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Spotlight

New Mexico City International Airport

Wed, 02/22/2017 - 13:35

Mexico City’s International Airport is like a city unto itself. It provides jobs to over 35,000 people and receives more than 38 million passengers a year. The second largest airport in Latin America, it has been operating at overcapacity for the last few years and the exponential demand shows no sign of abating. The obvious solution is now well on its way to fruition: The New Mexico City International Airport (NAICM) is designed to meet the country’s aviation demand, including the capacity to receive over 120 million passengers a year.

But like a city, airports are one of the largest consumers of energy. According to CASCADE, about half the energy consumed at an airport is associated with the heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems. The architecture of the Terminal 1 building is designed to take advantage of its environment and to operate with 100 percent renewable energy. Fresh air will travel through the infrastructure, serving as a natural cooling system, lowering consumption levels, and natural daylight will keep lighting costs to a minimum.

The airport, located just 5km from the existing facility, will be equipped with two electrical substations that will create enough power for the terminal building, control tower, support buildings, visual aids and navigational systems. These substations will contain two feeders of 20MVA to 23kV, each with a proposed receiving substation (230kV to 23kV). The 23kV receiving substations will each have a capacity of 20MVA and will operate through underground duct banks lined with concrete, which will lead to the main distribution cells within the central service plant. At a minimum, an electric pass-through box, made of precast concrete, will be constructed every 165m along the feed run and wherever the total deviation of the pipeline bank rises to 180 degrees.

The Mexico City Airport Group (GACM) awarded the project in July 2016, to a consortium of Urisa, Isolux Corsán and Avanzia at a price of MX$1.1 billion. The group must finish it by December 2018. The consortium won due to its extensive experience constructing substations and transmission lines for CFE in the past. The project requires the construction and installation of high-voltage equipment, a fire-extinguishing system, three-phase transformers and a back-up power plant for the airport and control room. In addition to the outdoor and indoor lighting, it will power the air conditioning and power cable systems, energy metering, fiber-optic installation and grounding systems.