While work continues on a new terminal, Panama City’s Tocumen International Airport is adding parking spaces to expand flight capacity by 20 percent.
The airport, which is officially developing as “the Hub of the Americas,” is adding eight parking spaces in order “to meet the demand that occurs during peak hours,” airport management said in a statement. Passengers will be bused to and from the planes.
The new parking spots will allow the fast-growing airport to handle more flights at a time when interest in Panama is on the rise. Several airlines have been expanding connections, led by Copa Airlines, which has been aggressively expanding its service throughout the region. The airport currently handles more than 37,000 passengers a day.
The availability of easy flight connections is often cited as a key reason why property buyers pick one location over another. The expansion of Tocumen and the addition of the new terminal will be a key driver for both the local economy and property sales.
Tocumen currently handled more than 13.4 million in 2015, but expects to be handle 20 million in a few years.
The $800 million Terminal 2 project is expected to be completed in 2017. The terminal, designed by famed architects Foster + Partners will include 20 new gates, more customs facilities and state-of-the art technology, including a new baggage-handling system. The expansion is part of a far-ranging plan to make Tocumen the premier airport for the region, including a new runway and direct metro connection to the city.