Jalisco’s Governor Enrique Alfaro Ramírez has announced that the new Chalacatepec International Airport, in Costalegre, Jalisco will commence operations later this year. 

Construction at the airport has already been completed and it is expected to enhance the connectivity of the Costalegre region, a 240-kilometer stretch of the Pacific Coast south of Puerto Vallarta. The area will soon be home to the US $1 billion-dollar ultra-luxury Xala resort.

The new airport, seen here under construction in 2023, will be able to accommodate large aircraft from destinations across the world, SICT hopes. (Radio Costa)

Alfaro said the Ministry of Infrastructure, Communications, and Transportation (SICT) will publish a public tender for the concession to operate the airport this month.

“We have reached an agreement with the president to make a concession,” Alfaro said in a press conference. “The original plan was for the state government to operate it as a domestic airport, but we have decided that an airport group will operate it as an international airport instead.”

Alfaro said that some groups have already expressed their intention to participate in the tender, which will be overseen directly by SICT. 

“Once [the airport] comes into operation with an airport group at the helm, we’ll work closely with airlines to define the flights on offer,” Alfaro explained.

The Costalegre coastline is comparatively underdeveloped compared to other luxury tourism destinations in Mexico. (Costalegre/X)

Chalacatepec will be Jalisco’s third international airport after Guadalajara and Puerto Vallarta. Both airports are managed by Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacífico (GAP), which operates a total of 12 airports across Mexico’s Pacific coast.

With an investment of 62 million pesos (US $3.2 million), Alfaro said Chalacatepec will be capable of accommodating “any airplane from around the world.”

In an interview with the newspaper El Economista, Guadalajara International Airport chief Martín Pablo Zazueta, said that although GAP is focused on the operation of its current airports, it “is open” to taking part in the concession process for Chalacatepec’s air terminal.

The Costalegre region is made up of several towns and beaches, stretching from Barra de Navidad to Playa Quemada, including Melaque, Tenacatita, Costa Careyes and Chemala — the last two home to the ultra-luxury developments of Careyes and Cuixmala

The beaches in the region have been described as “a diamond in the rough” and tourism officials are predicting the area will be one of the most sought-after on the Pacific coast.