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IATA urges government-industy dialogue in Mexico

The international airport was designed for 32 million passengers annually but handled 48 m in 2018

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) called on the government of Mexico to work closely with the air transport industry as it develops airport infrastructure to meet growing demand for air connectivity in the country’s main gateway of Mexico City.

Mexico City International Airport was designed for 32 million passengers annually but handled 48 million in 2018. The new Mexican government cancelled the New Mexico City International Airport (NAIM) project which was under construction with a design capacity of 120 million. With passenger traffic set to grow by 3.6% annually over the next two decades, Mexico faces a capacity crisis in its capital.

The government is now proposing a three-airport system for the city: continued operation of the current Mexico City International Airport, increased use of Toluca Airport and conversion of the Santa Lucia Airbase for civilian use. Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO at the opening of the "Aviation Summit Mexico" hosted by IATA with the support of Canaero, ALTA and ACI-LAC.

Aviation is critical to Mexico economic and social development. The industry contributes some US$38 billion to the Mexican economy and supports 1.4 million Mexican jobs.

While the government is developing details of its NAIM alternative plans, IATA laid out some key considerations:

Basic airline needs must be met. The goal is to deliver sufficient infrastructure to meet demand must be made available, matched to user needs, and at costs that are affordable.  

Airline experience must be taken into consideration. Airlines have vast experience in understanding both passenger and market needs. So they are also in the best position to make decisions on which airport to serve in light of commercial realities.

Air Traffic Management must support safe and efficient operations. 

Scarce slot capacity must be allocated in full compliance with IATA Worldwide Slot Guidelines (WSG). The WSG is a fair, transparent and global system that works on accepted global standards at over 200 airports.

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