Mexico opens bids for $6bn airport

GMT 21:03 2015 Wednesday ,08 July

Arab Today, arab today Mexico opens bids for $6bn airport

Benito Juarez international airport
Mexico City - AFP

Mexico's government launched on Wednesday the bidding process to build the capital's new airport, designed by British architect Norman Foster, for an estimated $6 billion.

Preliminary work will begin in the second half of this year, with the main construction to start next year, Transport Minister Gerardo Ruiz Esparza said.

While officials said the construction will cost more than 95 billion pesos ($6 billion), Ruiz Esparza said the final bill "will depend on the offer made in the bidding."

"We want to promote the participation of Mexican companies," he said, adding that they could form consortiums with foreign firms "when necessary."

The project will be managed by Parsons Corp., a US engineering services firm based in California.

The preliminary work includes the construction of three runways, the control tower and the control center, as well as jobs related to drainage, ground leveling and electrical systems.

The bidding for 2016 includes building the terminal, the operations center and the car garage.

Foster and a son-in-law of Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, Mexican architect Fernando Romero, were named as the airport's designers in September.

The new facility will be built next to the Benito Juarez international airport, which has two terminals but struggles to accomodate the growing number of travelers in Latin America's second biggest economy, after Brazil's.

The government said Wednesday that the first flight at the new airport could take off on October 20, 2020, with a double runway and initial capacity for 50 million passengers per year, compared to 32 million today.


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