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Near-Collision of Airliners In Mexico City

A landing Airbus A320 went right over the top of another company A320

A new video has come to light that shows a near-collision between two airliners in the dark, filmed by the crew of a third that was holding short. The incident is reported to have happened this week at the Benito Juarez Mexico City airport (MMMX), and some last-second radio transmissions between aircraft and controller can be heard on the recording.

The 25-second video opens on the landing lights of an airliner on perhaps a mile final, then pans to show another holding in the “line up and wait” position with wingtip strobes flashing. The first plane then seems to stop descending and passes low over the second during what must be a go-around in the last seconds of the approach.

The aircraft involved were two Airbus A320 narrow-body jets from Volaris, which bills itself as an “ultra low-cost airline.” The translation of the Spanish radio exchange that suggests confusion between the controller and the landing flight, and that the aircraft lined up and waiting had to declare itself as, “…traffic on runway 05L.”

The ATC recording translation reads something like this:

Flight 799: Do you confirm that we are authorized to land on 05 left, Volaris 799?

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ATC: 799, correct on 05 left, winds 90 degrees (unintelligible) authorized to land.

Flight 799: Authorized to land 05 left, Volaris 799.

Flight 4069: There’s traffic on runway 05 left.

ATC: Roger 4069, to go (?)

Recording pilot: (Gasp) No way! No way!

The International Federation of Airline Pilots has previously expressed concern with the performance of air traffic controllers in Mexico.

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