Mexico is the third largest economy in North America and therefore has one of the most developed aviation industries in the region. Airports in Mexico are amongt the most advanced in Latin America with some of the airports receiving millions of passengers annually. All the airports in the country are owned by private investors except the country’s busiest, the Mexico City International Airport.
1. Mexico City International Airport
Mexico City International Airport is an international airport located in Venustiano Carranza, a municipality of Mexico City. The airport is the primary airport serving greater Mexico City and is owned by the “Grupo Aeroportuario de la Ciudad de Mexico”. It is the busiest airport in Mexico and Latin America with its terminals handling about 100,000 passengers daily. In 2016, the airport served over 41.7 million passengers and 0.483 million tons of cargo with its runways conducting 448,147 aircraft movements. The airport is a hub for many aviation companies including Aeromar, Interjet, AeroUnion, and Volaris among others.
Mexico City International Airport was initially a small civilian airport and was upgraded to meet international standards in 1943 with its first international route being to Los Angeles International Airport. The airport has undergone intensive expansion with the construction of two terminals: Terminal 1 (opened in 1958) and Terminal 2 (opened in 2007) to accommodate the increasing air traffic. However, the airport is currently operating above its structural capacity, and the Mexican government is planning the construction of a new airport to replace the Mexico International Airport.
2.Cancun International Airport
The Cancun International Airport is an airport located on the Yucatan Peninsula in Quintana Roo. The airport is comprised of two parallel runways and three terminals: Terminal 1, Terminal 2, and Terminal 3. Terminal 1 is used primarily for low-cost charted local flights and was temporarily shut down after being damaged by Hurricane Wilma. Terminal 2 handles most of the domestic flights and all international flights to all South and Central America destinations. Terminal 3 handles all flights to the US and Canada as well as being the hub for many European carriers. Cancun International Airport is the second busiest airport in Mexico with over 21.4 million passengers using its facilities in 2016. The airport is the busiest airport for international flights serving over 14.5 million passengers in 2016.
3.Guadalajara International Airport
The Guadalajara International Airport (also known as the Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla Guadalajara International Airport) is the main airport serving Guadalajara, Mexico’s second-largest city. The airport was named after Miguel Hidalgo who was a key historical figure during the struggle for independence. The airport is the third busiest in the country with over 11.3 million passengers using its facilities in 2016. Guadalajara International Airport was opened in 1966 and quickly became a hub for many international carriers including Aeromar, Aeromexico, American Airlines, United Airlines, Air France Cargo, Lufthansa Cargo, United Express and Volaris. The airport has two terminals; The Passenger Terminal and The Cargo Terminal which has an annual storage capacity of 350,000 tons. Guadalajara International Airport has two asphalt runways with one stretching over 13,000 feet to accommodate the larger international aircraft.
While Mexican airports have recorded millions of passengers in the past few years, there have been a few accidents which have dented the airports’ reputation. One such accident was the 1975 crash of the Western Airlines Flight 2605 at the Mexico City International Airport which caused 71 fatalities.