Aircraft Ops planning for the 2020 World Golf Championship – Mexico
Are you operating to Mexico City for the 2020 World Golf Championship – Mexico? Since the tournament moved to Mexico in 2017, it has steadily grown in popularity and attendance, including a sellout in 2019. With a field of 70+ professional golfers, including most of the top 50 players in the world, and more than $10 million in prize money, this is a bucket-list event for golf enthusiasts.
Although we don’t anticipate any major impact to business aviation operators in the region, it’s always best to plan ahead when a major event is being held. Here’s what you need to know.
1. The tournament
The tournament will be held at Golf Chapultepec, a golf club in Naucalpan, just outside Mexico City, Mexico. The tournament will be held Wednesday, February 19th – Sunday, February 23rd. Because the tournament’s field includes nearly all of the top 50 players in the world, it is a major international event with significant interest. An estimated 65,000 fans, including many arriving via business jets, are anticipated to attend the five-day tournament.
2. Preferred airport – Toluca
The closest airport is not always the best. And that’s the case for operators attending the game. Mexico City (MMMX) is the nearest to Golf Chapultepec, but most GA operators won’t be able to use it. Toluca (MMTO) meanwhile is an available 24-hour airport of entry option with several FBOs used to supporting business aviation. Depending on where you’ll be staying and traffic, count on about a 1-hour drive to Naucalpan (and longer during rush hour) from the airport. Alternate airports, due to their distance from Mexico City, are usually not the best option.
3. Parking options
Parking at Toluca is at a premium, and not all FBOs and hangars are the same. Due to space restrictions, overnight hangar parking may not be available, and if it is, be sure to ask your ground handler their safety procedures, as because of the limitations, aircraft may be parked on top of each other. For more information and to secure hangarage for your aircraft, Universal Aviation Mexico can help.
4. Fuel uplifts and current jet fuel prices
You have two fueling options at MMTO: ASA or from your FBO’s fuel truck. We recommend using your FBO, as ASA’s priority is commercial operations, so delays of 40-90 minutes for GA uplifts are not unusual. Fueling with an FBO is usually more efficient, but be sure to make uplift arrangements in advance to ensure credit is in place. The official fuel price is published by ASA every Tuesday and the first day of the month. Note: The exchange rate of Mexican peso fluctuates daily, affecting the final price in USD.
Airport security at MMTO is good, with support from the military, federal police, and airport guard services, rendering additional private security for your aircraft unnecessary. Within Mexico City, use common sense, be aware of your surroundings, and avoid well-known higher risk areas, particularly at night, and only use pre-vetted transportation.
6. Local transport
Using un-vetted taxis and ground transport is discouraged. The safest and most efficient option for navigating Mexico City’s congested traffic is via pre-paid (car with driver) ground transport. Because this is the best option, availability is usually limited during high-traffic events, so it’s best to book early. You can get a free quote for ground transportation through Universal-Drivania Chauffeurs.
7. Special Considerations
For more detailed information on operating to Toluca, including slots, PPRs, visas, permits cabotage, SENEAM, and customs, see our other blog articles on operating to Mexico.
If you’re planning to operate to Mexico City for the World Golf Championship – Mexico, preparation should begin now to ensure the most options. Parking and third-party services will be at a premium before and after the event.