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Thursday, January 26, 2023

Mérida will replace its airport with a new one, governor confirms

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Lee Steele
Lee Steele
Lee Steele is the founding director of Roof Cat Media and has published Yucatán Magazine and other titles since 2012. Sign up for our weekly newsletters, so our best stories will appear in your inbox every Monday.
The Mérida International Airport in 2020 was in midst of a huge expansion and renovation. Photo: Sipse

Mérida’s international airport, which has recently undergone an extensive expansion and multiple renovations, will be replaced by a larger one outside of the city, Gov. Mauricio Vila confirmed Monday.

Specifics will be announced in the coming weeks, he told local media.

The relocation of the Mérida Airport was rumored for years. It is speculated to be aligned somewhere along with the Mayan Train system, which is also slowly in the works.

Related: New Tulúm airport gets green light, details announced

Interviewed during an appearance in Progreso, where the Carnival Breeze was returning after a lengthy pause in cruise ship activity, said that the project will be entirely funded by private investment.

Moving the facility from the southern part of Yucatán’s capital will eliminate noise and improve the quality of life for thousands of residents, he said. Just four years ago, the overall plan was to build hotels and shops around the existing airport. A multi-million-peso expansion was completed in anticipation of increased traffic for years to come.

The Merida international airport as it appeared on a 1950s postcard.

The governor positioned the project as a way for Yucatán’s economy to earn back some of its pre-pandemic luster.

Mérida’s current airport is capable of accommodating aircraft as large as Boeing 747s and 777s. However, most planes landing there are smaller, most commonly the Boeing 737 and Airbus A320.

The Mérida international airport has been updated many times since the 1960s. Photo: File

The Manuel Crescencio Rejon International Airport was first built in 1928 and has been remodeled and enlarged often since the late 1960s.

In April, industry insiders reportedly speculated that the cost of the new airport is likely to surpass 10 billion pesos. What would become of the current airport site was not announced.

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