Tulum’s New Airport Begins Construction
The construction of the Tulum airport began on April 3, along with sections 6 and 7 of the Mayan Train. Like the construction and operation of the Felipe Angeles International Airport (AIFA), the military will also oversee this infrastructure project. The new airport is part of a plan to equip the ‘Mayan Riviera’ with better tourism infrastructure, following the Mayan Train’s example.
"It will be a high-quality international airport, just like AIFA," said President López Obrador. The airport will be built very close to Tulum, in the municipality of Felipe Carrillo Puerto, where the government acquired 1,200 ha from ejidatarios toward the construction of the new airport.
Just as with AIFA, the federal government entrusted the project to the defense ministry. The airport is expected to be completed by the end of 2023, together with the Mayan Train.
López Obrador affirmed that the new airport will help address Cancun’s airport saturation: "This airport is going to help a lot because Cancun's airport is saturated with up to 600 daily operations. The Tulum airport is required to continue receiving tourists, as the region will continue growing."
The president also proposed that the New Tulum Airport should be named Felipe Carrillo Puerto Airport, in honor of the revolutionary figure and former governor of Yucatan.
Public information about the new Tulum airport and the military airbase that will complement it remains limited. So far, it is known that the airport will have a 3,500m runway, 10cm-thick asphalted taxiways and asphalt-paved aprons for commercial, general and cargo aviation. The allocated budget is MX$950 million (US$48 million). The main purpose of both the airport and the airbase is to contribute to the improvement of surveillance operations carried out by the Ministry of Defense on Mexico’s southern border and to become a reference in meteorological information gathering.
As military projects, the new Tulum airport and AIFA share multiple similarities. Both airports are developed on military bases: whereas AIFA was built on Military Air Base No. 1 in Santa Lucia, State of Mexico, the Tulum airport will be constructed on the Tulum Naval Air Base. In addition to the Tulum’s civil airport, a military city with an airbase will be built in Quintana Roo, just like at Santa Lucia. General Gustavo Vallejo will also lead the construction. AIFA was completed in three years, while the Tulum airport must be completed in one year. Lastly, the President will also name the new airport after a relevant figure of the Mexican Revolution.