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Tulum Airport and Mayan Train Completion
Dates Announced Soon

The long-awaited Mayan Train and Tulum Airport have gained global recognition as discussions about their pros and cons swirl around the world. However, despite many setbacks, President López Obrador remains determined to complete both projects right here in the Quintana Roo. The president stands fast in the fact that both the train and airport will bring about more jobs, a heightened economy and more tourism to those hard-to-reach areas, which he believes outweigh any of the proposed cons.

Tulum Airport and Mayan Train

Both of these projects have been passed to the Quintana Roo Governor, Mara Lezama and appointed army officials, as both the Mayan Train and Tulum Airport will be built by the Mexican army. Both officials stand strong in their determination to complete these projects, with López confidently stating; “20% of the tracks have been laid… The Maya Train is going ahead”.

Tulum Airport and Mayan Train

So, the question on everyone’s lips is, “what’s the delay?”. The issues in completing Tulum Airport and the Mayan Train are very separate. When it comes to the train, the main issue right now is the completion of sections 6 and 7 that run from Tulum to Escárcega in Campeche. This 550 kilometres of track haven’t been laid as local landowners were opposing the use of their land. However, in the last month, five out of 6 of these Ejido landowners have agreed to sell their land for the use of the Mayan Train. This turn of events lead to a conference in Tulum at the beginning of November, where President López Obrador declared that the government will officially release inauguration dates for both sections 6 and 7 of the Mayan Train tracks and Tulum Airport by December 2022.

Tulum Airport and Mayan Train

The more difficult issue comes with the delays in the construction of Tulum Airport. This project was announced in 2020 but has since hit many roadblocks due to its environmental impact. Tulum Airport is set to be built on 1,500 hectares of government-owned land and will see an estimated 3 million international tourists through its doors each year. Right now, the federal Environment Ministry (Semarnat) is carrying out an extensive environmental study on the airport project to evaluate its impact. In an official statement, Semarnat wrote that these are normal administrative procedures that the federal Environment Ministry always carried out in response to both public and private developer requests.

López Obrador originally gave Tulum Airport a completion date of summer 2023, which is looking unlikely at this time. However, with paperwork moving forward with Semarnat and local landowners agreeing to sell their plots, it could be that both the airport and Mayan Train could be opening before the end of 2023.

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Susann Rottloff