17 | AGO | 2019
Mexican president announces new airport construction to start next week
Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López Obrador gives a speech during the inauguration of the Aerospace Fair 2019 at the Santa Lucía military airbase in Tecamac near Mexico City - Photo: Henry Romero/REUTERS

Mexican President announces new airport construction to start next week

24/04/2019
15:58
Reuters
Zumpango
Sharay Angulo
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The plan is a replacement for a part-built USD$13 billion Mexico City airport on the capital’s eastern flank which Lopez Obrador canceled on October 29, a few weeks before taking office

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Construction at a military base that is slated to host the Mexican capital’s new commercial airport will begin next week, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said at the site of the project on Wednesday.

“We will begin the construction of Mexico City’s new airport next Monday,” said López Obrador in a speech at the Santa Lucía military air base, north of the sprawling capital in the neighboring State of Mexico.

He did not further detail the construction plans, and it is not the first time the president has announced start time.

López Obrador said in late December that construction would begin in January for the controversial airport project being overseen by the military.

The plan is a replacement for a part-built USD$13 billion Mexico City airport on the capital’s eastern flank which Lopez Obrador canceled on October 29, a few weeks before taking office.
 

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Markets were shocked by that decision, which sparked a major sell-off in Mexican financial assets.

The now-scrapped airport on the dried-out bed of Lake Texcoco was the biggest public works project launched by López Obrador’s predecessor as president, Enrique Peña Nieto.

The leftist Lopez Obrador dismissed the Texcoco plan as tainted by corruption, geologically unsound, and too costly.
 

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Lopez Obrador’s idea is to convert the Santa Lucía base into a commercial airport and upgrade the capital’s current hub as well as another in the nearby city of Toluca.

The plan for Santa Lucía, which lies some 29 miles (47 km) north of the current Benito Juárez International Airport, is not popular with a number of prominent business leaders who were angry about the cancellation of the Texcoco airport.

Critics of the project argue that Santa Lucía’s distance from the capital will deter tourism and could complicate travel for connecting flights from Mexico City.

In addition, engineering experts have said the Santa Lucía airport may not be able to operate at the same time as the current hub because of conflicting flight paths.

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