General News

Mosquito plague infests city airport, complaints spiral

The Guadalajara International Airport is taking steps to rid the facility of the plague of mosquitoes that is making life stressful for travelers.

The annoying insects have materialized due, in most part, to the large number of water and untreated sewage deposits in zones adjacent to the terminal, according to airport operator GAP.  The nearby El Ahogado Dam is also a major breeding ground for mosquitoes, GAP Director General Raul Revueltas said at a press conference Wednesday.

Multiple tests carried out on the mosquitoes at the airport show they are not carriers of diseases such as chikunguya, dengue or zika, he emphasized.

Revueltas said the air-conditioning temperature in the airport will be lowered to levels that are “uncomfortable” for the mosquitoes but acceptable for travelers.

Measures taken so far – including fumigations, the application of larvicide and the placing of air curtains to prevent mosquitoes from entering the terminal – have all failed to eradicate the insects.

The mosquitoes have established themselves throughout the terminal but mostly in the bathrooms and luggage collection areas. They also swarm around the runway and pilots have reported their presence in the cabins of planes. Revueltas said the airport has received around 50 complaints from travelers regarding the situation in recent weeks.

Meanwhile, GAP is commissioning a biological study to find the best long-term solution to combat the plague and has asked businesses and universities to present them with viable projects that could solve the problem.

Without pointing a finger directly at authorities, Revueltas highlighted the many bodies of untreated sewage that surround the airport where mosquitoes breed, and called on municipal, state and federal authorities to get involved and assume shared responsibility for solving the problem.

The mosquito issue is not new, however. GAP has spent 15 million pesos trying to eliminate the problem – which always surfaces during the rainy season – over the past five years.

The Jalisco Health Department (SSJ) said it had no reason to get involved at the moment.