The new AIFA, demolishing 5 myths of the new airport
A lot has been said about the new Felipe Ángeles International Airport (AIFA), both in favor and against. But, beyond the controversy, what is real, and what is not regarding AIFA? We took a tour to demolish the 5 most common myths about the new Santa Lucia International Airport. This is what we found:
Closer than you think
People said that AIFA is very far from the city, but is it in fact that far? Not really, it depends on the place you are from. For example, it took us only 40 min. by car to get from AIFA to AICM, the old Mexico City airport (this is, for example, less time than going from Santa Fe neighborhood to AICM). Even from some points, such as Ciudad Satelite, the journey can be only 30 min. Logically, if we start from more distant places, the journey may take longer.
So getting to AIFA is practically the same as getting from one point to another inside the city. In addition, new road works are increasingly streamlining traffic to the terminal. Public transportation already includes a Mexibus line and, once it enters into operation, the Suburban Train will move millions of passengers massively, quickly and efficiently.
However, the best mobility option at AIFA is renting a car with MEX. There's nothing more comfortable than stepping out of the baggage claim and receiving your car key. You save parking space, and you can return the car for free at any of our offices, either AIFA, AICM or Florencia Ave. It is comfortable, practical and much cheaper than other options.
From "central avionera" to airport of the future
Another very common myth about the new airport is that it's badly done, that it is a “central avionera” (a sort of simple bus station). In reality, it is the opposite, the AIFA is on par with the best airports in the world. Everything has been carefully designed: the access roads, the boarding lounges, the parking lot, the landing tracks, the maneuvering yards, etc. Arriving passengers never cross departing passengers, as each flow is properly organized.
Everything in the AIFA is very wide, from the corridors to the landing tracks. Security is another strong point of the airport. The security filters, for example, stand out for their technology and for the agility with which the checking process is carried out. Officials of the Mexican National Guard keep safe the facilities at all times. And, well, about cleanliness, it must be said: everything is impeccable.
The ghost airport?
The idea of AIFA as an empty airport with few passengers no longer corresponds to reality. Perhaps this was the case at the beginning, after its inauguration, when the number of passengers was low. But today more and more people are using the facilities. Passenger operations are already close to 70 daily and this trends is expected to continue increasing.
It has also been said that there is nowhere to meal at AIFA, or that the counters are empty. But on our tour, we found that approximately 40% of the commercial spaces are already occupied. These include restaurants, gift shops and cafés. Most likely, with the passage of time and the increase in passengers, the available commercial premises will be occupied.
There are also a couple of nearby hotels that have already opened: one built by the Sedena and another operated by a known hotel chain. In addition, a bus station is already operating inside the Airport, with destinations to the main cities surrounding the Valley of Mexico. This allows terrestrial connectivity to be optimal.
Sober, but also advanced
One of the peculiarities of the airport is the cargo connection, which is provided by a train that reaches the customs area to facilitate the transit of merchants. In addition, the Felipe Angeles has another curiosity: although it is not easy to notice, it has been built in separate modules so that, in the event of an earthquake, the movement or collapse of one module does not affect the others.
Few also know that the AIFA incorporates green technology. For example, the windows of the terminal have thermal technology that recycle heat during cold weather and maintains freshness in warm season. This makes the air conditioning system more efficient. On the other hand, the Airport has its own field of solar panels and a water treatment plant. As if that were not enough, the landing tracks are longer than normal, which allows the planes to use less fuel when taking off.
You can say everything, except it is boring
Do you have a layover at AIFA, and will you have to wait at the airport? Don't worry, you won't be in problems to spent your time. The airport complex has three museums open to the public. The largest is the Mammoth Museum, which preserves the paleontological remains found during the construction of the airport. It is a top-quality exhibition with very striking pieces, such as mammoth bones, remains of saber-tooth tigers and other objects. It also has interactive rooms specialized for children.
You can also visit the Aviation Museum and the Railway Museum. The first exhibits many of the most emblematic aircraft that the Mexican Air Force has used throughout its history. The second one allows you to take a trip back in time by entering the Olivo Presidential Train, a transportation used by the Mexican presidents from 1927 to 1960. If you don't have time to go to the museums, you can take a tour of the airport's thematic bathrooms.
In summary, to get to know the AIFA you only need two things: a plane ticket and the desire to be surprised.