Is it viable or necessary to relocate the Mérida Airport?

Back in November 2018, the former director of the airport of Mérida, Alfonso Pereira Palomo, said that although it was not necessary, it was viable to move from its current location the international airport of the City of Merida “Manuel Crescencio Rejón”, to detonate the economic development of the southern part of the city.

Back then, businessman Periera Romo said that the move was not necessary, because he insisted that the current airport of Merida had much to offer yet, however he added that if relocated, it could generate a new economic balance between the south and north of the city.

“I believe that today the city has grown at an accelerated pace and in a disorganized way, and an eventual change in the location of the airport could contribute to a “social balance” between northern and southern Merida. A work of this magnitude could take a state government just over two years to materialize,” added Pereira Palomo.

However, three days ago the state government expressed its surprise at the statements made by the head of Fonatur, Rogelio Jiménez Pons, in the sense that the project to relocate the Mérida airport, comes from the private Yucatecan initiative.

Contrary to what the federal official affirmed, the state government stressed that the project was announced by the Federation and even Fonatur financed the draft and hired a renown Mexican architect who is working on it.

The State Executive emphasized that since the first meeting of Governor Mauricio Vila Dosal with President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, in the National Palace, the topic of the Maya Train and the different infrastructure works that could be included in the project were discussed, including the possible relocation of the Mérida air terminal.

As for potential investors, the government indicated that there are many people from the private sector, including Aeropuertos del Sureste (Asur), who have expressed their interest in participating in this project in the event that it should materialize, although he reiterated that ” all the proposals are in conceptual phase”.

Fact is that Rogelio Jiménez Pons, general director of the National Fund of Tourism Promotion (Fonatur), informed that the federal government is contemplating the idea of closing down the International Airport of Mérida, Yucatan, to build a brand new one in the south of the city, that will be granted to a private operator and financed through public and private investment.

Rogelio Jiménez Pons, general director of the National Fund of Tourism Promotion (Fonatur)

This announcement was made by Jimenez Pons on Tuesday June 25, during his participation at the Sustainable & Social Tourism Summit, which took place in Cancun from June 23 to the 26. The official mentioned that they are analyzing the possibility, because they want the new airport to be linked to one of the terminals that the Maya Train will have in the “White City”.

So, the question is: Is this one of more of the infamous AMLO’s ideas? Or is it really a project that has been properly analyzed and studied by experts in the field of urban development?

by Alejandro Azcárate for The Yucatan Times