Andrés Manuel López Obrador, Mexico’s president-elect, has announced that a referendum will decide whether to cancel the country’s proposed US$13 billion international airport project.

Mexico airport

An artist’s impression of the new airport

The project for a new Mexico City International Airport has been mired in difficulty and controversy since its original announcement by President Enrique Pena Nieto.

The Grupo Carso consortium was awarded a US$4.2 billion contract for the construction of the new airport in Mexico City. Led by the Mexican firm Carso, the consortium includes the Spanish companies FCC and Acciona, as well as a number of local Mexican firms.

A vote will be held in October, despite the fact that Lopez Obrador won’t take office until December.

Mr López Obrador told a press conference in the state of Tabasco, “I call on the people of Mexico to help us overcome wrongs and resolve the difficult issue we inherited, and which we must face in the best possible way.”

It has been reported that cancelling the project would cost approximately US$5 billion.

Mexico City’s current airport has an official capacity of 32 million passengers per year, but handled around 44 million passengers last year.

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