Mexico is changing the entire operation of its three main airports to better distribute passengers, improving security for domestic and foreign users.

As part of the plan, the infrastructure of Terminal 2 of Mexico City’s Benito Juárez International Airport (MEX) will be strengthened through a $30 million investment.


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President Andrés Manuel López Obrador explained that the airport’s Terminal 2 has registered structural failures and will require significant maintenance work. He also confirmed that he has already decided to limit the number of flights during maintenance works that do not involve the suspension of operations, but a significant reduction of take-offs and landings.

MEX Terminal 2 is the headquarters for Aeromexico, Mexico’s main airline, and was inaugurated in 2007 with an assumed operating range of 50 years. However, with a high current number of operations, it did not last 13 years before requiring significant maintenance.

In parallel, the Mexican government will promote the use of the new Felipe Angeles International Airport (AIFA by its Spanish acronym), located at the Santa Lucía military air base in the state of Mexico, which civil aviation terminal was inaugurated on March 21 with a final estimated cost of $3.7 billion.

To begin with, the government of Mexico intends to promote cargo and charter flights in AIFA. However, most domestic and international flights have to operate later at the international airport, instead of using the Benito Juárez terminal.

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The site of what would have been the new location of the Mexico City airport. (photo by Greg Custer)

Four years ago, the federal government canceled construction of the new Mexico City International Airport being built on Lake Texcoco, near Mexico City—on which the previous government had already spent about $3 billion with a 30 percent down payment of that the project. .

In addition to the international airport of Mexico City (Benito Juárez), the country has the airports of Toluca, the new Felipe Angeles Airport in Santa Lucia, the state of Mexico and the Cancun Airport in Quintana Roo, as well as the air terminals of Guadalajara and Monterrey.

Passengers are expected to bring face masks to wear at the airport and on board flights.
Passengers walking in an airport. (Photo courtesy of Alaska Airlines).

By the end of 2023, the Tulum airport will be completed by Mexican military engineers at an estimated cost of $49.3 million. From there, passengers will be able to fly back and forth to Dallas, Chicago, Houston, Bogota and Panama, among many other international destinations.


Between 2020 and 2021, the FAA conducted an audit of the Mexican authorities. The FAA decided to downgrade Mexico on May 25 last year after finding up to 28 areas of non-compliance with minimum safety standards.

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Travelers in line at the TSA checkpoint at the airport (photo by Eric Bowman)

In a statement, the FAA explained: “The FAA is fully committed to helping the Mexican aviation authority improve its safety oversight system to a level that meets ICAO standards. To achieve this, the FAA is ready to provide expertise and resources to support the Federal Aviation Administration Agency’s (AFAC’s) ongoing efforts to resolve issues identified in the IASA process. Both AFAC and the FAA share a commitment to civil aviation safety. Sustained progress could help AFAC regain Category 1 .”

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