Its innovation and continuous growth has positioned AIQ among the four most important airports in the country

In few years, Queretaro has been located as the fourth destination of aeronautic investment within the world scenario and as one of the 10 aerospace cities of the future.

Despite the fact that only after 10 years the name of Queretaro was not related to the aeronautic industry in Mexico, today it is considered the most important Aerospace Cluster in Mexico, the best integrated and the one that has all the elements of a developed Cluster.

Among the factors that have contributed to this industry growth and in which Queretaro has positioned as an attractive place for the arrival of aeronautical investments standout: the development of local supply, the promotion of innovation and technological development, school level and the level of specialization of its people.

This sector is integrated by almost 85 companies and organizations, including 12 research and design centers, and seven academic institutions.

Some of the most important worldwide companies of the sector are settled in Queretaro such as Bombardier, Airbus, Safran, GE, ITP and PCC Aerostructures, among others.

Based in information from ProMexico, the first industrial parks dedicated to the aerospace industry in the country were developed in Queretaro.

Its Avant-grade airport – the Queretaro Intercontinental Airport – has a runway of more than 3.5 kilometers long and with the most advanced navigation systems.

According with estimations from the Mexican Business Council for Foreign Trade, Investment and Technology (COMCE, by its Spanish initials) chapter Queretaro, exports from Queretaro will add about 9,500 million dollars during 2018, registering a growth of 10.5 % compared with the 8,600 million dollars registered in 2017.

Ricardo Zaldumbide Cecena, president of COMCE in Queretaro, said that about 720 certified companies with permanent or systematic operations in foreign trade; and although the automotive industry contributes with most of the Queretaro exports, representing between 34 and 38 percent of the total of abroad sales, the consolidation of the aerospace industry, through companies such as Safran and Bombardier, also has forged its participation in exports.

He said that stability in the export sector of the entity includes different factors, from the added value, to the development of industries such as the automotive.

AIQ has a privileged infrastructure level

Jesus Arredondo, general director of AIQ, said that they have the largest aircrafts maintenance center in Latin America, which is formed by the alliance between Aeromexico and Delta.

“It is about to reach 800 workers and some of them are still part of the Universidad Aeronautica en Queretaro (UNAQ,)” he said.

On the other hand, he said that it is possible that the airport reaches five million passengers this year in the last 14 years: “we are the airport that grows the most in a sustainable manner, we have transformed into a reference point nationally.”

Regarding the cargo movement, he announced that only in 2016, AIQ moved about 24 thousand tons, which represents an increase of 48 percent.

Based in data from the Directorate General of Civil Aeronautics (DGAC, by its Spanish initials) during the first trimester of the year, the AIQ was the one that grew the most in cargo movement in Mexico, adding up the National Regular and International Regular services reaching a total of 24,232 tons, 43 % more than the 16,973 tons last year, positioning it in the fourth place nationally.

Given this continuous growth, Marco Antonio Del Prete Tercero, secretary of Sustainable Development in the state of Queretaro, announced that five more positions of cargo will be enabled at the Queretaro Intercontinental Airport, currently there are carried out about 100 daily aerial operations and a total of 48 operations per hour, he said.

Likewise, he said that AIQ operates 5 thousand tons of cargo per month, in a Surface of 10 hectares, “the cargo terminal has six warehouses; however, we have 10 hectares that give us the opportunity of growing our storage warehouses.”

Formation of specialized human resources

After the arrival of the first companies from the sector to Queretaro in 2012, it was decided to create a civil association called AeroCluster Queretaro, which has as mission to promote the development of the industry, support companies that arrive and incorporate the big national actors such as the research centers and educational institutions shaping technicians and specialists that eventually will enter the industrial sector.

In addition, Queretaro houses the National Center for Aeronautics Technologies (CENTA, by its Spanish initials) where the first 100 % Mexican aircraft is developed and the Universidad Aeronautica en Queretaro (UNAQ,) unique in the country.

On November 23rd, 2017; the Universidad Aeronautica de Queretaro was created and in parallel other educational institutions dabbled in the sector.

“The curricular design we develop for all our educational programs is done together with companies,” said Jorge Gutierrez de Velasco Rodriguez, dean of the Universidad Aeronautica de Queretaro.

Meanwhile, the Centre for Aerospace Industry Development (CEDIA, by its Spanish initials) and the Tec de Monterrey campus Queretaro are trying to create a suitable system to prepare future engineers and directors of companies.

Queretaro is the metropolitan area with the highest GDP per capita in Mexico.  According to the British journal Financial Times is considered a city of the future in Latin America.

In March 2014, Queretaro with its metropolitan area was considered among the 100 most competitive cities worldwide, together with Mexico City and Monterrey, the only three Mexican cities in the list.

Finally, as of ProMexico, although Queretaro region is one of the most recognized by the industry nationwide and worldwide, there still things to do.  Therefore, it considered that it is necessary to continue developing and strengthening the supply chain and specialized human capital, as well as consolidate the collaboration among research centers with the industry.