Santa Lucia Will Reach Overcapacity in Five Years: AlmaguerBy Sofía Hanna | Wed, 03/24/2021 - 08:22
The Felipe Ángeles International Airport in Santa Lucia has been subject to multiple criticisms during its development. The most recent issue pointed out is that the airport is expected to be saturated in five years.
“There is no denying that the airport can be operated, but its useful life will be limited to five years. Once it starts operating, it will be very limited because it will not allow more than three runways, which will not allow simultaneous operations,” said David Almaguer, President of the Board of Directors of the Association of Aeronautical Engineers, in an A21 article. There have been multiple studies done since the 80s that track the growth of the aeronautical sector in Mexico, particularly in Mexico City, which shows an exponential growth trend. The limited capacity of this airport presents a problem. Almaguer also stated that AICM would have to carry out around 600 daily operations to maintain optimal security levels, while today the realistic number is 900 operations.
The plan to have a new airport started in 1995. Texcoco offered the best option based on the needs and objectives mapped for the future. It had very advanced engineering to tackle its terrain problems and its dimensions allowed it to be a super airport. It even had six runways, one for military operation and five more. Three of these would be able to operate simultaneously.
Other issues have to do with airlines. According to an El Economista article, there have been airlines like Volaris that have not yet decided whether they will operate at Santa Lucia until appropriate conditions exist in terms of safety, infrastructure, service capacity and costs. In terms of planning, as previously mentioned by MBN, there have been issues with the communication between airlines and construction companies regarding passengers’ needs.
“When Texcoco resumes, it would respond to all operational and commercial demand to ensure long-term operations for between 50 and 60 years,” said Almaguer, hinting that it would be necessary to have another airport in addition to Mexico City and Santa Lucia.