TOMASKEMPNER
Topic Author
Posts: 389
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Why Is MEX Such A Difficult Airport To Operate?

Fri Mar 15, 2002 4:00 am

I was reading that it´s quite hard to land and take off from Mexico City´s airport and that not every airliners has what it takes to fly here.

Why because of the altitude ?

Even though we recieve every day :
744, 743, 742, 727, 732, 733, 735, 738, 737, 772, 763, 762, 752, 320, 319, DC9, M11, etc.

 
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RayChuang
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RE: Why Is MEX Such A Difficult Airport To Operate?

Fri Mar 15, 2002 5:18 am

Well, given that Mexico City is 2,309 meters above sea level, when you have summer temperatures around 23-27 degrees C. the phrase hot and high conditions really apply. This is similar to the situation at DEN during the summer months.
 
uvalencia
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RE: Why Is MEX Such A Difficult Airport To Operate?

Fri Mar 15, 2002 5:22 am

I would say that first of all, the high altitude and high temperatures, engines dont like that so the airplanes have to depart from MEX with either less fuel or less payload. A friend of mine that worked for Mexicana in the 80's told me that for example, the flight from MEX to DEN needed to do a technical stop at ZIH just to refuel because the airplane (727) would not be able to take off with all the fuel needed for the trip.

And with respect to landing my guess would be the difficult approach procedure for the 05L and 05R, specially the MATEO 5 arrival, difficult because is has a very short final leg, I think is less than 5 miles from the point the airplane is stablished in the ILS (MW NDB) up to the Touch down point. In addition the approach is flown over the city with some high buildings in the approach like the Mexico City WTC. Also the high traffic density.

Those would be my guesses.
 
vrefplus5
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RE: Why Is MEX Such A Difficult Airport To Operate?

Fri Mar 15, 2002 7:26 am

Uvalencia is correct. Jet performance is severely reduced out of MMMX due to high alt/temp conditions. A runway/climb limited takeoff with a power loss will not be pretty excursion. Because of obstacles in the departure path, single engine maneuvering is challenging and best practiced in the simulator. For approach, the Mateo Star takes some extra forward planning. In actual IFR, the turn to final to 05R takes a lot of co-ordination in an A300B4 and probably most other heavy jets
 
cx340
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RE: Why Is MEX Such A Difficult Airport To Operate?

Fri Mar 15, 2002 1:09 pm

Well, I don't know how hard it is, we better leave that to pilots like Vrefplus5 who know better, but any of you who have flown into MEX can attest that it can be a pretty nice view (and a rough approach cometimes too!!)
 
flydeltasjets
Posts: 188
Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2001 4:14 am

RE: Why Is MEX Such A Difficult Airport To Operate?

Fri Mar 15, 2002 1:52 pm

All of the above factors are true...I would just like to add a couple more.

1. Mountains

2. Language differences

3. The runways have not been cleaned in YEARS. I think there is rubber on there from the Write Flyer's tires! If it is at all wet, the runway gets REAL slick. Combine that with the higher groundspeed required by the density altitude, and sometimes the landing gets kind of squirrely.



 
ghost77
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RE: Why Is MEX Such A Difficult Airport To Operate?

Fri Mar 15, 2002 2:23 pm

Ok, let´s relate your answar to the question..

"Why Is MEX Such A Difficult Airport To Operate?"

Ok, Mountains should be a problem on the approach.. or at difficult days, where you have terrible WX conditions.

Language differences?? What the .... really I can´t find something related to Aviation... (I.E. I should ask LH498 pilots, if they have problems when they tune MEX_TWR while they are on the VOR/DME2 Approach (ex. Mateo 6 Arrival) if they have problems with language when they request landing clearance in English.)

Should rwys be clanead every.. month?? every 3, 6. 9 months?? I can imagine airports like KLAX, KLAS, KMIA, KJFK, KORD, etc, always with very HIGH TRAFFIC DEMAND, and when you check on the ATIS (Airport Terminal Information Service) Active runways... I can imagine hearing "Rwy 04R is closed by cleaning manteinance, be aware of all cars, traffic, cleaning the runways".

About the wet taxiways, and runways.. there´s nothing much to say.. that REALLY is BIG problem, on months which rain a lot in the City.... but we have to remember that Mexico City is above Texcoco lake... so that´s why we have big flood problems everywhere.

-------------
Not a pilot for now... but I can said there are factors to consider like WX Conditions (Temperature, Dew Point,Humid) and the airport altitude (7,343 ASL.)

Ricardo Morales  Smile
Ricardo Morales - flyAPM - ¡No es que maneje rapido, solo estoy volando lento!
 
flydeltasjets
Posts: 188
Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2001 4:14 am

RE: Why Is MEX Such A Difficult Airport To Operate?

Fri Mar 15, 2002 4:39 pm

Wow. I just reread my post and I can't believe I spelled good ol' Wilbur and Orville's last name wrong. I HAVE to start proofreading!

My apologies to the two fine men, wherever they may be!
 
UBBA Pilot
Posts: 45
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RE: Why Is MEX Such A Difficult Airport To Operate?

Fri Mar 15, 2002 10:46 pm

Ghost77: Like Flydeltajets said, if the runways that are coated with old rubber at it rains, the braking action is not going to be very good. This can make for a longer than expected stopping distance.

As far as language differences, this has been a major contributor in many aviation disasters (i.e. Tenerife and countless others).

Bob
 
cx340
Posts: 518
Joined: Sat Sep 02, 2000 2:59 am

RE: Why Is MEX Such A Difficult Airport To Operate?

Sat Mar 16, 2002 2:48 am

Didn't one of the runways get repaved less than 1 year ago? I remember that there were tremendous problems and delays for that, I suffered them!!
 
flydeltasjets
Posts: 188
Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2001 4:14 am

RE: Why Is MEX Such A Difficult Airport To Operate?

Sat Mar 16, 2002 3:50 am

Could be, Cx. I haven't been there for a couple years. Anyone know if the "JetSet" bar in the Zona Rosa is still going strong? Great place!
 
rojo
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Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2000 6:08 am

RE: Why Is MEX Such A Difficult Airport To Operate?

Sat Mar 16, 2002 5:17 am

Both runways in MEX airport were repaved less than a year ago. The last time there was work done to one of MEX runways was in November 2001.

Flydeltasjets:

Most of the people I know, including me, avoid the Zona Rosa. There are lots of new bars that are going strong. The problem here in Mexico is that every bar has a cycle and few of the keep strong more than two years after they were opened.

Rojo
 
ghost77
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Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2000 2:07 pm

RE: Why Is MEX Such A Difficult Airport To Operate?

Sat Mar 16, 2002 7:41 am

Ok, yes, you might be right... with Language differences you can have incidents too.  Big thumbs up

I just find a clear example in the last days:

http://www.airdisaster.com/news/0302/14/news.shtml

Ricardo Morales  Smile APM
Ricardo Morales - flyAPM - ¡No es que maneje rapido, solo estoy volando lento!
 
AM
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Joined: Sat Oct 02, 1999 8:49 am

RE: Flydeltasjets

Sat Mar 16, 2002 7:58 am

How often do you fly to MEX? What do you think about the airport and the city?

By the way, are you flying the 757/767?

"... for there you have been and there you will long to return."
 
cx340
Posts: 518
Joined: Sat Sep 02, 2000 2:59 am

RE: Why Is MEX Such A Difficult Airport To Operate?

Sat Mar 16, 2002 1:36 pm

As Rojo said, we all try to avoid Zona Rosa like the plague. . .but then of course there are "special" places (Flydeltas jets knows what I mean) like the "jetSet". I went there years ago and it was the only decent thing around (if we can call that type of place decent!!!). But next time you come down here, there are meny other places that are way better than anything currently at the Zona Rosa, which basically sucks since about 10 years ago. Send an e-mail whenever you come down here again.

 
flydeltasjets
Posts: 188
Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2001 4:14 am

RE: Why Is MEX Such A Difficult Airport To Operate?

Sat Mar 16, 2002 2:19 pm

Thanks cx,

I haven't been to MEX in a couple of years. I used to fly in there with TWA on the MD-80. The trip was JFK - MSY- MEX. I used to bid the trip whenever I could. I love the red beans and rice at Jester's, the restaurant in MSY, I loved flying into MEX, I liked the hotel (Sheriton Maria Isabel), and I liked the food and the city. Also, a dirty captain of mine dragged me to the Jetset one night. I hated every minute of it!  Big grin

Since I went to work for Delta, I have not been back to MEX, but I have good memories of it, and I hope to get back someday. When I do, I will e-mail you cx.

By the way, we used to have a couple of beers every night at a greek restaurant in the Zona Rosa. I think the name of the place was Zorba's. The owner (Dino) was a great guy. If you ever get in there, tell him the TWA guys say "hi". He always treated us well.

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