Yes, a disgrace of an airport. With all its letters. The “airport” inaugurated Tuesday by the Mexican president on the grounds of the Santa Lucia military base is a ridiculous masquerade that Mexicans will pay for decades as the country clings to the vices of corruption, “humility,” and backwardness.
First, the glossary
- The AICM is Mexico City’s current airport, which is already completely saturated, charges one of the highest usage fees in the world and in general terms is collapsing.
- The NAIM is the airport that the previous federal government began to build, and which López Obrador cancelled as part of a strictly political tantrum, costing taxpayers at least an estimated $6 billion dollars.
- The AIFA is the multi-million dollar eyesore with which López Obrador replaced the NAIM, a work in which they already spent approximately $5 billion dollars, but only delivered a shell that was poorly done, incomplete and in gray work.
The world-class airport that could have been
The NAIM, which Peña Nieto’s government began to build in Texcoco, was not only an architectural marvel and offered a relatively close option to the urban area of Mexico City, but was also intended to consolidate itself as one of the most important logistic and transportation hubs in the world.
It was to be an authentic bridge connecting South America with the United States, Europe, and the world, with 6 runways, 210 platforms, and a capacity of up to 120 million people per year, a figure three times greater than the capacity of the current airport and enough to place the NAIM in third place in the world by number of passengers, only surpassed by London and Istanbul.
The mediocre airport built by AMLO
The AIFA is a mockery. It has no terminal or runway, the hotel is a half-built facade, the “VIP areas” have no floor, many of the facilities have no drinking water, the improvised stores would not be worthy of any self-respecting grocer in a popular neighborhood: products poorly arranged on ugly shelves and with all the appearance that they were simply placed “for the photo.”
The AIFA is a quagmire of corruption, because the Mexican Army, to which the President entrusted the work, did not disclose the vast majority of the expenses. Ghost companies (even linked to the Venezuelan dictatorship) and newly created ones received contracts totaling hundreds of millions of pesos.
AIFA does not have good road connectivity. The situation is so serious that even Obradorism’s own “influencers,” such as “Lord Molecule” got lost in the early hours of the morning, while on their way to the inauguration. In his own words: “We have problems. Look, it looks like we are still lost.”
The airport that Peña Nieto was building was a world-class project. On the other hand, the “airport” that López Obrador “inaugurated” today debuts with literally a handful of domestic flights, barely 2,000 passengers and literally only one international flight… to Caracas… with the airline of the Chavista regime.
An disgrace of an airport, by design
The AIFA, inaugurated by a plethora of military men turned into the president’s business partners, with street stalls, street vendors on the ground and anafres to heat the garnachas and sell tacos, is not only the result of a work and a deeply corrupt and inept government, but a perverse one.
It is not by chance, it is the design of Obradorism, which appeals to the corrupt “humility” that runs through the veins of the country, which rejects the future and progress, which condemns progress by accusing it of being arrogant and “aspirational”, which romanticizes the poor… in order to impoverish them even more.
A government that instead of paying for a luxury airport, paid much more, but for an ugly airport, useless, but poor and therefore (in its narrative) good. With taco tables, tarot tables and Obrador’s stuffed animals. As AMLO’s favorite Claudia Sheinbaum put it, “AIFA constitutes the essence” of the regime, and it is a pestilent essence.
Gonzalo Monroy explained it brilliantly: while those of us who supported the canceled NAIM saw in an airport on a par with the best in the world “the door to the Mexico that can be,” Obradorism turned AIFA into “a reflection of folklore, of the small-town Mexico that was,” and to which AMLO wants to tie us to.