Frequent travelers to Mexico City know about the headache that is Benito Juarez International Airport, an overstretched hub that is the second busiest in Latin America after Sao Paulo's Guarulhos. According to Reuters, Benito Juarez exceeded maximum operating capacity more than 50 times in 2012.
But it seems relief could be on the horizon. According to the same article, Mexico is reviewing design plans for a new $9.23 billion Mexico City airport, which will eventually have six runways and should begin operating by 2018. It would be built on the area of the Texcoco lake bed nearby.
"The airport master plan was developed by engineering consultancy group Arup and envisions four runways and one terminal serving 30 million passengers by 2018, the year in which it would replace the current airport," the article reports. "By 2060, the plan says, the site would include six runways and two terminals to handle 60 million passengers. A trains old move travelers between terminals."
As Mexico continues to grow as a destination beyond its sun-and-sand spots, the country needs to be equipped with an international hub that can accommodate the scope of both leisure and business travelers entering the destination. In fact, travel to Mexico City is gaining momentum from the United States.
Mexico City has been the "it" destination for Latin American travelers for years, and it is only recently that Americans are catching on. Dissipating safety concerns, plus a rise in interest for short-haul travel is pushing travelers back into Mexico after an almost five-year hiatus. And what these travelers are discovering is a world-class city.
"People are calling me about Mexico and not asking about security. They are just going," Hope Smith, owner of Born to Travel said at a roundtable conducted by Travel Agent at Tianguis Turistico held last May. "My business to Mexico City especially has increased. I can't believe how many people are going."
Mitch Toren, chief vacation engineer, Trip Guy added at the same roundtable, "Mexico is our largest growth market. Two years ago Mexico was off the table before you could even pitch it. We see much less resistance now."
Delta is greatly expanding its service into Mexico, as well. There will be a 25 percent increase this year with service from Los Angeles and Seattle, and there are applications for routes to Mexico from both coasts from the interior of the country.