Mexican president opens new and distant airport

Mexico airport
Posted at 12:21 PM, Mar 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-20 15:21:07-04

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador is inaugurating one of his hallmark building projects, a new Mexico City airport that reflects the contrasts and contradictions of his administration.

His main campaign promise of government austerity is fully on display in the rather bare-bones terminal.

And there's his customary outsized reliance on the Mexican army.

But there are also widely ridiculed government claims about how long it will take passengers to get to the new terminal, located about 27 miles from the city center.

The president also complains that there is a conspiracy in the press to besmirch his new airport, which so far has attracted no major foreign airline.

The new airport will run in tandem with Mexico City’s existing airport, whose two, saturated terminals had been scheduled for closure under the earlier plan.

It is one of four keystone projects he is racing to finish before his term ends in 2024 — the airport, an oil refinery, a tourist train in the Yucatan Peninsula and a train linking Gulf coast and Pacific seaports — reflecting his vision that his is not just a normal, six-year presidential term. Mexico does not allow reelection.