The director of Grupo Aeroportuario del Sureste (Asur), Héctor Navarrete Muñoz, informed that this year the international air terminal of the Yucatan capital registered a 10% growth in cargo movement, with 22 million 784 thousand 307 kilograms as of last November.
At a press conference held at Merida’s Manuel Crescencio Rejon International Airport to give a year-end report, Navarrete Muñoz informed that the terminal has between seven and 10 cargo lines.
Recently, the Secretaría de Fomento Turístico (Sefotur) indicated that this year the airport had a record number of passengers, with 2,764,201, from January to November, so there is a good chance that for the first time it will reach three million travelers.
Accompanied by Asur’s Project Director, David Scholz Moreno and Ana Muñoz Bello, manager of the private terminal, Navarrete Muñoz pointed out that this year is important because there has been an exponential growth of 2,764,201 passengers from January to November, as published in the Stock Exchange. “We are confident of ringing the bell and reaching the goal of three million passengers.”
Regarding cargo movement, he said that there is a great connection with different cities in the United States and that the cargo handled is perishable. Cargo airlines take cargo to different national and international destinations, especially maquiladora cargo.
He also assured that the airport can receive any type of cargo airplane, even the “giants” from the United States, such as the Galaxy, an aircraft in which two US presidents have come to Merida.
On the quality of service at the terminal, he considered that it is up to the passengers to rate it, “we have good opinions from passengers, just yesterday I received a letter from a person who was in France, who had lost his credential and they returned it to him”.
As for the remodeling works, he pointed out that they expect to conclude in June the ambulatory part where the Infrastructure Department is located.
Regarding the expansion, he said that it was divided into master plans, with five phases, of which the third one is already being worked on and the fourth one will start next year.
Navarrete Muñoz highlighted that one of the good news for next year is that there will be many conventions and important meetings in Yucatan, which will attract more visitors to the terminal. “Because of the group of routes that Asur works we hope to have more airlines, an airport has to keep working constantly that’s why we hope to have more destinations and more passengers.”
Regarding security, he pointed out that Yucatan is a great magnet for visitors; “regarding the airport, we have scooter, with which the guards can move, for now there are three and next year there will be six, and so on, because for us security is the most important thing”.
Likewise, he mentioned that last month personnel from the International Agency of the United States arrived to review the security of the terminal.
“Security is fundamental, it is the most important part of the airport and we take it very seriously; in the case of hurricanes, we have been holding an international seminar for 18 years in which personnel from all the airports in the Caribbean and the United States participate,” he said.
The executive said they have a good relationship with Civil Protection and participate in their events. “This airport is an alternate airport, it provides many services, not only in hurricanes, but in any other case, even to American destinations,” he noted.
Regarding the comparison with the air terminal in Cancun, Quintana Roo, Navarrete Muñoz affirmed that Merida’s airport is an alternative to the one in the neighboring state, so they help each other, “they are brothers of the same company“.
“Likewise, this tourist pole was on track to break the 26 million passenger barrier by the end of 2022. In 2019, before the pandemic, its peak of mobilized passengers was 25.1 million”, he highlighted.
Regarding the downgrading to level two of Mexico’s airports by U.S. authorities, he explained that international flights can come from the American Union, but national airlines cannot go to that country, because they have to cover a series of requirements requested by the U.S. Government, contemplated in the Chicago Agreement, which is in the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). They hope that the matter will be resolved soon, at the beginning of 2023.
The airport administrator, Óscar Carrillo Maldonado, pointed out that the Merida terminal complies with environmental regulations, since it has a wastewater treatment plant that meets the requirements for the water to return clean to the water table.
They also have studies for noise reduction and have installed solar panels in the public parking lot that allow them to have electric energy in an environmentally friendly manner.
Finally, he said that there will be a battery bank to keep some areas disconnected from commercial energy and that there is a free connection for electric cars in the parking lot.
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