Mexico Restructuring Airport System Through Multi-Billion-Dollar Investment

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110 shares, 171 points

Mexico is changing the entire operation of its three main airports to distribute passengers better, improving the security for domestic and foreign users.

As part of the plan, the infrastructure of Terminal 2 of the Benito Juárez International Airport (MEX) in Mexico City will be reinforced through an investment of $30 million.

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador explained that Terminal 2 of the airport has registered structural failures and will require significant maintenance work. He also confirmed that he has already decided to limit the number of flights during maintenance work that does not involve the suspension of operations but a significant reduction in takeoffs and landings.

MEX’s Terminal 2 is the headquarters for Aeromexico, Mexico’s flagship airline, and was inaugurated in 2007 with a supposed operating range of 50 years. However, with a current high number of operations, it did not last 13 years until requiring significant maintenance.

In parallel, the Mexican government will promote the use of the new Felipe Angeles International Airport (AIFA by its Spanish acronym), located at the Santa Lucía military air base in the state of Mexico, which civil aviation terminal was inaugurated on March 21 with a final estimated cost of $3.7 billion.

To begin with, Mexico’s government intends to promote cargo flights and charters to the AIFA. However, most of the national and international flights must later operate at the international airport, instead of using the Benito Juárez terminal.

Site of what would have been the new Mexico City airport location. (photo via Greg Custer)

Four years ago, the federal government canceled the construction of the new Mexico City International Airport that was being built on Lake Texcoco, close to Mexico City—in which the previous government had already spent around $3 billion with an advance of 30 percent of that project.

In addition to the international airport of Mexico City (Benito Juárez), the country has the airports of Toluca, the new Felipe Angeles Airport in Santa Lucia, the state of Mexico, and Cancun Airport in Quintana Roo, as well as the air terminals of Guadalajara and Monterrey.

Passengers are expected to bring face masks to wear at the airport and onboard flights.
Passengers walking in an airport.(Photo courtesy of Alaska Airlines).

By the end of 2023, Tulum’s airport will have been finished by Mexican military engineers with an estimated cost of $49.3 million. From there, passengers will be able to fly back and forth to Dallas, Chicago, Houston, Bogota, and Panama, among many other international destinations.


Between 2020 and 2021, the FAA held an audit on Mexican authorities. The FAA decided to downgrade Mexico on May 25 of last year after finding up to 28 areas of non-compliance with minimum safety standards.

TSA security, airport security
Travelers in line at TSA checkpoint at airport (photo by Eric Bowman)

In a statement, the FAA explained: “The FAA is fully committed to helping the Mexican aviation authority improve its safety oversight system to a level that meets ICAO standards. To achieve this, the FAA is ready to provide expertise and resources to support the Agencia Federal de Aviacion Civil (AFAC) ongoing efforts to resolve the issues identified in the IASA process. Both AFAC and FAA share a commitment to civil aviation safety. Sustained progress can help AFAC regain Category 1.”

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Source: TravelPulse

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