Mexico’s satellite network puts travelers at risk

Its quality affects communication between airports and airplanes

Mexico’s satellite network puts travelers at risk
The VSAT-II TDMA satellite network was designed by the Communication and Transport Ministry - Photo: Carlos Mejia/EL UNIVERSAL
English 09/01/2020 09:33 Mexico City Editorial Actualizada 09:34
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The VSAT-II TDMA satellite network, designed by the Communication and Transport Ministry, was created to “provide security, order, fluency, and effectiveness to air traffic inside Mexico’s airspace.” However, the network has registered issues for 15 years as the hardware and software used are no longer efficient enough to fulfill the demands of new airplanes.

The lack of spare parts has affected the quality of communication between airports and airplanes. For a long time, interference has made the exchange of instructions, authorizations, and reports basically unintelligible.

As a result of this situation, private and commercial aviation is at risk, especially because the 76 airports in Mexico depend on this satellite network, as well as 1,463 runways, and 528 heliports.

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Moreover, the 352 planes used by national airlines are also affected, as well as an important number of international airplanes that enter Mexico’s airspace to transport tourists from all over the world.

However, cargo planes are also quite important, as they provide the Mexican industry with essential products such as fresh produce.

It is worrying that in case of an accident, a lot of people could be harmed and facilities destroyed. Therefore, it is urgent to find the flaws in the satellite network and guarantee the safety of passengers. And although the Communication Ministry has announced that it will modernize its 36 stations, which will be equipped with new satellite networks. Yet the resources allocated for the project are insufficient. In regards to aviation, there can’t be austerity.

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