Mexican President elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador has announced that a public referendum will be held to decide the fate of the New Mexico City Airport, currently under construction to the northeast of the city in Texcoco.
President López Obrador, who was elected in July and is set to assume office on December 1, 2018, is known to oppose the construction of the US$13bn airport – designed by a consortium led by architects Foster + Partners – and has labelled it a waste of taxpayers’ money. However, Obrador now seems content to leave the fate of the airport down to the public.
A statement on the president’s website said that the public would be presented with two options: the first, to continue with the construction of the new airport in Texcoco, which is already 31% complete; or, to cancel the current project and instead invest in the development of Santa Lucia Military Air Base, which would be expanded and would operate in partnership with the current airport, Benito Juárez International.
Commenting on the decision, President López Obrador said, “We should not worry about the time it takes us to decide, because it is a transcendent issue, it implies a decision that can mean the disbursement of public resources and we cannot take these decisions lightly, that is why this process has been chosen.”
Obrador explained that in these complicated cases it is best to ask the citizens, and as such, will be the first democratic exercise of the new presidency.
To read more and access the technical documents related to the New Mexico City Airport project, click here.