The first stage of modernization of the Mexico City International Airport (AICM) will be finished before the end of 2019, according to Communications and Transportation Secretary Javier Jiménez Espriú.
Jiménez told reporters on Thursday that the improvements will bring the AICM into the modern age, where it will join airports like those of Cancún and Guadalajara.
“We are going to install the latest technology in this airport,” he said. “It doesn’t have up-to-date technology, even though it is the most important airport in the country, because they thought it was going to be abandoned.”
The improvements have a budget of 3 billion pesos (US $156 million), and include addressing sinking at Terminal 2.
“These are very important improvements, even though they may not be visible,” said Jiménez. “There has been uneven sinking in Terminal 2; the arms sank more than the center because the cementation was different, and we have to analyze that and restructure it to make sure that sinking will be even, because it can’t be avoided.”
The improvements also include modernizing runways in Terminal 2, remodeling washrooms and building new waiting rooms, which will convert the Mexico City airport into a “first-world” facility, Jiménez said.
He also said that work will begin soon on a third terminal, which will be located in the former presidential hangar and air force hangars.
Jiménez added that the public consultations for the construction of the new Santa Lucía airport began on Monday.
“We’ve started consulting neighboring communities to find out what effects the airport could have on nearby areas, so we can prevent those effects when possible, and mitigate them if we need to,” he said.
According to the Secretariat of the Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat) the consultation will end on June 12.
The previous government had planned to abandon the Mexico City airport in 2021 and replace it with a new one in Texcoco, just outside of Mexico City. But in a controversial 2018 referendum, voters chose instead to abandon that project and improve the current airport, complementing it with a second, smaller facility at the Santa Lucía air force base.