Giant trees at the Merida airport, where the sounds of countless grackles could be heard by travelers, have been chopped down to accommodate its expansion. Photo: Facebook

Merida International Airport’s huge, mature trees — home to countless grackles that greeted arrivals — were unceremoniously chopped down while the facility expands.

“They cut down the beautiful trees over 50 years of life that were in the garden of Merida Airport,” a traveler from Merida complained on social media. “That’s not being better. That’s not moving forward.”

The deforested space, visible from a series of windows connecting gates and the main building, is now fenced in as the airport continues a huge 2-billion-peso expansion that will continue until 2023.

The airport is gradually recovering from an economic shutdown that had practically paralyzed it in April and May when daily travelers averaged 360. In June, around 1,100 travelers passed through daily.

Aeroméxico alone has gone from one daily flight to three. In July, the airline will have five daily routes connecting Merida to other destinations in Mexico.