Benito Juárez International Airport
|Benito Juarez International Airport
Aeropuerto Internacional Benito Juárez
|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|
|Aircraft movements||377,743 7.9%|
|Cargo tonnage||397,018.08 3.51%|
Statistics: Airport website,
Benito Juárez International Airport (Spanish: Aeropuerto Internacional Benito Juárez), (IATA: MEX, ICAO: MMMX) is a commercial airport that serves Mexico City, the capital of Mexico. It is Mexico's busiest airport by both passenger traffic and aircraft movements and is Latin America's second busiest airport by passenger traffic after Guarulhos Airport in São Paulo, Brazil and the busiest airport by aircraft movements. Although Juárez was not its official name for several decades, it was formally named after the 19th century president Benito Juárez in 2006, and is Mexico's main domestic gateway. 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 21 other airports throughout Mexico. In recent years Toluca Airport has become an alternate airport.
This hot and high airport is served by 30 domestic and international airlines and offers direct flights to more than 100 destinations worldwide. It provides non-stop services from Mexico City to North America, Central America and the Caribbean, South America, Europe, and Asia. (Aeroméxico is the only airline that flies to Asia from Mexico City). In 2012, the airport served 29,491,553 passengers, an 11.84% increase compared to 2011. For the 12-month period ending May 31, 2013, the airport handled 30,054,275 passengers. In optimal conditions, and with recent renovations and expansion projects completed, the Benito Juárez airport will be able to handle up to 32 million passengers per year. As the main hub for Mexico's largest airline Aeroméxico and a secondary hub for its subsidiary Aeroméxico Connect, the airport has become a SkyTeam hub. It is also a hub for Aeromar, Interjet, Volaris and a focus city for VivaAerobus.
Located 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 Mexico City.
The airport first opened as Balbuena Military Airport with five runways. The first landing was on November 5, 1928 and regular service started a year later, 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.
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). Four decades later, on November 24, 2006, the Official Gazette of the Federation published a decree to rename Mexico's City International Airport "Benito Juárez".
In the 1970s, president Luis Echeverría closed three runways and gave that land to poor people in order to build their homes, leaving just 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 aroused, 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.
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%.
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.
To relieve the demand on Benito Juarez Airport, the Mexican Government laid the groundwork for a new airport to be built on the outskirts of Mexico City. After decades of planning a $2.3 billion dollar airport, peasant farmers who owned the property where the airport was proposed, took several hostages into their hands, refusing to give up their land at any cost.
Terminals and facilities
Mexico City International Airport has two passenger terminals. Terminal 1 is separated from the other 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:
- 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 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. The Aeromar headquarters are located in Hangar 7 in Zone D of the General Aviation Terminal of the airport. Aviacsa has its headquarters in Hangar 1 in Zone C.
Airlines and destinations
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. Aeroméxico operates 2 trans-Pacific flights to destinations in China and Japan. As a foreign airline, United Airlines serves the most destinations in the USA (7). Air Canada serves the most destinations in Canada (2), while AeroMéxico serves the most destinations to Central and South America (11).
- ^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:
Domestic destinations map
Domestic destinations map
As of April 2013, Mexico City airport is served by 12 cargo airlines flying directly to Europe, Central, North and South America. Over 397,000 metric tonnes pass through the airport in 2012, 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
|Year||Domestic||% change||International||% change||Total||% change|
In 2012, Benito Juárez was the busiest airport in Latin America by aircraft movements with 19.27% more operations than El Dorado International Airport in Bogotá and 37.92% more than Guarulhos Airport in São Paulo. For the 12-month period ending March 31, 2013 the airport had 380,798 aircraft operations, an average of 1,043 operations per day.
- ^2 Official statistics include JFK and Newark airports.
- ^3 Official statistics include Midway and O'Hare 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 (Salón Premier Internacional [AeroMéxico], American Airlines Admiral's Club, American Express Lounge, Iberia VIP Lounge (Iberia/British Airways), 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, 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 78 fatalities (including one on the ground) and 14 survivors.
- An Aero California DC-9-15 overran in 2006, 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 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 officers 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 has 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 Mexico City, but had to return to the airport around 10 a.m. The plane landed safely and there were no fatalities.
An Aviacsa Boeing 737-200 landing at MEX. The airline ceased operations in 2009. [No date]
An Aeromexico Boeing 757-200 at T1 before the construction of Terminal 2. 
An Aeromexico Connect Embraer 190 taxiing. 
A Mexicana Boeing 767 is taking off on runway 05L. 
A Mexicana Airbus A318. 
- Airport information for MMMX at World Aero Data. Data current as of October 2006.Source: DAFIF.
- Airport information for MEX at Great Circle Mapper. Source: DAFIF (effective Oct. 2006).
- "Airport official website". AICM.
- "BEGIN SERVICE IN THE AICM T2: Aeromexico, Aeromexico Connect, COPA & LAN (In Spanish)". Mexico City International Airport. Retrieved January 25, 2010.
- "Home." Aeropuertos y Servicios Auxiliares. Retrieved on December 20, 2011. "Av.602 No.161 Col.Zona Federal Aeropuerto Internacional Ciudad de México Delegación Venustiano Carranza, C.P.15620, México D.F."
- "Directory: World Airlines." Flight International. March 16–22, 2004. 50. "Hangar 7, Zona "D", Terminal de Aviacion General, Col Federal, Mexico DF, 15620, Mexico"
- "DIRECTORIO DE OFICINAS DE VENTAS." Aeromar. August 16, 2007. 3/7. "CORPORATIVO MEXICO Hangar No. 1 Zona "D" Col. Federal 15620 México, D. F."
- "Directorio." Aviacsa. Retrieved on January 23, 2011. "DIRECCIÓN COMERCIAL Hangar 1, Zona "C", Col. Aviación Gral. [...] Aeropuerto Int. de la Cd. de México. C.P. 15520"
- "Statistics Mexico City Airport". Mexico City International Airport. Retrieved January 25, 2010.
- "XA-GEV Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 24 July 2011.
- "Accident: Lufthansa Cargo MD11 at Mexico City on Sep 13th 2009, hard landing". The Aviation Herald. Retrieved 11 October 2009.
- "Lufthansa Cargo wird D-ALCO in Stand setzen". aero.de/Aviation Media & IT. Retrieved 24 October 2009.(German)
- "Rogue police officers kill 3 colleagues at Mexico City airport". BNO News. 26 June 2012. Retrieved 26 June 2012.
- "Passengers Stranded After Bird Strikes Plane's Engine". 29 October 2012. Retrieved 29 October 2012.
- "FlightAware ✈ Live Flight Tracker ✈ Interjet (4O) #2953 ✈ 28-Oct-2012 ✈ KSAT - MMMX / MEX Flight Tracker". Retrieved 29 October 2012.
- Ley, Ana (29 October 2012). "Plane makes emergency landing in S.A.". Retrieved 29 October 2012.
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