Mexico’s defense ministry (Sedena) will remain the owner of the site of the Santa Lucía military air base, which is set to be turned into an international airport under a plan to develop a larger airport system for Mexico City.
At his daily press conference on Friday, AMLO (pictured) noted that the fact that Sedena engineers will be tasked with building the infrastructure for the international airport because it is the owner.
The president also said that the transport and communications ministry (SCT) will reach an agreement with Sedena regarding the future collection of airport charges (TUA) at Santa Lucía.
AMLO was directly responding to a report by local daily Reforma, which states that federal auditor ASF has repeatedly questioned the participation of Sedena in non-military public works.
According to the paper, some ASF reports have noted that Sedena lacks the powers to sign agreements for the construction, maintenance and demolition of works carried out in non-military locations.
Based on article 29 of the law of the federal public administration, which provides the basis for the administration of Mexico’s federal government, Sedena is allowed to «build and prepare fortifications, fortresses and all kind of military facilities for the use of the army and the air force, as well as the administration and conservation of military bases, hospitals and relevant facilities.»
The defense ministry is also allowed to «provide military advice for the construction of all kinds of road and air transport infrastructure.»
Last week, AMLO confirmed that the Mexican army will be responsible for the construction of all the infrastructure needed to turn the Santa Lucía air base into an international airport, including two additional runways and the terminal building.
Authorities are reportedly only awaiting the completion of a report commissioned from foreign firms, which will serve to define the exact locations of the runways.
The architectural model that was used in the construction of a second terminal at AICM, which was opened in 2007, will also be used at Santa Lucía in order to reduce construction costs, according to AMLO.
The spending budget proposal for 2019 that the finance ministry (SHCP) submitted to congress, and which was approved earlier this week, earmarked 15bn pesos (US$764mn) to Sedena for the modernization and rehabilitation of airport infrastructure. These funds will be used for the works at Santa Lucía, authorities have confirmed.