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Felipe Ángeles International Airport

Photos: ProtoplasmaKid, Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International

The Felipe Ángeles International Airport (AIFA) is Mexico City’s other big airport. About 35 kilometres north of the City, the airport opened in 2022 on the grounds of the former Santa Lucía Air Force Base. That air base had opened in 1952 to replace the old Balbuena air field near Mexico City’s main airport, Benito Juárez or AICM, (Aeropuerto Internacional de Ciudad de México).

This second airport is important as a cargo airport, but takes much of the pressure off of the older AICM for some passenger flights. These are principally domestic flights but an increasing number of international carriers are also taking advantage of the airport’s much lower costs. The terminal is also important for some parts of the Mexican Air Force and for charter flight services.

  • General Felipe Ángeles Ramírez (1868–1919) was military officer during the Mexican Revolution. He was promoted to brigadier general during the presidency of Francisco I. Madero (1911-1913). Madero sent him to Morelos to battle the early Zapatista forces, and Ángeles is widely credited with having reduced the violence there. Having joined the Pancho Villa forces in the north, he was eventually executed by the Venustiano Carranza forces in 1919.

For international visitors arriving to or departing from the AIFA, the airport offers all of the support and amenities that modern travelers have come to expect. In addition, there are a number of unique attractions.

  • The Mammoth Museum was established to preserve and exhibit the nearly 200 mammoth fossils recovered during the expansion of the airport.
  • The Military Aviation Museum has 12 exhibition galleries and four galleries for temporary exhibits. The museum is dedicated to Mexican military aviation and includes some 50 historic and antique aircraft.
  • The Historic Railcar and Train Museum maintains a collection of railcars held by the Department of National Defense.

At 35 kilometers to the north of Mexico City, AIFA can present challenges for those trying to get in or out.  Buses from several important Metro stations and other points in Mexico City and Mexico State will make the trip. It will later be updated to include the Suburbano train from Buenavista.

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