Mexican airlines in Mexico City, which airport concentrates almost half of the passengers that transit through the country, will have to face the challenge of operating in a system of three simultaneous airports: the AICM (Mexico City), Toluca and Santa Lucia.
The government’s plan, after canceling the Texcoco airport project, is to enable the Santa Lucía military base as a commercial airport, and to reinforce the capacity of the Toluca and Mexico City airports, as a solution to the air space saturation of the Mexican capital. Faced with this plan, the airlines have not yet defined what the next step will be, since the details need to be revelaed by the AMLO administration. But, so far they have not outlined a detailed plan on the subject.
The fact is, that Mexican airlines in Mexico City, which airport concentrates almost half of the passengers that transit through the country, will have to face the challenge of operating in a system of three simultaneous airports: the (Mexico City) AICM, Toluca and Santa Lucia.
Despite saying that they have several plans to operate without the Texcoco airport, the aeronautical sector is still waiting for AMLO’s government to finalize their specific plan.
Carlos Correa, CEO of Aeromar stated: “We have just started what it seems like a long process that will take several months of negotiations with the government and the authorities to take the best decisions for the aviation industry and the final consumer”.
The airline industry, represented by the International Air Transport Association (IATA, for its acronym in English), warned the Mexican government that having three simultaneous airports will hinder the operation for airlines, will not solve the problem of air saturation in the Mexican capital in the long term, could even be unsafe and of course, more costly.
In addition, senior IATA executives commented that it is extremely unusual to see that a military air base is turned into a civil international airport, to serve commercial airlines.
Think for a moment that you need to go to Mexico City and they want you to land on an airport 40 miles north of your destination and then they tell you that it will take you between two and three hours to get to your hotel in the city (depending on traffic).
Now think that you’re flying out of any American, Canadian or European airport bound to Mexico City, where you are planning to land and take another plane to Cabo, Vallarta, Cancun or any other beach destination, and they tell you that you’re going to land in Santa Lucía, and then you need to take a two-three hour shuttle trip to a different airport in CDMX or Toluca.
AMLO’s idea of canceling the Texcoco airport because there was supposedly a large corruption network behind that project (that’s what he said), can be extremely expensive, not to mention less viable for national, international tourists, who are going to avoid the “Three Airport Nightmare” anyway they can, it’s just logical.
Mexico needs more tourists coming to leave an economic spill, and activate an industry that employs millions of people nationwide, but the president has made this situation a lot more difficult for everyone (including himself).
When asked about the IATA statements, AMLO replied: “These organizations, sometimes are not very professional”, referring to the International Air Transport Association IATA. Which international association could be more specialized and knowledgeable when it comes to aeronautics (air routes, airports, aircrafts, etc.)?
By Alejandro Azcárate for The Yucatan Times
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