Cancelled Texcoco Airport Wins Architecture AwardBy Lorenzo Núñez | Thu, 05/06/2021 - 11:19
The project that would have become the New Mexico City Airport (NAIM), located in Texcoco, State of Mexico, won a Rethinking the Future Award 2021 in the Transportation category. This airport was meant to finish construction by 2024 but it was cancelled by the current administration and replaced by Felipe Angeles International Airport in Santa Lucía.
The project was designed by a team led by Fernando Romero and Norman Foster. The project’s aim was to revolutionize airport design and the experience of traveling by creating an infrastructure that would prevail during the 21st century and become an icon for Mexico throughout the rest of time, according to the Rethinking the Future Awards website.
Rethinking the Future’s team also praised its intense colors, symbols of Mesoamerican and Mexican culture, and its "light, unified structure that evokes the thrill of travel" as factors that led the annual architectural program to bestow the award to this project. It also highlighted the local lightweight materials that compose its structure and the systematized 4-year construction period that would minimize environmental impact. As reported by Inmobiliare, Rethinking the Future also stated that the airport aimed to provide a beautiful, uplifting and memorable experience to people from all over the world.
This Texcoco airport was set to finish construction by 2024 but it has yet to survive the current administration’s agenda, which suspended its construction in 2019 and named Felipe Angeles International Airport in Santa Lucía as the official new airport. However, experts have warned that Felipe Angeles will reach overcapacity in only 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.
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 of them for military operations. Three runways would be able to operate simultaneously, from MBN. In addition, some airlines, like Volaris, have not yet decided whether they will operate at Santa Lucia until the appropriate conditions are met in terms of safety, infrastructure, service capacity and costs.