles. We haven’t heard no so will assume it is a yes, but it is worth considering where you will go.
No-one likes MMSM…
It is not that they don’t like it, but the airport has issues. Or at least it did.
The main issue is to do with its proximity to MMMX/Mexico City (only about 40km away). Back in 2022 this led to a fairly severe near miss between aircraft operating into the two airports.
That’s all in here if you want a read.
They do want your cargo though
They say on their website that they are –
“Equipped with the most advanced security technology for the transport of national and international merchandise, this terminal has 22 bonded areas and 8 MARS positions (Multi-Aircraft Remote Stands), in an area of 345,881 m2. Its purpose is to meet the need for infrastructure for handling foreign stuff things blah exciting something about a gate nose and containers 12 meters long.”
We also noticed two things about the website:
- There is no FBO contact. We can’t find any contacts except for their social media email. If you have any contact info for FBO, cargo handling or anything other useful airport contact please share it because we can’t find it anywhere.
- They are really proud of their themed toilets. Two of the home page slide show pictures are of toilets and they have a dedicated section discussing them (fourth on the corporate Airport Services list in fact). Check out the photos!
So, in summary
- Don’t plan on flying cargo into MMMX/Mexico City from Mayish time.
- Do let us know if you have any contacts for MMSM/Felipe Ángeles.
- Do send us Airport Spy reports on both (all) Mexican airports so other pilots and operators can see what horrors/joys befell you and can plan for them.
More on the topic:
- More: Mexico Permit Chaos: New Rules Explained
- More: Ops to Mexico? Prepare to get ramp checked!
- More: Mexico City Airport Safety Alert
- More: Mexico General Aviation Challenges: Old and New
- More: Mayhem in Mexico: Airports Closed Amid Cartel Violence