The news of lavish airports is not restricted to Asia and the Middle-East.
Norman Foster, who handled projects like the restoration of the Reichstag in Berlin, the Hearst Tower in NYC, the so-called Gherkin in London or the cleverly laid-out Stansted airport in 1991, has won the competition to create the new MEX.
The new facility will replace the existing Benito Juárez International Airport, the second busiest in Latin America which suffers from capacity constraints—not unlike LHR, its two runways are close to 98% capacity.
Worse, it's designed to handle maybe 20 million passengers a year (depending on who you believe) and it clocks at 33.
The new airport will have a capacity of 50m passengers a year at opening (around 2020), aiming for full capacity in 2065 with …120 million.
It will be built just east of the current MEX. The Zona Federal del Lago de Texcoco (that you can spot when landing) is not built and already owned by the government. It makes access to the city extremely convenient, which isn't usually the case of such large airports.
Because large it will be.
6 million square feet of airport. No less than 6 runways. Simply one of the biggest airports in the world.
It will also use solar energy and collect rainwater to be more environmentally sustainable.
In Norman's words:
The experience for passengers will be unique. Its design provides the most flexible enclosure possible to accommodate internal change and an increase in capacity. Mexico has really seized the initiative in investing in its national airport, understanding its social and economic importance and planning for the future. There will be nothing else like it in the world.
At $10 billion, one can hope so.
Now, and even if I'd prefer an extension of LHR, I'd be happy to see him win an eventual new London airport.