Plans in works for new airport in Mexico

MEXICO CITY -- The new international airport here will be built on a dry lake bed outside the capital. Construction is expected to begin by the end of next year on the dry lake bed of Texcoco, 21 miles east of Mexico City.

The $2.5 billion airport, which is expected to take up to seven years to complete, will mean the closing of Benito Juarez Airport. Officials ruled against a more expensive project in the town of Tizayuc due to its 45-mile distance from the capital.

The new facility will meet the needs of growing airline traffic, which is expected to increase from 21 million passengers in 2000 to 29 million passengers in 2005, according to officials. Because of its inner-city location, Benito Juarez Airport, which has been operating at capacity for several years, cannot be expanded.

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