Mexico City Nixes $13 Billion Plan for New Airport

Oct 30, 2018

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Mexican officials have scrapped a $13 billion plan for a brand new airport on the outskirts of Mexico City after 70% of voters rejected the project in a national referendum.

The infrastructure project was one of Mexico’s largest ever and had been underway since 2015. Sitting in Mexico City’s northeastern suburb of Texcoco on a drained lakebed, the site was more than one third completed with $5 billion already sunk into construction when voters struck it down over the weekend.

The new airport’s build site in Texcoco, Mexico, from the window of a plane taking off from Mexico City’s current airport in April 2018. (Photo by Alberto Riva/TPG)

The new airport was slated to feature state-of-the-art design from British architect Norman Foster, along with an 8-million-square-foot new terminal and three runways. The first phase of the airport would’ve opened in 2020 and have been able to handle 68 million passengers per year. That is 26 million more passengers per year than the capital city’s current airport, Aeropuerto Internacional Benito Juárez (MEX), which was Latin America’s busiest airport after 42 million passengers passed through last year. Benito Juárez International is struggling with overcrowding and is rapidly aging.

The new airport’s subsequent expansion phase would have added three additional runways, raising the capacity to 125 million passengers per year, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

The new airport’s construction became a controversial issue during Mexico’s recent presidential election. During his campaign, incoming Mexican president Lopez Obrador accused the project of being rife with corruption because many of the construction contracts went to companies under the umbrella of a single Mexican billionaire, Carlos Slim.

Only 1% of Mexico’s eligible voter population reportedly participated in the weekend’s vote. The referendum was nonbinding, but Obrador said he would respect the vote’s result and end the project. To replace the project, the president-elect, who officially takes office Dec. 1, has suggested transforming a military air base into a commercial operation by adding three new runways.

Featured image PEDRO PARDO/AFP/Getty Images.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Recommended Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.