Summary of the matter addressed in the submission:

In the submission received by the CEC Secretariat on 7 February 2002, Jorge Rafael Martínez Azuela and other neighbors in the area surrounding the Mexico City International Airport (Aeropuerto Internacional de la Ciudad de México-AICM) assert that Mexico is failing to effectively enforce its environmental laws with respect to the noise emissions originating at that airport. According to the Submitters, there are studies showing that the noise emissions of the AICM exceed the limits established in environmental law, causing irreversible damage to the thousands of persons living near the airport.

The submission asserts that in this case, Mexico’s failure to effectively enforce its environmental law has resulted in the AICM neighbors suffering hearing loss, various negative effects due to loss of sleep and the lessened academic performance of the children in the area, whose classes are interrupted by a passing airplane approximately every seven minutes. The Submitters assert that the federal and local environmental authorities have failed to effectively enforce Articles 5 paragraphs V and XIX, 8 paragraph VI, 155 and 189 through 204 of the General Law of Ecological Balance and Environmental Protection (Ley General del Equilibrio Ecológico y la Protección al Ambiente), Mexican Official Standard NOM-ECOL-081-1994, and Articles 80 through 84 of the Environmental Law of the Federal District.

Summary of the response provided by the Party:

In its response, Mexico recognizes the problem of noise emissions as a major challenge. However, the Party clarifies that Mexican Official Standard NOM-081-ECOL-1994, cited in the submission, establishing the emission limits for noise from fixed sources, does not apply to the noise emissions generated by aircraft in their take-off and landing maneuvers. The response explains that aircraft are classified as mobile sources of noise emissions, indicating that the applicable standard for such noise emissions is NOM-036-SCT3-2000. Mexico’s response states that 30% of the nation’s air fleet has reduced noise emissions within the times provided in NOM-036-SCT3-2000, and therefore it has effectively enforced its environmental laws. Mexico’s response also details the process that the corresponding authorities have followed for the citizen complaints filed by the Submitter in October and November 2001, regarding the matter raised in the submission.

Names and citations of the environmental laws in question:

Articles 5 paragraphs V and XIX, 8 paragraph VI, 155 and 189 through 204 of the General Law of Ecological Balance and Environmental Protection (Ley General del Equilibrio Ecológico y la Protección al Ambiente), Mexican Official Standard NOM-ECOL-081-1994, and Articles 80 through 84 of the Environmental Law of the Federal District.

Submitter(s):

Jorge Rafael Martínez Azuela,
Jorge Martínez Sánchez,
Raul Morelos C.,
José Alberto Tellez Murillo,
Saul Gutiérrez Hernández,
Norma Guadalupe Viniegra Cantón

Submission Timeline

February 7, 2002

The Secretariat received a submission and began a preliminary analysis of it under the guidelines.

Acknowledgement - Communication to Submitter(s) authored by Secretariat on 12/02/2002

Submission - Submission authored by Submitter(s) on 28/01/2002

February 22, 2002

The Secretariat determined that the submission met the criteria of Article 14(1) and requested a response from the concerned government Party in accordance with Article 14(2).

Determination - Secretariat Determination under Article 14 (1) and 14 (2) authored by Secretariat on 22/02/2002

May 23, 2002

The Secretariat received a response from the concerned government Party and began considering whether to recommend a factual record.

Party Response - Response from the Party under Article 14 (3) authored by Mexico on 23/05/2002

Acknowledgement - authored by Secretariat on 29/05/2002

September 25, 2002

The Secretariat determined not to recommend the preparation of a factual record. Under guideline 9.6, the process was terminated.

Determination - Secretariat Determination under Article 15 (1) authored by Secretariat on 25/09/2002