Transit through Tocumen International Airport grew by almost 20% during 2011, reaching 6 million passengers, up from the 5.1 million recorded in 2010. It is estimated that in 2012 the figure will be between 6.4 and 6.6 million.
An article in Prensa.com reports: "The increase was the result of the 12 new frequencies which Copa Airlines incorporated last year as well as new flights by Iberia and KLM from Europe, said the manager of Tocumen, SA, Juan Carlos Pino. Given this increase, Pino pointed out that they have accelerated the master plan made in 2003 for the upgrade of the airport and they expect to receive the conclusions of the study in January. A third runway is also planned over the next five years as aircraft movement has increased in the last two years. With the updates to the master plan work is projected to take place in Tocumen over the next 25 years, starting with the construction of the South Terminal. This project will not be different from the north pier, as it will be a completely separate terminal, with its own migration section, security areas and parking lots. The plans for Tocumen indicate that the tender for the South Terminal will be made in the first half of 2012, and construction started later this year. The investment amount is $350 million, which includes 20 additional gates. If completed by 2015, the airport would have 54 gates in total. "
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The airport structure will cost about $400 million and be 50,000 m2 announced Panamanian authorities.
The manager of Tocumen, SA (administrator of the international airport), Juan Carlos Pino, said that the tender for the South Terminal at Tocumen International Airport, Panama will be released in March, and the works are expected to cost $400 million.
The new terminal will be ready in September and will increase airport capacity by 50%.
It will have 12 new boarding gates and will be designed to receive any type of aircraft.
"Once the expansion is operating, the Tocumen administration will begin the process of constructing the southern terminal, which would add about 20 additional gates," states the article in Prensa.com.
Plans are afoot for Panama's main airport to become a terminal for transcontinental flights, counting on the arrival of Asian airlines.
Juan Carlos Pino, general manager of Tocumen, SA, said the airport is looking to expand routes and frequencies, and in the future, "we are counting on airlines from Asia" to transform the airport into a transcontinental hub.
Three companies, Prointec, SGS and Naco, will turn in their proposals in the coming weeks to the administration of Tocumen Airport.
After completing updating the 2004 master plan, authorities will proceed to put out to tender the design of the new project, explained Juan Carlos Pino, manager of Tocumen SA.