It is highly unlikely that a new international airport will be built in Mexico's federal district (DF) before 2016, according to Jose Luis Guerrero, CFO of local airport operator OMA (Nasdaq: OMAB, BMV: OMA).
The city's existing international airport, AICM, will have extra space available at its terminals following the suspension of Mexicana airlines in August this year; however, its expansion will always be limited due to the lack of space available to extend the runway, Guerrero said in a conference call with analysts.
Any future project to build a new airport in the capital would take several years to design and build, which rules out the possibility of a new airport being built within at least the next six years, the executive added.
A new airport for Mexico City has been one of the most discussed projects in the airline sector over the last few years, with proponents arguing that AICM will soon meet its capacity. The terminal handled 11.8mn passengers and some 186,000t of cargo in H1.
A project to build the airport was announced in 2008; however, the project was shelved in July last year by the transport and communications ministry (SCT), after the global air transport industry was hit hard by the economic crisis.
OMA, as well as airport operators Asur (NYSE: ASR, BMV: ASUR) and GAP (NYSE: PAC, BMV: GAP) have all experienced a decline in passenger traffic in the last three years, although numbers have picked up in H2 due to a favorable comparison with traffic during last year's H1N1 flu outbreak.