Mexico City is apparently building a massive, squid-esque airport

Squid Airport Mexico City

Look at this thing. It’s described as “X-Shape,” but it really does kind of look like a squid or other sea creature. Mexico City is the ninth-largest city in the world, and this thing is apparently going to cost $9 billion (120 billion pesos) to make. And get this:

The new, yet-to-be-named airport will have a single, “X”-shaped terminal, six runways, and reportedly enough capacity to handle 120 million passengers annually, four times the capacity of Benito Juarez. That would put the airport ahead of Atlanta as the world’s busiest.

You see that line they slapped in there? Single terminal? That’s insane, especially if you’re a predominantly U.S.-based traveler, where most major airports seem to have about nine terminals. (I lived in Minneapolis just before where I live now. There are a lot of big businesses in Minneapolis, so it’s not some rinky-dink airport, but it has way more terminal space than someone from either coast would ever think it does.)

This airport is apparently going to turn over 120 million passengers per annum, as you see above — to put that in context, that’s 328,767 people coming and going every day.

It’s going to be six million square feet and have solar/rainwater collection hubs for heating/cooling needs (fancy), and … well, let’s get back to this whole thing about the single terminal.

According to Quartz:

Part of the idea behind a unified hub is to give passengers the feeling that they are leaving from their cars directly to their planes without all the hassle in between. In other words, to make the airport experience actually an enjoyable one.

That makes sense. I kind of think it might be impossible to make an airport experience truly enjoyable — see this, for example — but I do tend to appreciate airports more where you can go from your car to a not-insane security line to a gate relatively close to the end of the security line, and all within about 45 minutes-1 hour. The worst thing ever is when you exit a security check and realize you have to take two shuttles to get to your gate. (I feel this happens at places like Austin and SEA-TAC, which are airports that haven’t successfully grown with the growth of their city.)

Two of my good friends went to Mexico City a few years ago — I’ve never been, I’m terrified of Mexico — and they said it was one of the best, most transportation-friendly cities in the world (subway, etc.) Looks like they’re following suit with their airport. Should be interesting to see how this plays out.


Ted Bauer