Monday, October 26, 2009

The Mayan Riviera Airport Closer to Becoming Reality

While today's post doesn't deal directly with Puerto Morelos, it is an update regarding an issue that I am often asked about:  The Possibility of a New Airport near Tulum.  And while I tend to not count chickens before they hatch -- especially in Mexico -- it seems as if this one is nearing reality.

It is being reported that the Mexican Government is going to officially begin the search for a contractor to build the planned airport in November.  The project is expected to cost 4.1 billion pesos and take 4 years to complete.

Asur, the company that operates the Cancun Airport, has reportedly signed onto the new project as well.

This comes after the Federal and State governments officially approved funds in May of this year.

This new airport is to service national and international flights and is to occupy 2000 hectares of land, just to the north of Tulum.

When asked about the possibility of a new airport, it's often a two part question.  Is it going to happen?  And, if so, what is its impact?  Here's my opinion -- purely opinion -- so, take it for what the it is...

I think that the impact of the airport will depend directly on the availability of flights to this airport -- something that doesn't seem logically imminent in the near future.  The success of the Cancun airport (which has recently opened its second runway) has been the enormous amount of charters, non-stops, and daily flights from cities worldwide.  It has made Cancun and the Riviera Maya easily, and affordably, accessible to the entire world.  At the moment, I can't see airlines duplicating their flight schedules into the new airport.  It doesn't seem feasible from the airlines' standpoint.  For the short term, maybe international flights will still fly into Cancun and have the option of a jumper flight to the Tulum aiport, much like the services offered to the airport in Cozumel. 

What the new airport will do -- again, completely my opinion -- is open up the northern parts Costa Maya to the world of opportunity, development, investment, and resorts.  As of now, Tulum is about as far as most tourists (and therefore most investors) want to travel from the Cancun Airport -- about an hour driving time.  With the new airport's location, developments to the south of Tulum now have the opportunity to receive more traffic.  Once the level of development exists to warrant more direct flights into the new airport, then airlines will respond to demand with more directs and charters.

What do you think?

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