ExperiencesEventsTocumen’s Terminal 2 Opens Its Doors

Tocumen’s Terminal 2 Opens Its Doors

With twenty new gates and eight additional remote positions, Tocumen International Airport has grown by 177,000 square yards and increased its capacity so that it can now serve twenty million passengers a year.

By Panorama de las Américas

Photos: Tadeuz Jalocha y Cortesía Tocumen

We have very good news for the region. After several years and 917 million dollars, Panama’s Tocumen International Airport announces the upcoming opening of its Terminal 2, which will multiply its service options.

This world-class structure, with modern, spacious, and com – fortable design, will bring many benefits to the airline industry and improve the connectivity of the entire American continent.

According to Raffoul Arab, General Manager of Tocumen S.A., Terminal 2 is among the most important and inspiring works completed in Panama in the last ten years, taking its place alongside the expansion of the Panama Canal and the construction of the metro system. “We have to strengthen our connectivity. This will keep Panama in the spotlight as the Hub of the Americas and increase our foothold in the unceasingly competitive market. This new terminal is certain to improve our position even further. It also presents a great opportunity for us to continue growing along with our airlines.”

“With this terminal, Panama has taken a great leap. Both the country and the region have a before and after and we have to do things right. I believe that the impact of this new air terminal will be as important as the expansion of the Panama Canal. Perhaps even more so, because with the way that the post-pandemic world is changing, we know that the future of the country lies in air mobility.”

Raffoul Arab

General Manager of Tocumen S.A. 

“As President of the Republic, I am proud to present Panama and the world with an airport terminal equipped with great technological advances, confirming Tocumen as the most modern, convenient, and comfortable airport in the region.”

Laurentino Cortizo Cohen

Presidente República de Panamá

Carrying out this important mega-project presented a host of new challenges for the Central American country. Laurentino Cortizo Cohen, President of the Republic of Panama, points out that his government was responsible for undertaking and completing a work that, like any great project, faced a series of technical and financial complexities and multiple professional challenges. “Opening a terminal with the dimensions and capacities of Tocumen International Airport’s Terminal 2 means much more than putting a few more gates into operation. Detailed plans must be articulated to ensure safe development of airport activities in strict adherence with international aeronautical regulations, together with public health, immigration, and customs processes, and complementary commercial activities.”

The Future of the Hub of the Americas

Arab says these investments in infrastructure were necessary due to constant growth in demand for travel connections and the growing importance of Tocumen as a hub that connects ninety cities around the world. He clarifies that the interventions are not circumstantial; the Panamanian airport has a Master Plan that sets objectives through 2035, including planned growth phases based on projected demands. “Tocumen has a great responsibility, not to the country, but as a gateway to the region. This means that proper management of Tocumen has an enormous global impact.”  

The executive added that other plans are in development for the airport, such as a Logistics Zone, unique in the region, followed by a new runway. “In other words, we’re taking action today to prepare for the future,” he said.

For Pedro Heilbron, CEO of Copa Airlines, “the connectivity offered by Copa Airlines through the Hub of the Americas® has become a fundamental engine of economic and social development for Panama and the region. Several of the world’s leading airlines take advantage of the connectivity that Panama offers to route their passengers through the country, connecting them with the entire region. According to a 2019 Oxford Economics study, aviation –including air tourism– accounted for about 15% of Panama’s gross domestic product.

Heilbron said that “The new Terminal 2 at Tocumen International Airport provides the infrastructure needed to maintain the competitiveness and continued growth of aviation in Panama, thereby strengthening this sector’s contribution to national growth and development.”

The new facilities will strengthen Panama’s role as a world transit center and Tocumen’s as the continent’s main passenger hub. This is confirmed by Carlos Conde, president of the Association of Panamanian Airlines, who sees the opening of Terminal 2 as a great step toward securing Tocumen airport’s place as the true Hub of the Americas.

“This new terminal offers greater operational capacity and truly demonstrates Tocumen’s importance as a regional hub connecting all of America. Tocumen will also be a distribution port for European and Asian airlines with plans to begin operations in Panama, providing a port with access to practically any city in the Americas with a single connecting flight.”

The new Terminal 2 will increase the number of boarding gates at Tocumen International Airport (PTY) from 34 to 54 and will allow Copa and other airlines serving Panama (PTY) to expand the number of flights they offer and destinations they serve. Thanks to Tocumen’s increased capacity, and subject to the region’s economic and competitive environment, Copa Airlines plans to accelerate its growth over the next three years, thus contributing to the economic recovery of Panama and the creation of more jobs.

Pedro Heilbron 

Executive Presidente & CEO, Copa Airlines

“Panama the country, and of course Tocumen, the destination, can be proud of the new Terminal 2 and its outstanding characteristics and important role in handling passengers and securing Tocumen’s reputation as the Hub of the Americas.”

Carlos Conde

President of the Association of Panamanian Airlines

Terminal 2 Layout

The new Terminal 2 at Tocumen International Airport, the most modern airport terminal in the Americas, was awarded Best Global Project in the airports and ports category by the U.S. publication Engineering News Record. Its functional design offers an exceptional and safe passenger experience, starting with airline check-in desks equipped with self-check-in equipment, spacious and comfortable waiting areas with top-quality furnishings, commercial areas, a restaurant area, and an executive lounge. The terminal is a unique work of engineering with a futuristic architectural design and technological resources that respond to the needs of the competitive and demanding air transport industry in a new era of challenges. 

Tocumen in figures

Terminal 1

Size: 32.000 m2

Gates: 34

Remote Positions: 4

Length: 750 m

Parking: 960

Commercial Premises: 165

Restaurants: 24

Terminal 2

Size: 116.000 m2

Gates: 20

Remote Positions: 8

Length: 650 m

Parking1.400

Commercial Premises:150

Restaurants: 50

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