Mexican president inaugurates new capital airport

Mexico City, Mar 21 (EFE).- “Mission accomplished,” Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Monday during the inauguration of this capital’s new international airport.

“We have not taken out loans, everything has been financed with the public budget and we have not handed out concessions. This belongs to the nation,” he said at Felipe Angeles International Airport (AIFA).

The leftist president, known by his initials as AMLO, said that the same process is being used in his administration’s other ambitious infrastructure projects: the Dos Bocas oil refinery and the Tren Maya passenger railway across southeastern Mexico.

“They belong to the nation, to the people of Mexico, not to individuals,” he said.

Shortly after taking office in December 2018, AMLO put a halt to Enrique Peña Nieto’s plan for a $13.3 billion new airport serving Mexico City.

The president ordered the vast construction site in Texcoco cleared and transformed into a nature reserve, while ordering the army to expand the Santa Lucia airbase and connect it to the existing civilian airport.

AIFA, which covers 384,128 sq m (4.1 million sq ft), can accommodate 119,000 flights a year, project chief engineer Raul Miranda Rubalcaba told reporters during a tour.

The first arrival at the new terminal was on Sunday, while the first departing flight took off at 6:30 am Monday bound for Villahermosa, capital of the southeastern state of Tabasco.

Twenty flights carrying more than 2,000 travelers are scheduled for the first full day of operations, Defense Secretary Luis Cresencio Sandoval said.

The AMLO administration last week cited a price tag of nearly 75 billion pesos ($3.6 billion) for AIFA, but capital daily El Universal said the project will cost Mexican taxpayers around 116 billion pesos ($5.6 billion). EFE ia/dr

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