Contrary to claims made by the federal government, there are no problems with the foundations of Terminal 2 at the Mexico City International Airport (AICM) and the building isn’t sinking, according to the president of the College of Mexican Aeronautics Engineers (CIMA).
President López Obrador asserted last week that the 15-year-old terminal has structural damage, is sinking and needs to be shored up to ensure it doesn’t collapse. He even raised the possibility that the terminal might need to be rebuilt. His remarks came after the government announced funding of 46.5 million pesos (US $2.3 million) to repair structural damage in both terminals at AICM, Mexico’s busiest airport.
In an interview with the Reforma newspaper, CIMA president Jesús Navarro Parada countered the government’s assertions, claiming that Terminal 2 hasn’t sunk even one millimeter and that there is no issue with the foundations that support it. He said the terminal is supported by cement-filled steel columns that reach bedrock some 50 meters below the ground’s surface.
“It means that the building is perfectly anchored to the ground, it doesn’t move,” Navarro said. “… [But] we have to remember that the city and all the adjoining neighborhoods are sinking 10 to 12 centimeters per year,” he added.
López Obrador said last week that the ground on which Terminal 2 was built “wasn’t the most suitable,” and also criticized the previous government for undertaking an airport project on an ancient lakebed in Texcoco, México state, but Navarro said that modern engineering can overcome challenges posed by different types of land. The Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam was built on swampland and has been operating for years, he said.
“AICM has been there for more than 50 years and the land where it was built is the same [kind of] land where the Texcoco airport would be” if the current government had not canceled the project, the engineer said.
“Anyone who looks at an old map will see that it’s the same. So any land issues are solved by modern engineering,” Navarro said.
The CIMA chief predicted that Terminal 2 will be able to continue to function for many years to come – as long as it is maintained as required.
With reports from Reforma