Friday, June 14, 2024

Mexico City airport upgrade to make it less commercial, more ‘humanist’

The federal government intends to make the Mexico City airport less commercial and more comfortable for everyday passengers.

Prepared by the Ministry of Communications and Transportation (SCT), the 2020-2024 plan for the airport says the facility should no longer be thought of as a commercial center.

During the previous federal government, commercial activities at the airport were prioritized over making the facility comfortable and user-friendly for passengers and employees, the SCT said.

“Employees lack tools to do their jobs and poor signage causes more confusion than certainty,” the ministry said. “In order to counteract this situation, the experience of users will be improved.”

The Benito Juárez International Airport, which is operated by the government-owned corporation Aeropuertos y Servicios Auxiliares, will be transformed to make it more functional, comfortable and sustainable, according to the 2020-2024 plan.

The airport will also be made more user-friendly for vulnerable groups of people such as the disabled, the SCT said.

Waiting rooms will be expanded, escalators, elevators and moving walkways will be replaced, baggage carousels and air conditioning systems will be upgraded and taxi and bus pick-up and drop-off zones will be made safer and more efficient in addition to a range of other projects.

To guide the airport’s transformation, management will consult with experts and take the views of airlines, taxi companies and security firms into account, the document said. The SCT said that airport management will not yield to interest groups, which it charged have dictated airport decisions for decades.

The ministry asserted that there are too many premium lounges in the airport’s two terminal buildings and not enough areas where equal conditions are guaranteed for all passengers.

The airport can be part of the so-called “fourth transformation” the government says it is carrying out by being a “humanist and social” facility, the SCT said. The economic inequality and exclusion established there in recent decades must come to an end, it added.

The document, which has been approved and submitted to the National Commission for Regulatory Improvement, said the airport’s funding and profits between 2013 and 2018 totaled more than 64.7 billion pesos (US $3 billion at today’s exchange rate).

The airport was allocated “extraordinary resources for the permanent modernization of infrastructure but abandonment prevailed,” it said.

“Essential resources were approved for the rehabilitation of aeronautical facilities while the terminal buildings and support areas were forgotten.”

The document charged that the quality of services offered at the airport to passengers was diminished during the previous government, which envisioned that the facility would close once the (now-canceled) new Mexico City airport was built.

The government is building a new airport at the Santa Lucía Air Force Base north of the capital but sees the existing airport, as well as that in Toluca, México state, as part of a three-prong plan to meet future demand for airline services to and from the greater Mexico City area.

Source: El Economista (sp) 

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