Tuesday, March 23, 2010

First the Airport at Riviera Maya, Then the Mega-Port at Punta Colonet?

Mexican mega-infrastructure projects take time. Three years after announcing the imminent construction of a new airport at Riviera Maya, the Mexican government on Monday will at last announce details of the bidding process, and set a four-year timetable for construction. The primary contract will likely go to one of the three groups that operate airports in the country: Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacifico (GAP), Grupo Aeroportuario Centro Norte (OMA) and Airports del Sureste (Asur); also interested is Obrasc√≥n, Huarte and Lain (OHL). The airport was one of many major projects, including the Punta Colonet mega-port, included in Mexico’s 2007 National Infrastructure Program (NIP) for 2007-2012. The Riviera Maya project is moving ahead in three phases -- specific invitation to stakeholders, publication of tender documentation, and investment in the project. The same procedure is being used for Punta Colonet.

The airport will include a terminal, runway and taxiways, operating platforms, fuel station, control tower and a Body Rescue and Firefighting (CREI) unit. Mexican President Felipe Calderon said the Riviera Maya airport project would be the first in Mexico to be built completely with private funds. He put the estimated cost for the project at 3.2 billion pesos (US$255 million). Calderon said the airport in its “initial phases” would be able to handle as many as 3 million passengers per year and would be able to accommodate intercontinental flights.

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