UPDATE 2-Mexico unveils design for futuristic new $9 bln airport for capital

miércoles 3 de septiembre de 2014 16:07 GYT

(Updates with quote, additional design details)

By Roberto Aguilar and Alexandra Alper

MEXICO CITY, Sept 3 (Reuters) - Mexico's government on Wednesday unveiled the winning design for a new, futuristic, spider-shaped airport for the capital that will ease delays and boost capacity at a cost of 120 billion pesos ($9.17 bln) in public and private funding.

British architect Norman Foster and Fernando Romero, a son-in-law of Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim, showcased their winning, airy design in the form of an X with arching spans at the presidential palace.

The new six-runway project will be built next to the Benito Juarez International Airport on the eastern flank of Mexico City, where the government already owns land.

"This airport is the first of its kind in the world," Foster said. "It doesn't have a conventional roof, it doesn't have vertical walls. It doesn't have columns in the normal sense."

He cited challenges that include frequent earthquakes and the fact that the capital lies on a lake bed.

Mexico's government will finance the first stage of the new airport and aims to issue up to 30-year bonds to finance later stages, a senior project official said.

Federico Patino, financial director of the project, told reporters it would initially be financed from operating cash flow generated by Mexico City's current airport, which totals around 8.3 billion pesos ($634 million) a year.   Continuación...