In the News from Panama

Getting to Tocumen Airport Just Got Easier

A new access road is making it easier to drive in and out of Tocumen International Airport, the fast-growing hub for Central American flights.

The 2.6 km road, which opened last week, connects the airport to Corredor Sur, the main artery linking the airport to Panama City. The trip is already an easy 15 to 20 minutes from the airport to Punta Pacifica, but the new road will help traffic flow around the terminals.

Frequent travelers through Tocumen will have noticed the road appeared completed months ago. But the opening was delayed for months while work continued on a new terminal, La Prensa reports.

The new terminal was designed by world famous architect Foster + Partners, includes 20 gates and more than 80,000-square-feet of space, as part of the development of Tocumen as “Hub of the Americas.” In June, Tocumen announced it was opening new parking spaces as part of an expansion to handle more flights, while the work continues on the new terminal.

This road is part of the master plan for the project, designed to link the new and old facilities and make it easier to navigate around the site. Also outside parking lots will be provided  for taxi drivers and people to wait for arrivals, La Prensa reports.

The road will also allow commuters to avoid the construction zone associated with the extension of the metro to the airport, part of the rapid expansion of the metro system. The construction is an indication of the government’s recent investment in infrastructure to keep up with Panama’s rapid growth as an international destination, both for tourism and investment.

Thanks to added flights from around the world, Tocumen currently handles 13 million passengers a year, but the capacity could increase to 20 million once the new terminal is built. Tocumen bought the land for the expansion from the University of Panama for more than $100 million, La Prensa reports.