Which airport, Señor Presidente?
President Biden is flying to Mexico City this week.
Normally, foreign dignitaries land at the large airport in the middle of Mexico City.
I've landed there many, many times. It's a mess because of traffic, but that's not something that President Biden will have to worry about.
So why are we talking about President Biden and a local airport? The answer is that his host, Presidente López-Obrador, wants him to land at the new airport.
This is the story:
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador is asking President Biden to land Air Force One at a new airport farther from the center of Mexico City when he visits next month — describing it as a favor to quell domestic criticism of the project.
The unusual request sets up a potentially awkward start to the visit and would require Biden's motorcade to add time to its commute when the president arrives Jan. 9 for talks with López Obrador and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
"I am taking the opportunity to tell [Biden] that out of friendship, out of diplomacy, we ask him that his plane land at the Felipe Ángeles International Airport," the 69-year-old Mexican president, known by his initials, AMLO, said Wednesday at a press conference.
I guess it's always this or that with AMLO.
All of this about the new airport reminds me of conversations I had the last time I visited Mexico. They liked the idea of a new airport, but nobody seemed to like this one, Felipe Angeles Airport.
I got the feeling that most of my friends thought the airport was more of a presidential project than something the city needs. One friend mentioned how the Dallas area has two airports, Love Field for domestic and DFW for international flights. He said that most Mexicans, especially business people, were hoping for a more practical option rather than an airport so far removed.
Based on what I'm hearing, getting to the new airport is possible only by car. It's a good deal for taxis, and Uber fares are very high. It's a beautiful airport, but not many flights are landing there so far.
To be fair, Mexico City (pop. 22,004,810) needs an alternative airport, but I guess that President López-Obrador's pet project is not getting a lot of "likes."
In the meantime, AMLO needs someone to land at his new airport, and he is hoping that President Biden is the one.
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Image: Sharon Hahn Darlin, via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 2.0.