Guna Yala is one of the areas to benefit from the government´s program of construction and upgrading of Panama´s airports. The airstrip at Porvenir, the island at the extreme west of the Comarca of San Blas, the reservation of the Guna Indian tribe is being widened and leugthened.
The runway is being extended along the shallow reef at the eastern end of the island. A dredge is pumping sand into special geotextile bags laid either side of the rumway extension, forming a solid wall. More sand is then pumped between the bag walls up to the level of the runway.
The logistics of construction on a remote island are formidable. All the stone and cement is being transported from Samba Bonita Port in Colon on the M/V Macallan, a large landing craft chartered from Pelican Corp, the Panama City-based marine transport company.
The new runway will be important for tourism to San Blas, especially since the airstrip at Carti on the coast has been closed since the construction of the road to San Blas from the Pacific side which terminates at Carti. The Carti island owners of the strip found it much more lucrative to forgo the meagre landing fees for aircraft and turn the strip into parking for $5 per vehicle.
Porvenir has Govermment status within the independent comarca of the indigenous Gunas. The island houses the office of the “Intendente”, the Panama Govermment´s representative. It is also the official entry port with customs and inmigration service for marine traffic including the 300 or so private yachts which visit the San Blas archipelago every year.
The runway is being leugthened from 400 m to 600 and the width increased from 8m to 10m. Total investment will be $ 1,129,517.
For more information on the ship call Pelican Corp. 66132977 or email
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