The Mexico City International Airport (AICM) has the third most expensive airport services tariff in the world despite offering a sub-par service, says the Tourism Secretariat.
The charge, known in Mexico as the TUA, is currently US $35, and came behind only those of Panama, at $40, and Bogota, at $37, in an analysis of the world’s principal 21 airport terminals. The average tariff at airports in Europe is $23.30.
Aviation specialist Fernando Gómez Suárez told Milenio that the federal government has increased the TUA by 60% in the last five years in order to boost revenue and pay for the debt it incurred while building the airport’s Terminal 2.
Gómez also said that international entities such as the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) have noted that the TUA at the Mexico City airport is expensive.
In response, the Tourism Secretariat (Sectur) has requested that federal Communications and Transportation Secretariat (SCT) reduce the amount of the tariff in order to maintain the competitiveness of the country’s “most important hub.”
Sectur observed that airports use tariff-related income to guarantee the safety of their passengers and to pay for upkeep and modernize infrastructure, yet the AICM’s image is bad and tourist reception services are appalling.
The airport often has only six immigration officials on hand to receive flights of 300 passengers, resulting in waiting times of up to an hour and a half.
Sectur also says the airport’s infrastructure needs attention: it is lacking in air conditioning, it smells bad and the washrooms leave much to be desired.
Gómez also pointed out that an airport’s tariffs have a direct impact on airline ticket prices, because passengers end up paying them.
“The cost of TUA represents up to 42% of the ticket price on some routes,” he said, adding that it was a paradoxical situation because while Sectur strives to attract more passengers, transportation authorities dissuade them with their steep charges.
The Mexican Association of Hotels and Motels has recommended subsidizing terminals instead.
Source: Milenio (sp)