Air Traffic Congestion at Tocumen

Airlines claim there is a need to improve air traffic management in the terminal, because "there is no point having a new terminal if planes can not reach it."

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Projections indicate that by 2020 Tocumen International Airport will handle 20 million passengers a year, but the competitive advantage gained from the enlarged terminal will deteriorate if problems in air traffic management that the airlines face today are not dealt with.

Pedro Heilbron, CEO of Copa Airlines, a major user of Tocumen, told Prensa.com that   "... In the coming years the country 's competitiveness will erode, unless there is improvement in the handling of aircraft when they enter national airspace.'It will not matter if Tocumen has 100 boarding gates, if the planes can not get to them, there will be no point in having a new terminal'.  He noted that in the case of Tocumen it is difficult to handle two aircraft simultaneously because the runways are within walking distance from each other, but he said other methods could be explored to increase the productivity of the terminal."

Robert Katz, deputy director of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said that "the first steps have already been taken to implement a system that will help controllers handling aircraft to improve air trafficHe explained that the new system will allow aircraft to be organised as soon as they enter Panamanian space, which would solve the problem of aircraft arriving in no particular order as they approach Tocumen. "

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