On February 2, 2023, a Decree was published in the Official Journal of the Federation (the “Decree”) ordering the termination of domestic and international air cargo transport operations, both regularly scheduled and unscheduled flights, at the Mexico City International Airport (“AICM”).
The new Decree was preceded by a separate decree published on March 3, 2022, stating that AICM terminals 1 and 2 were saturated.
The Decree grants a period of 108 business days for concessionaires and permit holders that provide scheduled and unscheduled domestic and international transportation services, exclusively for cargo, to relocate their operations outside the AICM, which term ends on July 5, 2023.
It is important to note that concessionaires and permit holders that provide combined passenger and cargo services are exempt from the closure, provided that cargo is transported in the same aircraft as the passengers.
It is worth noting that even though the Decree does not expressly state it, the Decree’s apparent intent is to transfer air cargo operations to the Felipe Ángeles International Airport (“AIFA”), located in the municipality of Zumpango de Ocampo, in the State of Mexico. However, as it is not specifically stated, the concessionaires and permit holders that provide scheduled and unscheduled passenger air transportation services to the public, may choose to continue with their operations at any airport that meets their needs.
It is also important to consider that both the Latin American and Caribbean Air Transport Association and the International Air Transport Association have stated that the termination of air cargo operations could cause disruption in Mexico’s economy and affect supply chains, since the new AIFA airport still does not have the necessary technical requirements to receive AICM cargo operations, which could affect the country’s participation in international trade.