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£10bn Mexico City airport scrapped

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Plans to construct a new airport for Mexico City have been scrapped following a nationwide referendum.  

Construction of Nuevo Aeropuerto Internacional de la Ciudad de México (NAICM) will not go ahead after 70% of voters opposed it. 

Only 1.2% of the population or one in 90 eligible voters turned out to vote over four days, meaning 0.84% of the population voted to scrap the scheme.  

But incoming President-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrado pledged during his campaign to honour the outcome of the vote.  

The $13.3bn (£10bn) project to support 66M passengers per annum was due to be in Texcoco, north-east of the capital.  

“The decision taken by the citizens is democratic, rational and efficient,” Obrador said. “The people decided.” 

Mexico’s former president Vicente Fox named Texcoco as the location of the new airport in 2001. 

Foster + Partners drawing of what Texcoco airport could have looked like.

Foster + Partners drawing of what Texcoco airport could have looked like.

Source: Foster + Partners

When the project was awarded to Fosters & Partners in 2014, it was expected to be operational by 2018, with the most recent completion date set for 2020. 

According to Fosters & Partners website Arup was to be the structural engineer. 

Environmentalists had highlighted concerns about the plans, because Texcoco is situated on a dried lake bed which soaks up run-off rainwater from Mexico City during the rainy seasons.  

There were also fears about the impact on near-by Lake Nabor Carrillo, which is a refuge for migratory birds which would have been be at risk of causing dangerous collisions with aircraft flying into and out of Texcoco.  

Obrado has published plans to bolster the existing Mexico City international Benito Juarez Airport, and add new runaways at a nearby military airfield.  

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