A new cargo center opens at Chichén Itzá International Airport. Photo: Courtesy

Kaua, Yucatán — While the airports in Mérida and Cancun report steady growth, things are relatively quiet at Chichén Itzá International Airport.

A new cargo center has been opened to bring life to the sleepy air field.

The airport was opened in 2000 to replace the old Chichén Itzá Aerodrome north of the archaeological zone. Despite a prime location and a terminal that could absorb 200,000 passengers yearly, CZA has been under used, piling up millions in debt.

In a joint public-private initiative, infrastructure and equipment upgrades have been underway at the airport, said Gov. Rolando Zapata Bello.

With the completion of the first stage of the project, the Airport Cargo Center of Valladolid cost 78 million pesos. It has specialized space for storage and distribution of products being shipped to Quintana Roo, the Caribbean, the United States, Central and South America.

The new building can accommodate refrigerated and frozen goods, so meats, flowers and other perishable shipments can pass through.

The second phase of improvements, expected to be completed in six months, includes a new surface and lighting for the runway, which will connect to the cargo center.

The airport will still welcome small private planes. It is also a fixed base of operations for small planes, where they can fuel or rent hangar space. A space is also allocated for training pilots, technicians and mechanics.

The airport was built in a strategic location, equidistant from the three most important tourist sites of neighboring Quintana Roo: Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Tulum.

The airport is meant to benefit local families and industrial and agricultural sectors of Yucatán. While owned by the state government, it is operated under a concession held by Mérida-based Servicios Aéreos Ciclo.

To complement this work, state and federal governments have improved the surrounding road network through the extension of the Chichén Itzá-Valladolid section of the Mérida-Puerto Juarez highway. Nearly 40 kilometers of road has been widened from six to 12 meters.

Source: Press release