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Mexico City Airport announces major upgrades and modernizations

Mexico City International Airport (AICM) is getting a facelift: its director announced Thursday that “maintenance, conservation and modernization projects” totaling 2.2 billion pesos ($129.4 million) are planned for this year.

Vice Admiral José Ramón Rivera Parga told President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s morning press conference that some projects have already started, but most will be implemented after the completion of their respective procurement process.

The airport chief gave an overview of how the 2.2 billion pesos will be spent.

  • 558.6 million pesos will be used to purchase 18 X-ray machines and 10 CT scanners to inspect baggage, as well as 17 X-ray machines and 12 “explosive detectors” that will be installed at passenger review points.
  • 547.1 million pesos will go to runway projects, including the construction of new asphalt and the modernization of lighting systems.
  • 488.9 million pesos will be allocated to a series of maintenance projects inside and outside AICM’s two terminals. This includes repairing leaks, closing potholes in taxiways and maintaining baggage belts.
  • 331.9 million pesos will go towards the rehabilitation of the airport’s main taxiway, known as Rodaje Bravo. “It is the main (taxiway) … for aircraft operating at Terminal 1 because it runs the entire length of the terminal,” Rivera said.
  • The remaining funds – approximately 300 million pesos – will be used for a range of different projects, including maintenance of drainage systems; upgrades to public bathrooms in both terminals; the replacement of 12 elevators; and the installation of new air conditioning systems.

Rivera said 1.49 billion pesos for the projects will come from the federal budget, while the remaining 705.7 million pesos that will be used are the airport’s “own resources.”

Just over 48.4 million passengers used AICM last year, making the capital’s airport the busiest in the country. The number increased by 4.7% compared to 2022.

AICM Director Rivera announced the funds during the president's press conference Thursday morningAICM Director Rivera announced the funds during the president's press conference Thursday morning
AICM Director Rivera announced the funds during the president’s press conference Thursday morning. (LopezObrador.org.mx)

In early 2022, the Federal Civil Aviation Agency declared that both terminals at the Mexico City International Airport (AICM) had reached saturation point, while in January the number of flights per hour was reduced from 52 to 43.

The Felipe Ángeles International Airport (AIFA), which opened just north of Mexico City in March 2022, should ease pressure on AICM, but passenger numbers there remain quite low, although they have increased significantly in the first months of 2024 .

Reaching AIFA is time-consuming for many Mexico City residents, especially those living in the south of the capital, and the planned rail link to the airport from the capital’s Buenavista neighborhood has not yet opened.

Compounding the airport’s challenges in attracting passengers is the fact that it currently only offers a very limited number of international flights.

Mexico News Daily