Mexican President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has promised to complete the new international airport at Mexico City at a lower cost than the original estimated $13bn by roping in business leaders.

Obrador explored the chances of involving business magnates such as billionaire Carlos Slim to complete the airport.

Lopez Obrador, who will assume office on 1 December, has been critical of the new airport’s construction throughout his presidential campaign, claiming that the project is tainted by corruption.

The 64-year-old President-elect later softened his stance on the airport project. Obrador said the public will be consulted on the option of finishing the airport.

“If the business leaders do not come forward, his cheaper alternative is to expand and upgrade a military airport in Zumpango.”

Lopez Obrador was quoted by Reuters as saying that he had information that Slim and other unnamed businessmen had proposals to complete the new airport at Texcoco at a cheaper cost, which would not burden the government budget.

Obrador added: “That being the case, we could consider the possibility of continuing with construction in Texcoco and not cancelling the project.”

If the business leaders do not come forward, his cheaper alternative is to expand and upgrade a military airport in Zumpango.

According to the current Mexican Government, the airport is approximately one-third complete, while Obrador contends that the project is only 20% complete.

Construction on the new airport commenced in 2015 and is expected to become operational by November 2020.

Slim reportedly would have interest in the completion of the airport as his family is co-building and co-financing the project, and his son-in-law designed the terminal for the airport along with UK architect Norman Foster.