The Tocumen International Airport, the main one in Panama, put into operation this Wednesday the new terminal two (T2), a work of 917 million dollars that triples the operational capacity of this important regional connection center.
With the new terminal, boarding gates and 12 remote aircraft parking positions at the airport rise to 54, facilitating connections between continents with flights to more than 80 different destinations in America and Europe, said the Tocumen administration.
“This work should have been inaugurated in 2018, so it is four years behind schedule, that has created an impact on the development plans of both the airport and the airlines, but the important thing is that today we are starting it up, at a time critical, important in the country for economic recovery, generating many jobs,” said the general manager of Tocumen, Raffoul Arab.
T2 was built by Odebrecht and began formal operations in the midst of a contractual dispute between the Tocumen administration and the Brazilian construction company, a company that has been the epicenter of an international corruption scandal for which it paid a fine of 2.6 billion dollars in the United States. joined.
At the moment, only the Panamanian Copa Airlines operates in T2, and later KLM, United Airlines and Air France will do so, respectively, according to official information.
A flight from Guayaquil, Ecuador, was the first to arrive, and another to Washington, USA, the first to leave from the new terminal this Wednesday.
“Today we will be handling about 40,000 passengers in the two terminals,” of which “2,800 leaving and entering through this terminal two,” said Arab.
T2 TRIPLE THE CAPACITY OF TOCUMEN
The new T2 is an earthquake-resistant building with 20 boarding gates that has the installed capacity to mobilize up to 10 million additional passengers per year. It has immigration and customs areas that triple the current capacity of Terminal 1 (T1), according to official information.
With an area of 116,000 square meters distributed over four levels, the new terminal increases Tocumen’s passenger mobilization capacity to 25 million people.
T2 has a modern baggage transfer, verification, organization and delivery system that can move up to 12,000 bags per hour, compared to 1,800 in T1.
“In the ‘Duty Free’ area we have allocated 150 spaces for stores and 50 for the ‘food court’ in an area that exceeds 12,900 square meters,” said the general manager of Tocumen.
In terms of access, the main feature of the new airport is a station on Line 2 of the Panama Metro still under construction, 1,426 parking lots for cars, of which 700 will be temporarily free, tourist taxi service and Metro Bus routes, among others . others.
T2 worked provisionally during World Youth Day (WYD) in January 2019, and in December 2018 for the flight that brought Xi Jinping for the first visit of a Chinese leader to Panama.