Airport for Panama City Increases Traffic Capacity by 10 Million

Terminal Two at Tocumen International Airport in Panama City is open for business and has the capacity to transport an additional 10 million passengers a year. 

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Panama’s burgeoning tourism market has received a boost as Tocumen Airport’s new terminal two opens for business. Covering 116,000 square feet and home to 20 brand-new gates, it will cater to demand for what is fast becoming one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.

Just 20 minutes from Panama City, Tocumen International Airport acts as a regional hub to and from The Caribbean, South, North and Central America. Last year, it handled 15.77 million passengers in total, reflecting a 139% increase on 2021.

Work on Terminal 2 began in 2013 but its development has been far from straightforward. It was originally expected to be ready in 2017 with an overall cost of US$650 million. However, due to a series of unfortunate events, it is only opening now—almost six years late and with a final bill north of $900 million.

Copa Airlines has become the first carrier to operate from Terminal 2 and says it expects to make around 280 flights transporting 6,500 passengers every day. Others including KLM, Air France and United Airlines are expected to follow suit, indicating the broadening appeal of Panama for passengers all over the world.

Once there, passengers can expect world-class customer service, whether they are heading to Panama or using the airport as a connection hub. It has 150 areas for stores and space for a massive food outlet. Once opened, this will offer an incredible selection of food and drink for people as they wait for their planes.

As you pass through the terminal you’ll be greeted with a modern, attractive concourse full of natural light. With large plate glass windows, it offers a great view of the incoming and outgoing planes.

If Panama is your final destination, you’ll enjoy an all-new shiny customs area, while those waiting for connections can enjoy a wide selection of retail and food outlets.

As with the other terminal, it will be able to process 12,000 bags per hour using a state-of-the-art baggage handling system and will also include advanced security technology to detect dangerous substances in bags.

Once fully up and running, the airport’s operators believe it will have the capacity for ten million additional passengers a year.
The opening of the new airport comes at a time when new hubs are opening up across the Americas including Mexico, Honduras and Chile.

The government is betting heavily on its new sustainable tourism masterplan offering community-centred tourism. This $300 million plan aims to rebuild the country’s visitor economy but in a way that ensures local communities see the benefits.

For now, the new terminal is just getting up on its feet. Some areas such as the food court and car park are not fully completed. However, Tocumen does offer everything you want from a modern airport—state-of-the-art facilities, together with interior design that follows the most recent trends of airports which aim to look good on the eye.

The government will be hoping this new terminal can supercharge their efforts, boosting visitor numbers and helping Panama establish itself as a destination that is about a whole lot more than just its canal.

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