Relocation of the Mérida, Yucatán, airport in order to simplify connections with the Maya Train is under consideration by the National Tourism Promotion Fund (Fonatur).
Fund director Rogelio Jiménez Pons said Mérida International Airport would be moved to the southern part of the city so that it will be accessible by a stop on the new passenger train.
Jiménez made the announcement on Tuesday at the third annual Sustainable and Social Tourism Summit in Cancún. He said the new airport would not add any costs to the train project because it would be financed by private real estate companies, with Fonatur only acting as manager.
Jiménez noted that the airport move is still only a proposal, and that Yucatán Governor Mauricio Vila Dosal will have the final say on whether it goes ahead. In an interview with the newspaper El Economista, Jiménez said he had talked to Vila and the governor is inclined to support the project.
“We’re working on it, and we can’t hide that we’re working on it,” he said. “Our role in this project is to get people enthusiastic about it, including investors because, as I said, it’s a completely private project.”
He added that the current Mérida airport, while successful, is creating problems because it has been absorbed by the city’s growth, and that Mérida could be better served by a new facility.
If the move goes ahead, the Maya Train would have two stops in Mérida, one at the airport and one closer to the city center, near Paseo Montejo. The new terminal would be designed by Mexican architect Enrique Norten, and managed by the Grupo Aeroportuario del Sureste.
According to the Communications and Transportation Secretariat, the Mérida airport was the seventh-busiest airport in the country by passenger traffic in 2018, and is the fifth fastest-growing airport this year.
Source: El Economista (sp)