Mexico City’s new airport opens – 'mission accomplished', or is it?

Premium Analysis

Several new airports have opened in primary cities across the world in the past three to four years, including those at Istanbul, Beijing (Daxing) and Berlin. The one at Mexico City would have replaced the busiest airport in Latin America with a new, single-site and state-of-the-art facility; the airport was abruptly abandoned, partly completed and at huge cost, by the incoming president in 2018.

The ‘replacement', a converted military base out in the boondocks beyond city limits, where the military remains, has finally opened – at least on time, but with few air services and scant interest from international airlines. One of the issues facing the airport as it attempts to attract new airlines is its distance from downtown, the central business district and the southern suburbs.

In its first phase the airport will be able to handle 20 million passengers annually and in the second phase 40 million. In 2052 it is expected to serve approximately 90 million passengers a year.  

Halfway through the president's six-year term of office, the success or failure of the Felipe Ángeles International Airport may well turn out to be President Obrador’s ultimate legacy. 

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