Reuters news service said, "The government wants the Riviera Maya international airport because the region, just south of Cancun, is a booming tourist area especially around Playa del Carmen, which is popular with U.S. and European visitors."
The Riviera Maya airport in Tulum will be the first in the country to be constructed by private investors under a concession scheme and will have a capacity for up to 3 million passengers per year.
The new terminal forms part of an ambitious government infrastructure project. It will occupy 3,700 acres (1,500 hectares) on the edge of the Tulum real estate market and will have a capacity for up to 3 million passengers per year.
Potential bidders are thought to include: ASUR, operator of Cancun airport; OMA, operator of northern Mexican airports including Monterrey and Acapulco; OHL, one of Spain's largest construction companies; and Advent International, a private investment company. Local politicians have described the new Tulum airport as an “economic trigger” that will turn this part of the coast into one of the most prosperous areas in the Mexican Caribbean.
Details for the new Riviera Maya airport from the government’s agency for Airports and Auxiliary Services (ASA):
- The airport will be in the the municipality of Solidaridad, to the east of Xel-Ha, between Tulum and Playa del Carmen, on the road to Cobá.
- It will be 40 miles (65 km) from Cozumel airport and 63 miles (102 km) from Cancún airport at map coordinates s 20° 20’ 30” (N) and 87° 30’ 30” (W), 10 miles (15.8 km) from the coast at Punta Cadenas, to the south of Tankah.
- The main runway will have orientation to 120°-300° as in Cancun and Cozumel and in accordance with prevailing winds.
- The main runway will be 2.2 miles (3.5km) long by 50 yards (45m) wide, corresponding with international aviation recommendations.
- The total area of the Tulum international airport land is estimated at 3,700 acres (1,500 hectares).
- The land where the airport will be built is 65.6 feet (20m) above sea level.
As well as the airport, major highway improvements have been completed along the Riviera Maya and more are underway, such as the Playa del Carmen bridges.
This heavy public investment has had an affect on Tulum real estate prices and the number of foreign property developers in the area has risen rapidly.
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