The construction progress of the “Felipe Carrillo Puerto” International Airport in Tulum is currently at a physical completion rate of 35 to 40 percent, with an expenditure of 8 billion Mexican pesos (mdp). This amount represents a little over half of the total estimated cost of 15.5 billion mdp.
The inauguration of the terminal is scheduled for the last quarter of this year, making it the second project of its kind under the current government’s Fourth Transformation initiative. The government also constructed the “Felipe Angeles” International Airport in the State of Mexico.
The construction work is being carried out by the Secretariat of National Defense (Sedena) on a 500-hectare section of land, within an authorized polygon measuring 1,200 hectares (2 by 6 square kilometers). The designated area is located in the Chunyaxché ejido of the Felipe Carrillo Puerto municipality in Quintana Roo.
The northern section of the polygon was chosen for the construction of the terminal building due to its optimal natural lighting and reduced heat exposure on the building’s facades. Once fully operational, the terminal is expected to accommodate 5 million passengers.
Based on passenger projections for average scenarios, the terminal is estimated to receive 7.2 million passengers in 2033, 9.8 million in 2043, and 12.1 million in 2053.
The access road to the airport from the federal highway 307 Cancun-Chetumal spans a length of 10.5 kilometers, requiring a land area of 321.19 hectares for its construction.
The projected road includes four lanes (two lanes per direction) on a land width of 300 meters, divided by a central median and four roundabouts. Along the route, there will be a connected commercial zone.
In addition to the runway and the terminal building with parking areas, the project includes a military airbase, a commercial and services corridor, a fueling station, government offices, and immigration and customs areas.
The airport is located 21 kilometers away from Tulum and shares a border with the alignment of Section 6 of the Tren Maya, where a tourist railway station is planned to be situated.
A group of 185 entrepreneurs from Quintana Roo recently visited the construction site to observe the progress. The airport project includes a 1,700-meter runway with a parallel taxiway, a high-speed exit, and cross taxiways, making it the most powerful and well-conditioned airport in the Yucatan Peninsula.
During the visit, the entrepreneurs received updates on the progress of the runway, the military airbase, the commercial and services corridor, the fueling station, immigration and customs areas, and the arrival zones.
The unified technical document, submitted to the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat), outlines how the project will boost tourism demand for the southern part of the Riviera Maya.
The tourism benefits will extend to the Playa del Carmen-Tulum-Chetumal corridor, facilitating travel and reducing costs for tourists visiting Tulum, Puerto Aventuras, Akumal, Xel-Ha, Cobá, Felipe Carrillo Puerto, Bacalar, Mahahual, and Chetumal.
In a presentation to President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and Governor Mara Lezama Espinosa, military personnel emphasized that the terminal has been designed to be environmentally friendly. Its layout ensures the shortest distance between platforms and runways, resulting in reduced energy consumption.
The military base is intended to efficiently handle airspace surveillance in the southeastern border region and serve as a strategic and timely logistics hub in the event of natural disasters directly affecting the population.
During the site visit, the entrepreneurs were shown an introductory video, provided with updates on the progress and the expenditure of 8 billion mdp. They also had the opportunity to engage in a question-and-answer session to address any inquiries or concerns.
Some entrepreneurs expressed their interest and presented proposals to generate new business opportunities. The airport terminal is seen as a key infrastructure for the region’s economic development, offering enhanced connectivity and encouraging private investment.