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Lord Norman Foster chosen for $9bn Mexico airport

British architect and Fernando Romero have their design selected

Lord Norman Foster is one of the world's leading architects
Lord Norman Foster is one of the world's leading architects

British architect Lord Norman Foster and Mexico's Fernando Romero have had their design chosen for Mexico City's new £5.5bn ($9bn) airport.

It is expected to quadruple the current airport's capacity to 120mn passengers per year.

Communications and transportation department secretary Gerardo Ruiz said both architects were picked by a committee, and that contrary to past controversial airport proposals, the authorities would not expropriate any land.

Lord Foster is one of the world's leading architects and designed the Beijing Terminal 3 airport. Romero is the son-in-law of billionaire Mexican telecom magnate Carlos Slim.

The new Mexico City airport will cover nearly 11,400 acres of former lakebed about six miles from the present, overcrowded facility.

The old airport can handle only 32mn passengers per year. It will eventually be turned over to the city for recreational and educational use.

Ruiz said that construction of the new airport would begin in 2015.

President Enrique Pena Nieto said three runaways are expected to be up and running by 2020 and handle 52mn passengers per year.

"The new airport will be a grand work, a symbol of modern Mexico," he said.

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