More details emerge about planes’ near miss at Merida airport
Some additional details are emerging about a near collision of two jetliners at Merida International Airport reported July 14 in The Yucatan Times.
In the near-miss incident Wednesday July 13, an Aeromexico Boeing 737-700, registration EI-DRD performing flight AM-421 from Merida to Mexico City, was cleared for takeoff and was accelerating for takeoff from runway 10 at 10:32 a.m. local time. But the crew rejected takeoff at high speed due to sighting another aircraft on the runway, according to reports in the Aviation Herald and other media.
The Aeromexico 737 aircraft braked heavily, and the crew managed to avoid a collision. The pilot reported there was another aircraft on the runway, when the air control tower queried for the reason of rejecting takeoff, reacting astonished about the presence of another aircraft.
An Interjet Airbus A320-200, registration XA-MTY performing flight 4O-2526 from Mexico City to Merida with 136 people on board, had landed at 10:31 a.m. local time and was turning to backtrack the runway to the apron when the tower cleared the Aeromexico plane for takeoff.
The Aeromexico jet returned to the apron. The aircraft was able to depart 5 hours later and reached Mexico City with a delay of 5 hours.
The Interjet plane departed Merida for the return flight 4O-2527 about 4 hours later with a delay of 3.5 hours.
Mexico’s Transport Ministry reported flight AM-421 rejected takeoff when the crew observed an obstacle on the runway. The recordings of the communication between crew and Air Traffic Control have been forwarded to the aviation authority for investigation. Preliminary analysis suggests the tower controller cleared AM-421 for takeoff without verification of the runway being clear.
The tower controller on duty reportedly has been suspended temporarily pending outcome of the investigation.