TJ - SD Binational Airport Talks Halted (Frontera, 9/14/12 by Ana L. Gomez)

TIJUANA, BC – Authorities from the Institute of the Americas arranged binational dialogue between the mayors of San Diego, Jerry Sanders and Tijuana, Carlos Bustamante. The binational San Diego and Tijuana Airport project now faces obstacles from both sides of the border and has stopped development, said Tijuana Mayor Carlos Bustamante.

Bustamante emphasized the project was stopped because of issues regarding required operations permissions in Mexico. He said, it is because his Administration has established the condition to grant land use permission for the Tijuana airport based upon the required payment of property taxes and it has been cause for disagreements between the two groups.

He explained the American side of the project has also stopped because U.S. Federal authorities have not obtained private project investors who will pay the cost of Customs and Border Protection to operate the facilities, he pointed out, since they are the only ones authorized to control entry into the country.

Bustamante stressed that any concessions must pay taxes but there is a 6 - 7 year dispute, after it had already won in favor of Tijuana Town Hall. It is in appeal. "They will eventually have to pay as they have already lost the same case in other cities, so we are very close. Five cities had the same dispute and won. It has been a common fight and they will have to pay eventually," said the Mayor.

Bustamante reiterated that he could not give them a land use permit for the project because the law prevents it. "I cannot give them permission even if I wanted to. It is the law and how you are going to give permission to someone who does not pay to enjoy the use of city property", said the Municipal President of Tijuana.


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