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Sedena withdraws from military air base and Tulum airport project

Tulum, Q.R. — The Ministry of National Defense (Sedena), who was tasked with building the Tulum International Airport, has withdrawn from the project. The news was made public after the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat) published the update to the Environmental Impact Statement that was submitted in late August.

“On September 13, 2022, an official letter was filed with the DGIRA, through which the petitioner presented the withdrawal of the Environmental Impact Assessment Procedure of the merit project and the General Directorate of Impact and Environmental Risk of the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources is competent to pronounce on official letter number 533-MCA-2022 dated September 13, 2022, through which the petitioner presented the withdrawal of the Evaluation Procedure of Environmental Impact for the project called “Construction of a Civil Military Air Base and the Felipe Carrillo Puerto International Airport”,” Semarnat reported.

“The foregoing was exposed by Semarnat in its gazette this week, published on November 3,” the federal agency added.

While there has not been an official cancelation of the project, Semarnat did add that
“the Regulation of the General Law of Ecological Balance and Environmental Protection in terms of Environmental Impact Assessment provides in its numeral 50, section I that, any promoter who decides not to execute a work or activity subject to authorization in terms of The environmental impact must be communicated in writing to the Secretariat (Semarnat) so that it proceeds to file the file that has been integrated, if the communication is made during the Environmental Impact Assessment Procedure,” which puts an end to the administrative procedure.

On October 27, Semarnat describes the “resolved” validity of the MIA for the Tulum International Airport as “not applicable”. There has not been any official government comment made on the recent publication by Semarnat.

The withdrawl comes a few weeks after the International Air Transport Association (IATA) issued a statement warning to the Secretary of Defense (Sedena) that the airport would not draw demand mostly due to its proximity to the Cancun International Airport.

According to AITA, Tulum does not have the necessary road infrastructure or demand to support another airport, saying the region is not large enough, however, Coparmex (Confederación Patronal de la República Mexicana) Riviera Maya said that after construction, there is projected growth demand for flights.