• The terminal will cost $58.3 million – handle 500 passengers
• Bridge will connect to the Colon Free Zone
• Lengthened runway will take Boeing 757/200
The Enrique Adolfo Jimenez Airport (France Field) in Colon is receiving a facelift that will allow it to handle international and national flights carrying passengers and cargo.
The cost of the renovation is $58.3 million and the airport is scheduled to open in July.
This is part of a national strategy aiming to improve the connectivity of the country to make it more competitive with other countries of the region.
Currently Panama has six international airports: Tocumen on the outskirts of Panama City; Marcos A. Gelabert, in Albrook; Howard next to the Panama Pacific development; Enrique Malek in David, the capital of Chiriquí province; Colon Island and Changuinola in Bocas Del Toro.
The Colon airport will now have a runway of 2,700 meters in length and 45 meters wide to allow Boeing 757/200 aircraft to land.
The terminal will have the capacity to handle 500 passengers entering and leaving the terminal as well as Customs facilities.
The Colon airport will be administered by Tocumen S.A., the same company that operates the Tocumen international terminal.
Some 270 hectares in the area of France Field have been developed to complete this project. Another 100 hectares will be used to build a bridge connecting the airport with warehouses in Coco Solito and the Colon Free Zone to cover air freight demands.
Prior to its use as a Panamanian civil airport, France Field was a US military airfield, established in 1918. It was turned over to the Panama Canal Zone government in 1949, and was converted into a civil airport. US control over the airport ended in 1979 with the turnover of the Panama Canal Zone to the government of Panama.
The renovation of the airport is a vital part of the revitalization of Colon province that is preparing to receive more cargo and travelers once the expansion of the Panama Canal is finished in two years´ time. There are also plans for the construction of new ports and roads within the Colon Free Zone, area to take advantage of the arrival of Post Panamax ships.