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Mexico City’s new airport set for bumpy takeoff

MEXICO CITY (AFP) – Three weeks before facing a midterm recall referendum, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador will today inaugurate his first major infrastructure pet project – a controversial new airport for Mexico City.

Built at a military air base outside the capital, Felipe Angeles International Airport is meant to take the pressure off the city’s Benito Juarez airport. But so far only a few airlines have agreed to use it, for a small number of mostly domestic flights.

Benito Juarez, which handled a record 50.3 million passengers in 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic and is located within Mexico City, is one of the busiest airports in Latin America.

Felipe Angeles, named after a general in the Mexican revolution, divided opinion from the start. After taking office in 2018, Lopez Obrador cancelled another airport project launched by the previous government that was already one-third complete.

Felipe Angeles International Airport located north of Mexico City. PHOTO: AFP