The new Mexico City International Airport, which has been under construction at a greenfield site in Texcoco since 2014, has been cancelled, confirmed Mexican Communications and Transport Minister, Javier Jimenez Espriu, last week.
Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador, who took office at the beginning of December, made a campaign promise to hold a public referendum on the new airport plan. More than 70% of the voters opposed the project after which Lopez Obrador announced the airport would be cancelled.
The Texcoco development will now be replaced by a combined project upgrading the current Benito Juarez International Airport, a new runway and terminal at the Santa Lucia military air base and a revival and reactivation of the privatized Toluca Airport. Industry analysts are still debating whether the current airport and Santa Lucia
can operate simultaneously.
The second runway at Santa Lucia is expected to be completed in 2021 and the Jimenez Espriu has stated that airport congestion in the Mexican capital will be significantly reduced when it is operational.
The official confirmation of the cancellation of the Texcoco project comes at the same time as the airport managers at Benito Juarez announce another year of record traffic figures. Last year 47.7 million (30.5m domestic – 17.2m international) passengers used the current airport, an increase of 6.6% on 2017.
An airport spokesman said that the number of operations increased by 0.3% to 451,000, with most of the growth coming from higher aircraft occupation and airlines using bigger aircraft. The government say that 3,000 million Mexican Pesos will be invested in airport and runway maintenance during 2019.
By John Gallagher