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Panama to Reorganize its Airspace

The Civil Aviation Authority will hire an international company to develop a new map of air routes, which will be implemented in 2019.

Monday, March 13, 2017

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA by its initials in Spanish) plans to hire an international company with experience in the field to validate a new route map that the institution plans to develop. 

Alfredo Fonseca Mora, director of the AAC, told Laestrella.com.pa that they "... have a proposal on the reordering of the routes, which will be validated with an international company which is an expert on the subject. Therefore, he said, international companies who are interested in the project will be invited and a contract will be awarded. 'We have not yet decided whether it will be done through a public tender or direct contracting'." 

The selected company must validate the proposed flight routes prepared by the CAA or design a new one.  

"... The new flight route map should be ready next year because it is expected there will be an increase in flights to Panama for the World Youth Day, which will be held from January 22 to 27, 2019."


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Panama airspace facing makeover


PANAMA’S  airspace needs reorganizing  if  the country reorganizing ifrom the annual 5% increase in international traffic says a group of world experts who have been meeting at the University of Technology (UTP).

They came  from  the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA), the Boeing factory, the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) and the Organization of Air Navigation Service Providers (CANSO).

The director of Panama’s  Air Navigation Services  Civil Aviation Authority (AAC), Flora Silvera, told the  Efe News agency that that “the challenges and issues that we have to solve” are due to the fact that “airspace needs a renewal, a new Configuration based on traffic growth and management and therefore maintain the security and service we provide. ”

Silvera in  a  “Panamanian airspace panorama” presentation  respect noted that the growth of traffic “in the last two years was5% per year.”

“We have to divide it into two parts, the upper airspace and the terminal space (landings) that only in that case is 7% per year.”

He said that “more than 300,000 flights” per year pass over Panama and there are are over0,000 landings and take-offs.

“The traffic we are handling is big, but if we had a better flow, or something more systemic, more compact, we could increase that volume without disturbing safety, which is what we really consider,” he said.

Silvera said that some 315 people currently provide air navigation services, but “we are considering that it will need  about 100 more people in the short and medium term.”

IATA Vice-President for America, Peter Cerdá, said  that Panama “is an air hub” that has a “very important” role for the future of the region

Model country
“Panama is a model country when we talk about aviation, the authorities work very closely with airlines and international entities, the Government has made a lot of effort in that and so we compare it with countries like Singapore, which has a strong aerial culture” said Cerdá.

The challenge is “to support that growth, that demand, which in the next 20 years in Latin America will grow twice”, and for that “we have to go and make sure” that Panama has “the infrastructure and capacity to Grow” he said.

He stressed that in the last two years Panama has “improved a lot”, and the country at world level “is in the 16th position, equal to New Zealand and several European countries”, and has to work on  “the efficiency of airspace use “.



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Panama Needs to Redesign its Airspace

The airlines claim there is a need to improve air traffic management at Tocumen airport, because "it is no use having a new terminal if the planes can not arrive."

Friday, June 30, 2017

Panama is at risk of losing competitiveness to other air hubs, such as Bogotá, if it does not take measures to reduce air congestion at Panama City's international airport, where 3 to 7 minutes delays are reported on flights, due to the fact that the number of air channels is not sufficient for the number of frequencies that operate there.

"... "There will not be much use in having a new passenger terminal, nor in Copa Airlines buying more planes if there is no way to land or take off from Tocumen," said airline CEO Pedro Heilbron.

Prensa.com reports that in order to solve the problem, the Civil Aeronautics Authority (AAC), "... is finishing writing the specifications to hire a consultant to modify Panamanian air routes."


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I have always wondered why Panama Pacifico (Howard AFB) was never used to its potential after the zone was turned over to Panama? Albrook was converted for civilian use quickly with little problem. Pacifico was built to military standards i.e. overbuilt, and Boeing 737s and A320 operate from there now.

Perhaps when the Metro line reaches that area, more commercial flights could begin using the airport and connections to Chiriqui would be less hassle than now.


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Panama will bid for redesign of airspace before the end of 2017

EFE. Wed, 10/04/2017 


The Panamanian government will bid before the end of this year for the redesign of its airspace. The director of the Civil Aeronautics Authority, Alfredo Fonseca Mora, said that the space is "saturated" and has been unchanged for a decade.

"We have been preparing the bidding documents for eight months to bid for the redesign of the airspace before the end of the year. It is a very long and deep work that will take at least 4 years to complete and it will cost several million dollars," he told reporters.

If the airspace is redesigned and ground-plane traffic is boosted, Fonseca Mora estimates that Panama's main airport, Tocumen, can get a plane per minute, compared to the minute and a half or two minutes it takes now. "Panama urgently needs a redesign," said Fonseca Mora.

The Tocumen International Airport, which is considered one of the most important in the region, connects more than 80 cities around the world and registered in 2016 a flow of 14.6 million people, mostly travelers in transit.

According to a study published by the International Air Transport Association, the airport represents 2.4% of Panama's gross domestic product, generates $ 2.2 billion a year and employs at least 21,000 people.




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Tender for Airspace Design Cancelled

Because the budget of the Civil Aeronautical Authority was cut, Panama decided to cancel the tender for the study, redesign and optimization of airspace.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Representatives of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) reported that they took the decision after the Cabinet Council ordered spending cuts as part of the contingency plan.

Gustavo Perez, director of AAC, told Prensa.com that "... the institution's investment plan was cut by $8 million, an amount similar to the reference price that the AAC had set for the contract to expand air space."

The article adds that "... Under the current scheme, Panama can handle an average of 40 air operations per hour, leaving it at a disadvantage compared to countries such as Colombia, which has already modified its airspace to control 100 aircraft in the same period of time. Airlines consultations indicated that this delay may affect the connectivity of the country."

The process sought to hire the services to define a comprehensive process that will modernize its infrastructure and air traffic management capacity to a state that reflects the best standards of safety, efficiency and best practices, according to current regulations and environmental responsibility.

See tender details.



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