Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Guadalajara airport adds a second runway in bid to become ‘the hub of western Mexico’

With an eye on underlining its status as the major air travel hub of western Mexico, Guadalajara has invested 16 billion pesos (US $889 million) over the past five years for comprehensive improvements at its international airport.

The improvements include a new terminal and a second runway, which is expected to open in May, making Guadalajara’s the fourth airport in Mexico — after Mexico City’s two airports and the Cancún International Airport — to feature two runways.

The 3,500-meter runway will have the capacity to manage 60 operations per hour, alternating with the existing runway because they are only 275 meters apart.

Once the Transportation Ministry completes the certification and publications processes, the new runway will begin operations, airport director Martín Pablo Zazueta said.

Zazueta also said the construction of the new terminal should be completed by the end of June. The mixed-use area that will house shops, restaurants and a Hilton Garden Hotel could be inaugurated next month.

“We will then finish up the roads and facades so that the renovation is completed in December,” he said. “Afterward we will begin building a second terminal but that will be in a separate location so passengers will not be inconvenienced.”

The interior of the Guadalajara airport
In addition to a new runway and terminal, the Guadalajara airport plans to add a mixed-use area with shops, restaurants and a hotel. (Wikimedia Commons)

“We are looking to consolidate our status as a world-class airport” with the first stage of construction, which will be completed in December, Zazueta said.

“It’s a fact that Guadalajara has the opportunity to reinforce our claim as the hub of western Mexico,” he said. “And we already are, in many aspects, but these improvements will also allow us to take advantage of the dispersal of traffic from the Mexico City area.”

The Guadalajara International Airport is part of Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacífico, a firm that manages 14 airports in western Mexico, including five of the country’s top 10: No. 3 Guadalajara, No. 4 Tijuana, No. 6 Los Cabos (Baja California Sur), No. 7 Puerto Vallarta (Jalisco) and No. 9 León (Guanajuato).

Guadalajara, with 14.7 million passengers in 2023, is the firm’s biggest airport with Tijuana a close second (11 million passengers).

With reports from El Informador and El Economista

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