Quintana Roo in the Yucatán Peninsula is set to become the first state in Mexico to have four international airports.
The Tulum airport, which is set to open on Dec. 1, will join the state’s existing airports in Cancún, Cozumel and Chetumal.
The island of Cozumel was the first major tourist destination with an airport in Quintana Roo. It was inaugurated in 1943 and has two separate areas for national and international flights with eight boarding gates – six for international flights and two for domestic flights.
According to data from Grupo Aeroportuario del Sureste, which operates nine airports in the southeast, Cozumel airport received over half a million visitors in 2021. It surpassed that figure a year later, receiving over 600,000 travelers in 2022.
Next is the Cancún International Airport, which opened in 1974. It is Mexico’s second-busiest airport (following the AICM in Mexico City) and the third-busiest in Latin America for international passengers.
The Cancún airport has two runways and four terminals that serve the 64 airlines operating in the airport, offering 118 international and 29 domestic destinations.
The Chetumal airport, located in the south of the state, also opened in the 1970s and was recently renovated by the government of López Obrador.
According to Aeropuertos y Servicios Auxiliares, a state-owned corporation which operates and part-operates several airports, the Chetumal airport received 279,525 passengers in 2021 and over 370,000 visits in 2022.
The new Felipe Carrillo Puerto International Airport in Tulum is one of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s major projects, along with the Felipe Ángeles International Airport in Mexico City and the Maya Train, which will traverse the Yucatán Peninsula.
“The transformation is advancing by leaps and bounds. In the south-southeast we have major works and municipalities connected through the Maya Train, the train of social justice,” said Quintana Roo Governor Mara Lezama in a recent visit to the airport facilities.
Even though there are already four airports in the state, the new Tulum airport will make it even easier for tourists to visit the Riviera Maya. Until now, Tulum-bound tourists have had to drive there – and, in the case of those coming from Cozumel, take a ferry as well.
The airport will have the capacity to receive 5.5 million passengers per year. It is located within 100 miles of the resort destination of Playa del Carmen, the colonial city of Valladolid and the Chichén Itzá archaeological site.
The airport occupies over 75,000 square meters of construction and according to Governor Lezama, will be Mexico’s first “green” airport, designed to protect and preserve local wildlife and mitigate environmental impact.