A public vote has been called to determine the future of Foster + Partners’ $13.3 billion New Mexico City International Airport project
Mexico’s president-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador has announced a nationwide referendum on the contentious project, which he described as a ‘bottomless pit’ and beset with corruption.
The yes-or-no vote will be held in late October and the outcome is expected to be binding with López Obrador taking office in early December, reported AFP.
Speaking to a press conference, the president-elect said: ‘The plan is to provide the Mexican people [with] all the relevant information, truthfully and objectively, so that we can all decide together on this important matter of national interest.’
Foster + Partners was selected ahead of rival bids by Zaha Hadid Architects, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners and Pascall+Watson to win the 743,000m² commission four years ago (see AJ 04.09.14).
Originally planned to complete in 2018, the ambitious project has been on site for the past three years and is scheduled to see its first phase complete in 2020.
The scheme provides for up to 66 million passengers a year and replaces the Mexican capital’s existing city-centre airport nearby, which receives millions more passengers every year that it was designed to handle.
Foster + Partners’ winning scheme – designed in collaboration with Fernando Romero Enterprise and Netherlands Airport Consultants – features an enormous lightweight gridshell roof about three times larger than the span of a conventional airport terminal building.
If approved, the first phase of the new airport featuring the terminal and three runways will open in 2020. Later phases would deliver an additional main terminal, two satellite terminals, and up to six runways in total.