Merida’s international airport. Photo: Video

Never mind that the Merida international airport is undergoing a massive expansion. A new billion-peso international airport is under formal talks between state officials and private investors, Yucatan Gov. Mauricio Vila Dosal told reporters.

At a press conference offered unexpectedly Friday while he toured neighborhoods flooded by Hurricane Delta, Vila Dosal spoke briefly about the project to build a new airport in Mérida. Government officials were previously interested in linking a new airport to the Mayan Train.

“So far not there is nothing firm yet,” he said.

The region has been served for decades by the Manuel Crescencio Rejón International Airport, which is somewhat penned in by the city’s urban sprawl. It is one of the 10 busiest airports in Mexico, handling an annual average of 3 million passengers and 20 airlines. Yearly arrivals have increased by at least 15% in the last decade, according to Mexico Aeropuerto.

The Merida international airport as it appeared on a 1950s postcard.

Vila Dosal touted the many jobs that a second airport would generate while assuring that environmental protections would be in place. The new airport, if built, would be entirely funded by private investment, he added.

No location has been decided out of several possible sites, he also said.

International flight resume

As part of Yucatan’s gradual economic reactivation, the state tourism department celebrated the return of American Airlines’ Merida-Miami nonstop route when Flight 4566 arrived Thursday. It flies five times a week.

But an expected resumption of United’s Houston flight by Nov. 1 was again scuttled. The direct flight is on the airline’s booking calendar starting Dec. 1.

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