A guide to Mexico City International Airport

A guide to Benito Juarez International Airport


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In this topic I’ll show you a guide to MMMX, the busiest in Latin America and one of the busiest in the world. Also want to share some general culture about the city. Take note that this thread have IRL content that they don’t have in IF. It will be a realistic one so we can be realistic in-game.

This Topic will be divided in:


  • About Mexico City…
  • Terminals and Airlines
  • Cargo in MMMX
  • Runways in MMMX
  • SIDs and STARs
  • The Approach an RWY 5R

So let’s start. Bienvenidos al Aeropuerto Internacional de la Ciudad de México. (Welcome to AICM)

About Mexico City (general culture)...

Mexico City, also called CDMX, is the capital city of Mexico. In the past it was called “Distrito Federal”, or DF. Is located in the top of “Valle de Mexico” at 2240 Meters Above the Sea Level (really high) with a population of 8.9 million. It is famous for its Templo Mayor (a 13th-century Aztec temple), the Baroque-style Metropolitan Cathedral of Mexico of the Spanish conquerors, and the National Palace, which houses historic murals by Diego Rivera. All of these landmarks are located around the Plaza de la Constitución, the huge main square also known as the Zócalo. Also, did you know that there’s a World Trade Center?

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Terminals and Airlines

If we talk about passengers, more than 100,000 passes through there in a common day, serving more than 110 destinations. Its divided in 2 terminals: Terminal 1, who has most of the gates, and Terminal 2. Due to the airport overloaded, the airport owner “Grupo Aeroportuario del Valle de México” is planning a 3rd terminal. I’ll show you a list of airlines operating and their respective terminals, and their respective sections. Im showing this because sometimes there’s a Volaris on Terminal 2, an Aeromexico on T1, and a lot of unrealistic situations.

Airline Terminal Section
Aeromar 2 Remote stands (North)
Aeromexico 2 North And South
Aeromexico Connect 2 North And South
Air Canada (Rouge) 1 F1
Air France 1 F1
Alaska 1 F2
Alitalia 1 F1
ANA 1 F1
American Airlines 1 F3
Avianca 1 F3
British Airways 1 F3
China Southern 1 F1
Copa Airlines 2 North
Wingo (from Copa) 2 North
Cubana 1 F3
Delta 2 North
Emirates 1 F3
Iberia 1 F3
KLM 1 F1
LATAM 2 North
Lufthansa 1 F1
Magnicharters 1 D
Turkish Airlines 1 F2
Volaris 1 D

Airlines currently not operating:

Airline Terminal
Interjet 1

Cargo In MMMX

Yes, Cargo airlines operates in Mexico City, and here is a list of most of the operators:

  • AeroUnion
  • Air France Cargo
  • Amerijet
  • Atlas Air
  • Cargolux
  • Cathay Pacific Cargo
  • DHL
  • Emirates Sky Cargo
  • Estafeta
  • Ethiopian Airlines Cargo
  • LATAM Cargo
  • Lufthansa Cargo
  • Mas Air
  • Qatar Cargo
  • Turkish Cargo
  • UPS

Runways in MMMX

Here is a list of the runways that MMMX has:

Based on IF

Runway Length
05L/23R 12912ft
05R/23L 13427ft

How the controllers usually use their runways?

Runway 05L/23R is used for depatures and the Runway 05R/23L is used for arrivals, however, Heavies uses 5R/23L for depature. Due of this, sometimes inbound aircraft can been changed to Runway 5L/23R for its arrival. (its very rare) Heres a bird-eye view of the runways.

Credit from Pinterest


SIDs and STARs

Here is all the recommended SIDs and STARs. The direction info is based on IF and the recommended runways are mine.

Recommended SIDs:

Name Direction Recommended Runway(s)
MUXEP1 North East Runways 5B
APN7A East Runways 5B
PBC4C East Runways 5B
CUA5A South Runways 5B
PTJ5B West Runways 5B
TLC4C West Runways 23B
TLC6A West Runways 5B

Recommended STARs

Name Direction Recommended Runway
AVSA1C North Runway 5R
AVSA3B North Runway 23L
DATU1C North Runway 5R
DATU3B North Runway 23L
DUXOP1 South Runway 5R
TIKE1A North West Runway 5R
TIKE1B North West Runway 23L

The Approach at Runway 5s

So, we have 2 options for the Approach: The ILS DME RWY 5R (see image below), and the VOR DME 5L. Let’s take a look with the 1st one:

ILS DME 5R:

As you can see, this is the approach path. This route is for the ILS approach, so the command that the Radar has to send is the ILS.

Pilot: The purple circle is the speed limit that I recommend, wich Is 170-180kts (if Radar permits). While turning after been cleared to Intercept the LOC, reduce speed so you can put your Landing Gear “Down” and extend your flaps. Then, set your final approach speed and flaps “Full” once you’re Handed-Off by Radar to Tower or you pass the waypoint PLAZA.

Tip: Always be ready before the waypoint MEX05, for a inminent ILS clearence, because you have to do it immediatly. If this doesn’t happen, you have to execute a missed approach.


Radar: You should limit the speed of any aircraft to 220Kts or below, all the time. You must have terrain awareness too. If everything goes good and the approach goes as planned, an ILS clearence should be sent at MEX05 (or the 1st yellow circle). Then, on waypoint PLAZA (2nd yellow circle), assuming that the pilot will be fully estabilished, you hand them off to Tower. If the pilot doesn’t make the turn in time, you have to send a “Execute Missed Approach”.

VOR DME 5L

The * means that they can also do Radar Vectors

This approach goes to 5L and is used when several aircraft needs to depart from 5R (Heavies principally). In this approach, Radar controllers must use Radar Vectors or Visual Approach. ILS is not accepted. So, how it goes?

Pilot: As I said, you can request or Radar Vectors or Visual Approach. If is Radar Vectors, the controllers will guide you to the waypoint PLAZA, so they can Hand you Off to Tower. If is Visual Approach, he can let you continue as filed or vector you in, clear for Visual and Hand you Off to Tower Before or when on PLAZA. The point of speed limit recommendation is 170kts, if the Radar didn’t limited your speed.


Radar: If the pilot requestes RV, you can Vector them to PLAZA and Hand them off to the Tower. But the other option is the Visual Approach: you can vector them or let them to continue as filed. Just like 4 miles before PLAZA you can request “Report Airport in Sight”. If that occurs, clear them to Visual and Hand them off when or before PLAZA.

The ILS DME is used for 5R. And the VOR DME is used for 5L. If MMMX gets more busy than IRL, and you need to send depatures from 5R, use the VOR DME to 5L.


Thanks for taking your time on reading this guide. Hope you find it useful. And challenge yourself to do this beautiful approach.

Note: This was remade since I couldn’t edit anymore

21 Likes

Nice tutorial, hopefully it can be used when it’s in the ATC schedule at some point!

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Thanks mate. This was remade since I couldn’t edit anymore

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Yesterday i had landed in MMMX coming from SPJC with an Aeromexico B772, and it was so perfect scenario, totally beautiful!

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Indeed. The approach makes it more fun and beautiful

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Thanks for sharing, this guide was completely necessary!

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Thanks so much. Yeah, I made this again since I couldn’t edit the old one anymore.

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Hey everyone:

I just added a subcategory on “Airlines” section… and is about airlines currently not operating in the airport. If you have any other airline, please let me know :)