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While Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) once touted the recently constructed Felipe Ángeles International Airport (AIFA) as the potential go-to hub for Mexico City air operations, new data from Mexico’s Secretariat of National Defense (Sedena) – which runs the Zumpango-based facility – revealed that the AIFA has barely completed 3 percent of what the Mexico City International Airport (AICM) has managed to mobilize throughout the past 10-month time frame.

Citing data sourced from between April 2022 and January 2023, the Sedena report detailed that the AICM served 40,168,449 travelers throughout this 10-month period, while the AIFA only managed to process 1,084,762 national and international passengers through its facilities during this same time frame.

According to air sector expert Fernando Gómez, the AIFA’s infrastructure should be capable of handling between 20 and 30 percent of the AICM’s operational volume, but a lack of proper promotion of the airport has caused the AIFA to be much less profitable than it has the potential to be.

“The promotion of the AIFA should have been before its inauguration,” said Gómez. “Bilateral agreements should have been reached and local industries invited and agreements generated, but it was not done due to ignorance, omission and negligence.”

Gómez also noted that the AIFA does not create consumer demand by offering new or special routes, but instead mainly acts as an alternative to the AICM through prioritizing operations to Quintana Roo, Jalisco and Baja California, all of which are widely covered by the AICM’s own services.

“Although the volume of passenger transport at AIFA has increased gradually, it has not progressed faster because it is not a terminal that has inaugurated a new route, but rather complements an existing airport,” continued the air sector expert.

Gómez went on to say that Mexico’s Category 2 airspace ranking by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) – which downgraded Mexican airspace from a Category 1 almost two years ago in May 2021 – likewise limits the AIFA’s potential operational output and profitability, as a Category 2 ranking prohibits Mexico from establishing new routes into the United States, including from the brand-new terminal.

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