Mexico City International Airport
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (August 2014)|
|Mexico City International Airport
Aeropuerto Internacional de la Ciudad de México
|Mexico City International Airport as seen from a satellite before the construction of Terminal 2.|
|IATA: MEX – ICAO: MMMX|
|Owner||Grupo Aeroportuario de la Ciudad de México|
|Operator||Aeropuertos y Servicios Auxiliares|
|Serves||Mexico City, Mexico|
|Location||Venustiano Carranza, D.F.|
|Focus city for|
|Elevation AMSL||7,316 ft / 2,230 m|
|Statistics (September '13 - August '14)|
|Economic & social impact (2012)||$4.4 billion & 187.9 thousand|
Statistics: Airport website,
Mexico City International Airport (Spanish: Aeropuerto Internacional de la Ciudad de México, AICM); officially Aeropuerto Internacional Benito Juárez (English: Benito Juárez International Airport) (IATA: MEX, ICAO: MMMX) is a commercial airport that serves Mexico City. It is Mexico's busiest and Latin America's second busiest airport by passenger traffic; and it is both Mexico's and Latin America's busiest airport by aircraft movements. The airport sustains 35,000 jobs directly and around 15,000 indirectly in the immediate area. The airport is owned by Grupo Aeroportuario de la Ciudad de México and operated by Aeropuertos y Servicios Auxiliares, the government-owned corporation, which also operates 22 other airports throughout Mexico. In recent years Toluca Airport has become an alternate airport.
This hot and high airport is served by 27 domestic and international passenger airlines and 17 cargo carriers. As the main hub for Mexico's largest airline Aeroméxico (with Aeroméxico Connect), the airport has become a SkyTeam hub. It is also a hub for Aeromar, Interjet, Volaris and a focus city for VivaAerobus. On a typical day, more than 90,000 passengers pass through the airport to and from more than 100 destinations on three continents. In 2013, the airport served 31,534,638 passengers, a 6.9% increase compared to 2012. For the 12-month period ending September 30, 2014, the airport handled 33,519,761 passengers.
Operating at the limits of its capacity, the airport will be replaced by a new Mexico City international airport, announced in September 2014, to be built about 16 kilometres (9.9 mi) north-northeast of the current airport, east of Ecatepec.
- 1 Location
- 2 History
- 3 Lack of capacity and slot restriction
- 4 New Airport
- 5 Terminals and facilities
- 6 Other facilities
- 7 Airlines and destinations
- 8 Cargo airlines
- 9 Traffic statistics
- 10 Inter-terminal transportation
- 11 Airport lounges
- 12 Ground transportation
- 13 Accidents and incidents
- 14 See also
- 15 References
- 16 External links
Located at the neighborhood of Peñón de los Baños within Venustiano Carranza, one of the sixteen boroughs into which Mexico's Federal District is divided, the airport is 5 km (3.1 mi) east from Downtown Mexico City and is surrounded by the built-up areas of Gustavo A. Madero to the north and Venustiano Carranza to the west, south and east. As the airport is located on the east side of Mexico City and its runways run southwest-northeast, an airliner's landing approach is usually directly over the conurbation of Mexico City when the wind is from the northeast. Therefore, there is an important overflying problem and noise pollution.
The original site, known as Llanos de Balbuena, had been use for aeronautical activities since 1910, when Alberto Braniff became the first to fly on aeroplane in Mexico, and in Latin America. The flight was onboard of a Voisin biplane. On November 30, 1911, President Francisco I. Madero, was the first Chief of State in the world to fly onboard of a Deperdussin airplane piloted by Geo M. Dyott of Moisant International. In 1915 the airport first opened as Balbuena Military Airport with five runways. Construction of a small civilian airport began in 1928. The first landing was on November 5, 1928, and regular service started in 1929, but was officially inaugurated on May 15, 1931. On July 8, 1943, the Official Gazette of the Federation published a decree that acknowledged Mexico City's Central Airport as an International Airport, capable of managing international arrivals and departures of passengers and aircraft. Its first international route was to Los Angeles International Airport operated by Mexicana. Construction of Runway 05D-23I started six years later, as well as new facilities such as a platform, a terminal building, a control tower and offices for the authorities. The runway started its operations in 1951. On November 19, 1952, President Miguel Alemán opened the terminal, thus becoming a commercial airport.
In 1956 the airport had four runways in service: 05L-23R (2,720m long, 40m wide), 5R-23L (3,000m long, 45m wide), with electric lights for night-time service; 13-31 (2,300m long, 40m wide) which had been built to relieve 14-32, to which residential areas had encroached too closely; and 5 Auxiliar (759m long).
On December 2, 1963, Walter C. Buchanan, former director of the Transport and Communications Department (SCT), changed the airport's name "Aeropuerto Central" (Central Airport) to "Aeropuerto Internacional de la Ciudad de México" (Mexico City International Airport).
In the 1970s, president Luis Echeverría closed the two remaining shorter runways (13/31 and 5 Auxiliar); on the land of 13-31 a social housing complex was built, Unidad Fiviport. leaving the two parallel runways. In 1980, the terminal was expanded to double its capacity, using a single large terminal rather than multiple terminals as in other airports. Ten years later in 1990, the mixed domestic/international gates were separated to increase the terminal's functionality, along with the separation of domestic and international check-in halls.
On November 24, 1978, the "Mexico" Control Tower began its operations; it has been in service since then.
The AICM has continually improved its infrastructure. On August 15, 1979, and after about a year of remodeling works, the terminal building reopened to the public; the airport continued its operations during the renovation, which improved passenger transit with better space distribution in walkways and rooms.
Due to constant growth in demand of both passengers and operations, on January 13, 1994, the Official Gazette of the Federation, published a presidential agreement that prohibited general aviation operations in the AICM, which were moved to Toluca International Airport in order to clear air traffic in the capital's airport.
Renovations to the AICM continued and on April 11, 1994, a new International Terminal building was ready and operational. It was built by a private contractor according to a co-investment agreement with Airports and Auxiliary Services.
In 2001, in order to improve service to passengers, construction for Module XI started. This Module permitted eight new contact positions in the Airport Terminal, capable of receiving eight regular airplanes, two wide-body, or four narrow-body aircraft.
Because of the increasing traffic, president Vicente Fox announced the construction of a new, larger airport on 5,000 ha (12,000 acres) in the municipalities of Texcoco and San Salvador Atenco, but when local violent protests took place in 2002, the new airport was cancelled. Instead, to respond to the growing demand and aiming to position the AICM as one of the greatest in terms of quality, services, security, and operational functionality, on May 30, 2003, the Federal Government announced an update: an extension to the air terminal in order to widen its service capacity from 20 million to 32 million passengers a year. This program was part of the Metropolitan Airport System, promoted by the Federal Administration. The Communications and Transportation Ministry (SCT), Aeropuertos y Servicios Auxiliares (ASA) and AICM performed expansion and remodeling work on Terminal 1, over a surface area of 90,000 square metres (970,000 sq ft); 48,000 of which were new construction and 42,000 of which were remodeled. The renovations include new airline counters, commercial spaces and an elevator for people with disabilities, which improved the flow of passengers with domestic destinations.
Among other works performed in the international area, a long-distance bus terminal was built with connections to Puebla, Cuernavaca, Pachuca, Toluca, Querétaro and Orizaba. The new bus station has access to a food court and the international arrivals and departures area, as well as a pedestrian bridge that connects to "The Peñón de los Baños" neighborhood.
On November 15, 2007, Terminal 2 was opened, significantly increasing the airport's capacity. All SkyTeam members moved their operations to the new terminal, except Air France and KLM. It was officially inaugurated in March 2008, once the new road accesses and taxiways were finished. Terminal 2 increased the airport's contact positions by 40% and the operational capacity by 15%. The terminal was inaugurated by former President Felipe Calderón Hinojosa.
Lack of capacity and slot restriction
The airport has suffered from a lack of capacity due to restrictions on expansion, since it is located in a densely populated area. Some analysts have reported that if the airport had grown at the same speed as demand, it would now serve over 40 million passengers annually. The main issue with the airport is the limitation that its two runways provide, since they are used at 97.3% of their maximum capacity, leaving a very short room for new operations into the airport. Only government, military, commercial, and specially authorized aircraft are allowed to land at the airport. Private aircraft must use alternate airports, such as Lic. Adolfo López Mateos International Airport in Toluca, General Mariano Matamoros Airport in Cuernavaca, or Hermanos Serdán International Airport in Puebla. Even with the inauguration of the new Terminal 2 in 2007, the airport would be ideally designed to serve around 18 million passengers per year, according to international standards for runway and terminal usage. Instead, the airport will keep increasing the number of passengers from around 26 million passengers in 2008 at a rate of 16% per year.
The construction of a new Mexico City international airport was announced by Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto on September 2, 2014, who said that it would be emblemático, or a national symbol. The new airport will replace the current Mexico City International Airport, which is at capacity. It is to have one large terminal of 6,000,000 square feet (560,000 m2) and six runways: two that are each 4.5 kilometres (2.8 mi; 15,000 ft) long and four that are each 4 kilometres (2.5 mi; 13,000 ft) long. The architects are Sir Norman Foster and Fernando Romero, son-in-law of billionaire Carlos Slim and architect of the Soumaya Museum.
Construction will take eight years and depending on the source, is estimated to cost 120 or 169 billion Mexican pesos, about 9–13 billion US dollars. It will be built on land already owned by the federal government in the Zona Federal del Lago de Texcoco, between Ecatepec and Atenco in the State of Mexico, about 10 km northeast of the current airport.
The terminal is to be sustainable, aiming for a LEED Platinum certification.
Terminals and facilities
Mexico City International Airport has two passenger terminals. Terminal 1 is separated from Terminal 2 by the runways.
- Opened in 1958; expanded in 1970, 1989, 1998, 2000 and 2004
- Overall terminal surface: 542,000 m2 (5,830,000 sq ft)
- Contact positions: 33
- Remote positions: 17 (34 Before New T2 was built)
- Number of jetways: 33
- Number of airside halls: 10 (A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J)
- Number of landside (check-in) halls: 9 (A1, A2, B, C, D, D1, F1, F2, F3)
- Number of mobile-lounges: 11 (A7-A, A7-B, A7-C, A9-A, A9-B, A9-C, A9-D, A9-E, F19-A, F19-C, F19-D)
- Hotel service:
- Parking service: 3,100 vehicles (Domestic), 2,400 vehicles (International)
- Space per passenger in T1: 17 m2 (180 sq ft)
- Number of baggage claim carousels: 22
- Premium Lounges in T1:
Terminal 1 is currently the largest airport terminal in the Americas and the fourth largest in the world.
- Opened in 2007
- Overall terminal surface: 288,000 m2 (3,100,000 sq ft)
- Contact positions: 23
- Remote positions: 18 (Aeromar and Aeroméxico Connect)
- Number of jetways: 23
- Number of airside halls: 2 (Domestic, International)
- Number of landside (check-in) halls: 3 (L1, L2, L3)
- Hotel service:
- 287 rooms NH
- Parking service: 3,000 vehicles
- Space per passenger in T2: 22 m2 (240 sq ft)
- Number of baggage claim carousels: 15
- Premium Lounges in T2:
- Platform surface: 426,000 m2 (4,590,000 sq ft)
- Inter-terminal Aerotrén capacity: 7,800 daily passengers
Terminal 2 was built over a surface area of 242,666.55m² and has modern security systems, in accordance with international standards including a passenger traffic separation systems. The new facility will help AICM increase its capacity to 32 million passengers per year.
Air operations in the new facilities began on November 15, 2007, with flights by Aeromar and Delta Air Lines, and later AeroMéxico, Copa, LAN and Continental Airlines. Terminal 2 was formally inaugurated by former Presidente Felipe Calderón Hinojosa on March 26, 2008.
These projects were done without affecting airplane takeoffs and departures, and will help Mexico City International Airport offer better services, and respond to the growing demand of passengers and operations in the coming years.
Terminal 2 is now housing all Aeroméxico flights out of the airport, becoming the airline's main distribution center. Although the terminal was intended to be served by all-SkyTeam member airlines, Air France and KLM decided to remain at Terminal 1.
Aeropuertos y Servicios Auxiliares, a government-owned corporation that operates airports in Mexico, has its headquarters on the airport property.,Aeropuertos y Servicios Auxiliares. The Aeromar headquarters are located in Hangar 7 in Zone D of the General Aviation Terminal of the airport. Aviacsa had its headquarters in Hangar 1 in Zone C. Aviacsa ceased operations on May 4, 2011.
Airlines and destinations
The airport connects 51 domestic and 50 international destinations in Latin America, North America, Europe and Asia. Its most prominent foreign airlines are United Airlines, combined with ExpressJet Airlines traffic, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and Avianca Holdings. Other airlines with a presence on a lesser scale include Copa Airlines, Iberia, Lufthansa, Air France and US Airways.
In terms of international passengers MEX (10,634,444 passengers) is the third-busiest airport in Latin America [behind only São Paulo-Guarulhos International Airport (12,524,000 passengers) & Cancún International Airport (10,890,500 passengers)].
Aeroméxico/Aeroméxico Connect operates the most departures from the airport followed by Interjet, Volaris, and Aeromar. Aeroméxico also operates to the most destinations followed by Interjet. In peak season, Iberia and Air France operate the most trans-Atlantic flights (28 flights per week) with nonstop service to Madrid and Paris. As a foreign airline, Lufthansa operates the most destinations in Europe (2). Aeroméxico operates 2 trans-Pacific flights to destinations in China and Japan. As American carrier, United Airlines serves the most destinations in the US (7). Air Canada serves the most destinations in Canada (2), while AeroMéxico serves the most destinations to Central and South America (12).
This table lists passengers flights served with a nonstop or direct flight with no change of aircraft carrying passengers originating in Mexico City according to the airlines' published schedules, unless otherwise noted.
- ^1 Aeromar has remote positions, just north of Terminal 2.
In addition to the scheduled airlines above, Mexico City airport is used by some further airlines for chartered flights including:
As of April 2014, Mexico City airport is served by 16 cargo airlines flying directly to Europe, Central, North and South America, Middle East and East Asia. Over 376,000 metric tonnes pass through the airport in 2013, making it the third busiest by cargo traffic in Latin America, after El Dorado International Airport in Bogotá and Guarulhos International Airport in São Paulo. Most passenger airlines, such as AeroMéxico and KLM use the airport to carry hold cargo on passenger flights, though most cargo is transported by all-cargo airlines. The following airlines operate the following scheduled destinations.
Airlines providing on-demand cargo services
In 2013, Benito Juárez was the busiest airport in Latin America by aircraft movements with 20.87% more operations than El Dorado International Airport in Bogotá and 38.14% more than Guarulhos Airport in São Paulo. For the 12-month period ending August 31, 2014, the airport had 405,955 aircraft operations, an average of 1,112 operations per day.
|Year||Domestic||% change||International||% change||Total||% change|
(January - September)
|Updated: May 31, 2014.|
- ^2 Official statistics include JFK and Newark airports.
Terminal 1 is connected to Terminal 2 by the Aerotrén monorail system in which only connecting passengers with hand baggage are allowed to use with their boarding pass. Technical and cabin crew can also use it. Normal operation hours are from 5:00 am to 11:00 pm, every day of the year, and the first run always begins from T2 to T1; the last run of the day is to T2. The distance between the terminals is 3 km (1.9 mi). and the Airtrain's speed is 45 km/h (28 mph). The Airtrain journey, once the doors are fully closed therefore takes approximately 4 minutes and 40 seconds between stations in both directions. Also, if you arrive as a train is leaving the maximum waiting period for the next train is 11 minutes. Also there is a land service between terminals called "inter-terminal transportation". These buses are located at entrance no. 6 of Terminal 1 and entrance no. 4 of Terminal 2.
- Terminal 1 (AeroMéxico Salón Premier Internacional, American Airlines Admiral's Club, American Express Lounge, Centurion Club, Despegar.com Lounge, HQ VIP Lounge, HSBC Lounge, Iberia VIP Lounge (Iberia/British Airways), Televisa VIP Lounge, United Club [United Airlines].)
- Terminal 2 (Club Diamante [Aeromar], Salón Premier, Salón Premier Internacional and Riedel Wine Room [AeroMéxico], Travel Pass Elite Lounge [Banamex/CitiBank] and Centurion American Express Lounge.)
Metro and bus services
Terminal 1 is served by the Terminal Aérea Metro station, which belongs to Line 5 of the subway, running from Pantitlán station to Politécnico station. It is located just outside the national terminal. Also, trolley bus line G runs from the bus stop next to the Metro to Boulevard Puerto Aéreo station 1.7 km (1.1 mi) away, allowing transfer to Metro Line 1 (one can also take line 5 to Pantitlán and change to line 1, which is a geographical detour). Terminal 2 does not have any Metro station, but is a 700 m (2,300 ft) walk from Pantitlán served by Metro lines 1, 5, 9, A and numerous local buses.
Terminals 1 and 2 have two land terminals operating 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Different bus lines operate from here , and provide continuous transportation services to the main cities located around Mexico City, such as Córdoba, Cuernavaca, Pachuca, Puebla, Querétaro, Tlaxcala and Toluca. The Terminal 1 land terminal is located in front of the international area vehicular ramp and its facilities include various services for the comfort of the passengers. Among others, it offers VIP lounges, internet, resting, reading and meeting halls. The Terminal 2 land terminal is located at gate D, between entrance 4 and the national arrival passenger exit, and its facilities include resting halls and a fast food area.
In late 2010, former Head of Government of the Federal District Marcelo Ebrard announced a plan to build a new Metrobús Line 4 that would run from near Buenavista Station in the west of the city towards Mexico City airport. Construction on Line 4 started on July 4, 2011. The plans for Line 4 include a two step construction process with the first 28 km (17 mi) operational segment to be built between Buenavista and Metro San Lázaro. An extension provides travel between San Lázaro and the airport. The line opened on April 1, 2012.
|Service||Destinations [departing from the airport]||Operator|
|Metro San Lázaro, TAPO bus station, Historic Centre, Metro Buenavista, Buenavista Station||Metrobús, a government-owned corporation.|
Taxis are in operation in Terminals 1 and 2 and there are two models of service: Ordinary service in a sedan type vehicle for 4 passengers. Executive service in 8 passengers vans. At present there are 5 taxi groups in operation. These are the only taxis authorized by the Ministry of Communications and Transport (SCT) of the Federal Government. The Terminal 1 taxi boarding areas are located at entrances 1 and 10; and in Terminal 2, boarding areas are located at entrances 3 and 4. Taxi rates are registered under the SCT and include passenger insurance, civil liability and medical expenses for all occupants. To receive the taxi service you must purchase the corresponding ticket previously at the authorized sale points located within the airport. These taxis tend to be more expensive than others.
T1 National parking lot is located on Av. Capitán Carlos León in front of entrances 1 and 2 of the terminal building, in the national arrivals zone. It has the capacity of 1,971 vehicles which are permanently monitored by a modern security and surveillance system, by way of closed circuit TV cameras. T1 International parking lot is located on Av. Capitán Carlos León in front of the international area of the terminal building, on one side of the long-distance bus terminal. It has a capacity of 2,106 vehicles. An additional parking option for Terminal 1 airport users is Parking Lot 06, located on Sonora street in front of the taxi rank. Because of its location, it is a useful alternative for those visiting the airport customs, loading area, customs agencies and some airline offices. The new AICM Terminal 2 parking lot is located on one side of the Terminal's great central patio. It has the capacity of 2,437 vehicles.
Accidents and incidents
- On 10 April 1968, Douglas R4D-3 XA-GEV of Aerovías Rojas crashed on approach, killing all eighteen people on board. The aircraft was operating a domestic scheduled passenger flight, which was the airline's inaugural flight from Aguascalientes International Airport to Mexico City.
- On October 31, 1979, Western Airlines Flight 2605 crash-landed. The crew of the DC-10 had landed on the wrong runway and the jetliner hit construction vehicles that were on the closed runway. There were 73 fatalities (including one on the ground) and 16 survivors.
- On 12 December 1981, a bomb exploded inside the passenger cabin of a parked Aeronica Boeing 727-100(registered YN-BXW) at Mexico City International Airport, tearing a hole into the fuselage. The captain, two flight attendants and a ground worker were injured. They had been on board the aircraft for pre-departure checks for a scheduled passenger flight to San Salvador and onwards to Managua Augusto C. Sandino International Airport.
- An Aero California DC-9-15 overran on July 21, 2004, during an intense storm at the airport. There were no victims, but the aircraft was scrapped. However, a woman died later due to a heart attack.
- On November 4, 2008 an official Mexican Interior Ministry LearJet 45 crashed on approach around 18:45 local time. On board were Mexican Secretary of the Interior Juan Camilo Mouriño, who was top aide to President Felipe Calderón. Mouriño was in charge of the fight against the drug trade in Mexico. Also on board was José Luis Santiago Vasconcelos, former assistant attorney general and current head of the federal technical secretariat for implementing the recent constitutional reforms on criminal justice and public security. All eight on board perished along with eight others on the ground. 40 others on the ground were injured. The crash was attributed to the pilot error.
- On September 9, 2009, hijacked Aeroméxico Flight 576 landed at Mexico City International Airport from Cancún International Airport.
- On September 13, 2009, Lufthansa Cargo McDonnell-Douglas MD-11 D-ALCO was damaged in a heavy landing. Post landing inspection revealed that there were wrinkles in the fuselage skin and the nose gear was bent. According to a Lufthansa spokesman, the aircraft will be repaired and returned into full service.
- On June 25, 2012, two federal police officers who were stationed at the airport opened fire at colleagues who were surrounding them and were about to arrest them after an investigation showed they were involved in drug trafficking offenses. Two federal police officers were killed at the scene and a third officer died later at a local hospital. The suspects were able to flee the scene, but their identities are known. Operations at the airport were not affected.
- On October 29, 2012, an Interjet Flight 2953 made an emergency landing at San Antonio International Airport after suffering engine sputtering problems, caused by a bird strike. The plane had been scheduled to land in Mexico City but had to return to the airport around 10 a.m. The plane landed safely, and there were no fatalities.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mexico City International Airport.|
- Mexico City International Airport
- Aeropuertos y Servicios Auxiliares (Spanish)
- Information about Mexico City Airport
- Accident history for MEX at Aviation Safety Network