TULUM, México – President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has announced that the construction of the new Tulum airport will be completed by 2023 and is scheduled to commence operations in 2024. This ambitious project, known as the “Aeropuerto Internacional Felipe Carrillo Puerto,” is set to revolutionize travel to the stunning coastal city of Tulum and its surrounding areas.
According to Grupo Aeroportuario del Sureste, the Mexican government has secured approximately 1,200 hectares of land located 130 kilometers south of the Cancun airport for the construction of the new airport. The inauguration of this modern facility is planned to coincide with the highly anticipated unveiling of the Tren Maya, an intercity railway network that will connect airports and historic Mayan tourist sites across the states of Chiapas, Yucatán, and Quintana Roo.
The new Tulum airport will be managed and operated by the Mexican Army, emphasizing the government’s commitment to the development of the region. The Sedena (Secretaría de la Defensa Nacional) will oversee the project, in collaboration with the Dirección General de Ingenieros. Environmental studies for the airport began in 2021, and it is noteworthy that the Tulum airport will share runways with an existing military airbase in the municipality of Felipe Carrillo Puerto.
With an estimated capacity to accommodate approximately 4 million passengers by May 2024, the Tulum airport is expected to cater to the growing demand for travel to this breathtaking destination. The total cost of the project is projected to reach 49.2 million dollars, and the facility is designed to have a lifespan of 31 years. The Sedena has assured that the airport will be resilient against hurricanes up to category 5, a critical consideration given the region’s susceptibility to severe weather events.
The United States Department of Commerce has stated that the new Tulum airport will feature a 3.5-kilometer runway and will serve commercial, cargo, and general aviation needs. Additionally, its integration with the Tren Maya’s fifth, sixth, and seventh sections will offer seamless connectivity for travelers exploring the Riviera Maya’s enchanting treasures.
In line with this strategic development plan, the Chetumal and Palenque airports, which are part of the ASA network, will undergo expansion works and be transferred to the Sedena upon the completion of the Tulum airport.
While this transformative project holds immense potential for the region’s tourism industry, concerns have been raised about its potential impact on passenger traffic at the Cancun airport. Grupo Aeroportuario del Sureste acknowledges this challenge, and it remains to be seen how these developments will be managed to ensure minimal disruption to existing air travel operations.
As the completion of the new Tulum airport draws nearer, anticipation continues to mount among locals and tourists alike. The synergistic interplay between the airport and the Tren Maya will unlock unprecedented opportunities for sustainable tourism and economic growth, further cementing Tulum’s position as a premier global destination.