Panama is known as the “Hub of the Americas" - Why? because it connects all the main cities and countries of the Americas, thanks to its geographic position, and continuous improvement of infrastructure. To maintain this status it is necessary for Panama to make investments and stay up to date with technology. The International Airport of Tocumen is currently the only airport in Central America with two runways for use, and is also the largest and busiest airport in the country and Central America by passenger traffic. With the current expansion that will cost around 800 million and will hopefully be completed by the end of the year, Tocumen S.A. manages the Airport and will invest another 10 million in the upgrade of the Panama Pacifico’s International Airport, which serves as a secondary strip when Tocumen is closed due to bad weather and also is used for maintenance of the BIG planes.
The Scarlett Martinez International Airport of Rio Hato is the only airport in the beach region and will be operational by March 15th, 2014. The first official commercial flight will be landing on April 2014. This will make it the 7th international airport in the country and a total of 54 landing strips/airports exist across the country. Charter Flights from a company in Canada have been announced to start operating. Air Canada, Air Transat, Can Jet and Webjet, were some of the private charter companies who expressed interest in operating last year. Others from Colombia, Venezuela, and Spain will begin to land once the RIU Hotel in Playa Blanca begins operations, and more hotel rooms are available.
New tunnel for the International Airport of Rio Hato (Scarlett Martinez)
The Scarlett Martinez International Airport’s total cost was $53.2 million, which included the restoration of the strip, the airport terminal, and the construction of a tunnel for the Pan-American Highway that previously crossed the runway. This airport will serve to boost tourism across the several Beaches on the pacific side, and all condo/house developments, resorts, and activities in the area. A total of 274,000 passengers travelled across the country in 2013. Without doubt this airport will play a significant role in the current and future development of the whole region, making it a booming area for investments. This will impact the 230,000 people that live in the region, enabling new jobs and opportunities for many.
Sketch of the new Tocumen International Airport
With so much investment in infrastructure, Panama is expected to continue to top the lists of “best places to live, invest and retire” for years to come.