MEXICO CITY – The incoming Mexican government will “immediately” modernize the airports of Mexico City and Toluca, regardless of the results of a poll and plebiscite to determine the future of the New International Airport of Mexico (NAIM), which is being built in Texcoco, near the capital.
“We have to implement urgent and immediate actions to address the problem of saturation” in the capital’s current airport, the future administration’s secretary of Transport and Communications, Javier Jimenez Espriu, said during a press conference.
The future official said that the modernization of the capital’s airport would cost around 3 billion pesos ($156.6 million), while upgrading the airport in Toluca, 70km from Mexico City, would cost as much as $104.4 million.
From Oct. 24-28, a poll and a plebiscite will be carried out in 538 municipalities so that citizens have a say in whether to cancel or continue the construction of the NAIM, a monumental project launched by outgoing president Enrique Peña Nieto that has been criticized by President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.
The alternative to the NAIM that Lopez Obrador has suggested is maintaining the current Mexico City airport and expanding capacity by transforming the Santa Lucia military airbase into a civilian airport.
Espriu said Thursday that the NAIM “will not be inaugurated during the next administration,” as construction may not be concluded until 2024, which is why it is imperative to modernize the current airport “regardless of the results” of the plebiscite.