Entrepreneurs Ask for AICM InvestmentsBy Fernando Mares | Mon, 04/11/2022 - 22:29
Mexico City’s International Airport (AICM) lacks investment as it sees its income from government sources decrease over time, worry leading Mexican entrepreneurs, who ask for further resources to improve its infrastructure.
According to the Ministry of Finance, the 2021 project expenditure for the airport was US$151.7 million, an amount significantly smaller than the US$394.3 million spent in 2018. According to the AICM’s plan, the federal government will spend US$32,5 million on the airport this year. In an interview with El Heraldo de Mexico, Braulio Arsuaga, President, National Business Council on Tourism (CNET), said that new investment should be focused on the arrivals area, where long wait times cause problems for passengers and companies alike.
AICM is ranked the worst in a national tardiness index. In Sept. 2021, over 30 percent of flights to and from AICM were delayed for at least 15 minutes.
Carlos Slim, leading Mexican entrepreneur owner of Grupo Carso said that if authorities decided to operate under a three-airport system for Mexico City, then they would have to consider the modernization of the one airport that is located in the city.
“It is necessary to participate in the AICM project [through investment]. Unfortunately, we do not have receive this, though we should, because the airport is a calling card,” said Slim.
In 2018 AICM’s, two AICM terminals were highly saturated. The main solution to resolve this issue was through the contraction of an airport in Texcoco, though this project was canceled and replaced by the Felipe Angeles Airport (AIFA) in Santa Lucía.
The government opted for the three airports strategy, which consists of the expansion of the third terminal in AICM and an expansion of the underutilized International Airport of Toluca, as well as the construction of AIFA. This strategy aimed to replace the canceled mega-airport of Texcoco that Enrique Peña Nieto administration started. Experts fear this solution will not work because of the connectivity and demand issues surrounding the AIFA and Toluca projects.
“If there is no demand and economic factors are bad, ... investing in airports is not justified. we are still investing in useless airports,” commented Federico Dovali, an engineer and airport expert with more than 50 years of experience in airport construction.
In Dec. 2021, the government announced an investment of over US$50M to improve AICM’s facilities. The first Terminal to be remodeled is Terminal 1, the most timeworn terminal. Its waiting areas will be expanded, as the current spaces do not meet the airport’s normative standards.