Last friday (September 2nd, 2011), the Mexican federal secretary of Transport and Communications Dionisio Pérez Jácome announced the Tulum Airport project will be suspended again, along with other four important infrastructure projecs in Mexico (a port in Baja California and suburban trains in Mexico City).
The official reason behind this surprising decision was that “all the projects required a new return on investment analysis”. Other off-the-record versions indicate the Mexican Government could be embarking in an austerity plan do the shaky status of the global financial markets, while other say the lobby from ASUR, the operator of the Cancún airport may have played a role.
Expectation for the re-launch of the Mayan Riviera Airport project is rising as Quintana Roo’s Governor, Mr Roberto Borge Angulo announced that he is expecting the head of the SCT (the federal Communitations and Transport secretariat) Dionisio Pérez-Jácome Friscione to visit the Mayan Riviera before the end of the month. The main purpose of the visit would be the airport project announcement.
Mr Angulo also commented on the recent approval by the Environment Secretariat (SEMARNAT) of a new highway, a 26 km (16 miles) detour that will circumvent the Tulum town and will have a 5.7km (3.5 miles) deviation leading into the new airport.
Grupo Mexico (a large Mexican mining conglomerate) and its airport operation partners of Grupo Aeroportuario Pacifico (GAP) have just (June 1st 2011) challenged the Mexican Transport regulatory body’s (SCT) decision to cancel the auction of the Riviera Maya Airport (Tulum Airport).
On May 20th 2011, the SCT had found none of the technical offers had complied the Government requisites to build and operate the Tulum airport, expected to handle over 700.000 passengers a year.
The Grupo Mexico/GAP consortia and the Cancun Airport operator (ASUR-Grupo Aeroportuario del Sureste) are having a strong lobby battle to determine if the latter can keep the monopoly on the Yucatan Peninsula best known beach resorts.
All these battles will have an important effect on Tulum real estate and developments. There are a lot of speculative land developments on the area near the airport project. Gossip goes around that top local politicians have heavily invested in land around the airfield.
On May 20th, the Mexican Communications and Transport Secretariat declined all the technical offers for the construction of the Riviera Maya Airport (Tulum Airport). At least 5 consortia of Mexican and multinational groups where bidding to build and operate the Mayan Riviera Airport. The airport was expected to start operating in 2014.
The Mexican Government has not yet commented on the results, however lobby from ASUR – the Cancun airport operators (a neighbor airport enjoying the monopoly on the Yucatan Peninsula best resorts) is assumed to have used a substantial lobby against the project.
So far, to get to Tulum you need to fly to Cancun, 90 minutes away by car. The development of the Tulum airport (Mayan Riviera Airport) will make it a lot easier and faster to get to Tulum.
On April 27th 2011, the competing groups Tradeco, Grupo Mexico, Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacifico, Aeropuerto de Cancun, Servicios Aeroportuarios del Surest y Haig Gulesserian presented their technical and financial proposals to build and operate the airport.
The SCT (Mexico’s transport and communications regulatory body) now has 18 days to review the technical proposal and go ahead with the financial offers of the finalists.
The prices of the land and the new real estate developments in around Tulum (many of them on the airport area) are expected to raise as a result of the better access.