Image credits: Carlos Aranda
News Article

AICM Terminal 2 Not Reconstructed but Renovated, Says Expert

By Fernando Mares | Mon, 08/01/2022 - 15:37

Mexico City International Airport (AICM) has been under public scrutiny since a pothole in one of the runways disrupted the airport's operations, as industry insiders point toward a deteriorating airport infrastructure, exacerbated by lacking maintenance and resource mismanagement. In this context, President López Obrador proposed an overhaul or reconstruction of Terminal 2, though some experts see the latter option as unlikely to materialize.

After AICM operated with just one runway and authorities announced the scheduled closures of runways due to maintenance works, many pointed toward the deterioration of Terminal 2. Commenting on the matter, the president said that the terminal, which was constructed during Vicente Fox’s presidential term, had deficient grounding works and proposed bracing works or even a full reconstruction of the terminal to remedy the issue. He added that he would ask for a technical study to evaluate options for a future president. 

During an audit for the construction of the now-canceled New Mexico City International Airport (NAICM), the Federal Superior Audit Office (ASF) mentioned that a study carried out by UNAM’s Engineering Institute in 2014 found that AICM already presented “sinking.” “This is relevant because the land where [NAICM] works are to be developed are near AICM and could present the same problems in the future,” ASF stated. 

In 2006, ASF determined that Aeropuerto y Servicios Especiales (ASA), the developer of Terminal 2, did not comply with regulations regarding the planning, programming, contracting and execution of the project. ASF highlighted that ASA did not check if works were aligned with the project or if the building’s precision leveling was done correctly among the buildings with different grounding methods. ASF added that ASA did not verify if TGC Geotecnia conducted the required 19 ground exploration studies. According to ASF, the company only conducted five studies. 

In an interview with El Financiero, a high-level officer that works on the restoration of AICM that preferred to remain anonymous said that contrary to what López Obrador says, the terminal is not sinking, but swelling due to a failure in the grounding works. He added that the terminal is not likely to be constructed but revamped. “We need to brace the interior part, since it is heaving, some pillars and their beams are not functioning. Therefore, we need to strengthen them, fill them or carry out other works… we are evaluating if there are simpler measures to solve it for the next ten years,” said the anonymous source, who added that a team is working on a plan to decide what to do with Terminal 2, which is expected to be delivered to the president in approximately 15 days.

The data used in this article was sourced from:  
MBN, La Jornada, El Financiero
Photo by:   Carlos Aranda
Fernando Mares Fernando Mares Junior Journalist and Industry Analyst