AIFA, the bill of the white elephant

Other costs will arrive for the country when the other capricious projects of the 4T are inaugurated, such as the Mayan Train or the Dos Bocas refinery. But, for now, the one that reveals the cost of a bad decision is the Felipe Ángeles airport, which is marked by authoritarianism and even influence peddling.

Today we have testimonies and evidence, from those who operate the airspace of the Valley of Mexico, of the consequences and dangers of wanting, by presidential orders, to squeeze three airports into a space where a single airport should have clearly operated, like the one that It was built in Texcoco, next to the Benito Juárez.

But this story goes back several years. When in 2001 the then president Vicente Fox announced the construction of a new airport for the capital in San Salvador Atenco, next to Texcoco, the then head of government, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, was in charge of heating the square. In a few months and at the point of violent demonstrations, the weak Fox government gave up on building that terminal.

When President Enrique Peña Nieto announced the construction of the Texcoco Airport at the end of 2014, López Obrador again opposed it. Only now the former presidential candidate did it with a project to build an airport in Tizayuca, Hidalgo, next to Santa Lucía, which had been designed by his favorite builder José María Riobóo.

López Obrador could do nothing to stop the Texcoco project and favor that builder to whom he had given direct millionaire awards for the construction of the second floor in Mexico City.

But as soon as he won the elections, and within weeks of his triumph, López Obrador forced the outgoing government to suspend four tenders for the new Texcoco Airport.

After faking a popular consultation and always hand in hand with Riobóo, López Obrador announced the cancellation of the work on the Texcoco Airport and the expansion of the Santa Lucía military base number one in Zumpango, State of Mexico.

Evidently, the construction project that López Obrador shamelessly presented to patch up the military air terminal belonged to José María Riobóo. And while military modifications were made to the project, the favorite builder remained present in the construction process.

It was Riobóo himself who said that it was not a bad idea to build airports so close for simultaneous operation because with satellite technology, planes cannot collide because they repel each other.

Thus, the history of the cancellation of the Texcoco Airport passes more through this political-business relationship than through any other pretext.

All that power that López Obrador has has allowed him to reach this point of having built an airport like the Felipe Ángeles which, according to his own former Secretary of the Treasury, Carlos Urzúa, will cost 400,000 million pesos, much higher than from Texcoco.

But the big bill for this white elephant will come with his operation. With the economic costs that are now going to inflict on airlines and users.

And, above all, with the enormous risks to the safety of passengers and crews.

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Enrique Campos Suarez

Televisa News Anchor

The great Depression

Bachelor of Communication Sciences from the National Autonomous University of Mexico, with a specialty in finance from the Autonomous Technological Institute of Mexico and a master’s degree in Journalism from the Anahuac University.

His professional career has been dedicated to different media. He is currently a columnist for the newspaper El Economista and news anchor on Televisa. He is the owner of the 2 pm news space on Foro TV.

He is a specialist in economic-financial issues with more than 25 years of experience as a commentator and host on radio and television. He has been part of companies such as Radio Programas de México, where he participated in VIP business radio. He was also part of the management and talent team of Radio Formula.

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