Tijuana to be turned into a strategic air cargo hub

Businessman Carlos Bustamante, a former Tijuana mayor, standing last week outside a converted airplane repair hangar where he is preparing today to launch an air cargo and logistics park. (Photo: David Maung /San Diego Union Tribune)

A center for airline passengers, Tijuana has never been notable for its volume of air cargo traffic. Now a former mayor has set about to change that.

Carlos Bustamante Anchondo said he is seizing on the city’s strategic location — next to California, with existing airline connections to Mexico’s interior and China — with an eye towards turning Tijuana into a major air cargo hub, both for domestic and international routes.

Today, Bustamante’s long-planned Matrix air cargo and logistics park will take its first step, launching operations inside a former airplane repair hangar that rises next to Tijuana’s A.L. Rodriguez International Airport. Facilities include a newly built Mexican customs inspection area and a bonded distribution center.

The initial traffic will be air freight that up to now has been processed at the Tijuana airport. But the plan is to quickly grow as express carriers and freight forwarders find they can save time and money by making deliveries directly to Tijuana rather than their current practice of flying in an out of the Los Angeles International Airport, then crossing the goods by truck into and out of Mexico.

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