I have always been struck by how little interest we Mexicans show in public affairs in our talks. No one would assume that everyone should be aware of everything that happens and have an opinion on the decisions that are made. However, our country will not advance much if our compatriots are not moderately interested in some of our affairs and we try to inform each other minimally of our reality.
I say all this because yesterday I had to pay for some plane tickets and the airport use tax, the famous TUA, represented more than 30% of the cost of the tickets. Frankly, I thought it was excessive. My annoyance, however, was not the payment itself, but because of the fate that I already know those resources have.
The TUA, as you know, is destined to fulfill a presidential whim, which has been branded as everything: the suspension of the construction of the Texcoco airport. It has been said from the stupidest decision that a ruler in the world has taken, to the most significant economic nonsense of the six-year term. In effect, the TUA pays the debt of an airport that was not built and by allocating that tax to the payment of a debt, the Mexico City Airport has been left without resources for its minimum maintenance.
The result is catastrophic. We have a new airport that in 3 months has transported what the CDMX Airport moves in one day (around 126,000 passengers). This new airport is also only 80% finished, lacks roads to reach it and lacks connectivity with other airlines and therefore is useless for transportation within the country. If I want to get from Monterrey to Mérida, for example, if I get to Felipe Ángeles, I have to take a taxi or a truck to Benito Juárez to be able to continue my trip. It costs me more and lengthens my transfer times.
On top of that, the money that should have been used to maintain the Benito Juárez is used to pay off the debt of an airport that will never see the light of day. Today we came to find out that one of the landing strips needs major surgery. Despite having known it for 3 years, we learned that Terminal 2 is sinking without having done anything in these three years and, according to the presidential saying, nothing will be done in the remainder of the six-year term. As if that were not enough, to defend corporate interests, a transportation platform (Uber) is prohibited from transporting passengers to and from the airport, increasing the cost to users.
At Sunday lunch I comment on these matters and a lady sitting on the other side of the table answers me, since I am not political at all, but for those of us who live in Tecamac, State of Mexico, the Felipe Ángeles is very close and we already needed a airport.
Which means that we changed a world-class airport, projected to be an intercontinental connection hub, with a projected capacity in the next 20 years, to move 50 million passengers, with roads designed and planned to evacuate Benito Juárez and develop an entire area with parks, a cultural center and housing development, to stay with an airport that is very close to Tecamac, benefiting its inhabitants. Of that size is our government and of that size is the opinion of our fellow citizens. Nothing more, but nothing less too.
Lawyer, political scientist and economist
Essayist and interested in legal and justice issues. currently professor at the Faculty of Law of the UNAM.