Wednesday, September 3, 2014

México: Government to Spend US$9.17 Billion to Expand Capacity of Mexico City Airport

According to The Latin American Tribunethe Mexican government expects to spend 120 billion pesos ($9.17 billion) building a new airport for this capital, President Enrique Peña Nieto said Tuesday (September 2).

The new facility will stand next to the existing airport, which was renovated in 2007, but is already operating at the limits of its capacity, handling 32 million passengers a year.

Peña Nieto outlined the plan in his state of the nation message, posted on the presidential website on Tuesday just hours before he was to address lawmakers.

Studies “determined that the best place to establish the new installations of the Mexico City Airport is in the zone contiguous to the existing (terminal),” the president said, noting that the federal government already owns the land.

COMMENT: The contract for the project will be awarded on the basis of competitive bidding, he said.

The need for a larger airport has been recognized for decades, Peña Nieto said, arguing that the limitations of the current facility are having a negative impact on tourism and economic growth in Greater Mexico City, which is home to some 20 million people.

“The project will allow the emergence of a significant pole of job creation, revenue and new opportunities for the region’s population,” the president said.

México opted to overhaul the existing airport in 2007 after plans to build a new terminal in the town of San Salvador Atenco collapsed amid raucous protests by residents whose land was to be seized to accommodate the construction.