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The brand-new airport, inaugurated by the Mexican president, will operate in conjunction with the existing one in the city.
The new Felipe Angeles International Airport (AIFA), considered one of the emblematic works of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, began operations on Monday with a flight of a local airline, with the presence of the president himself, who gave his press conference from there.
The airdrome's first flight took place at around 06H30 local time (12H30 GMT) when an Aeroméxico plane linked the Mexican capital with Tabasco, in the south of the country, less than three years after the Mexican Army started its construction.
The construction and start-up of the airport were one of President López Obrador's campaign promises, and now it's a reality. According to the Secretary of National Defense, Luis Cresencio Sandoval, during the opening day, the new airport planned 20 flights from local airlines Aeroméxico, Volaris and Viva Aerobus and the Venezuelan state-owned Conviasa, which will be the first to operate international commercial aviation, as well as two more cargo and private flights from the United States.
The new airport location, 43 km from the city center, sparked criticism from opponents, who said that passengers would face difficulties in reaching the terminal due to the heavy traffic in the capital and the limitations of public transportation.
Today in Mexico, the new Felipe Angeles International airport was inaugurated. This has been built by Mexican military engineers in record time, by order of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. Congratulations!! ¡¡Mexico is partying!! ���������������������������� pic.twitter.com/KVC9aqIXA9
Forecasts put at 19.5 million the total number of passengers who will be able to use its facilities each year in some 109,000 operations. The head of state, for his part, sees the new airport as a symbol of his battle against privilege and ostentation.
López Obrador canceled a costly project started by his predecessor Enrique Peña Nieto (2012-2018) on a swamp on the eastern edge of the city, much closer to downtown, and decided to build instead the new airdrome on firmer ground to the north. The new airport is projected to cost 4100 million dollars, representing a saving compared to the previous project.
The undersecretary of the Interior, Rabindranath Salazar, reported last week that the new airport will start with two pending connection works of the six planned, which are expected to be completed before the end of Lopez Obrador's term of office in 2024.