Panama Tocumen International Airport PTY - considered to be an 'Aerometropolis' - is the primary airport of the City & State of Panama, and is Central America's busiest Airport. In the last few years, it has modernized & expanded its terminal facilities, doubling capacity, and adding a luggage sorting system, platforms, taxiways and new road - while still continuing expansion into the future. Panama Airport is growing by leaps and bounds - with ever increasing passenger counts.
At World Airport Awards 2015 Tocumen Airport received both the 'Best Airport' and 'Best Airport Staff' votes (in its passenger count category).
PTY Airport is located 24 km from Panama City, accessible via the South Corridor Toll Road (taking 20 minutes) or Avenida Domingo Diaz (via Tocumen) or via Tocumen (taking one hour). - both run northeast from the city. The Airport’s general information number is 238-2761. NOTE: in August 2016, the new 2.6km access road with 2 lanes in both directions from the South Corridor opened.
With two long runways and a yearly estimated passenger count of 8.5 million, Tocumen International Airport is hub to Copa Airlines and is served by a number of international airlines offering direct and connecting flights to all points of the globe.
Panama Tocumen International Airport has presently Terminal 1 with North Concourse, (while new Terminal 2 with South Concourse is to open late 2017). Meassures have been taken recently to strenghten security within the terminal, including rigorous baggage inspection, and reducing permits to contractors working at the airport.
- Ground level 0 is the Arrivals level and houses Customs, Immigration and baggage claim, rental car counters, transportation;
- Level 1 is the check-in level and houses airline counters security checkpoints and the tax-free area; - leading to
- Level 2 is the Departure level, offering a good assortment of food & drink and retail concessions - leading to security check, passport control and access to the three concourses: two small concourses at east & west ends, and access to the North Concourse* at south-west end. Level 2 also houses the Tocumen Royal Salon (a VIP lounge close to the gate areas; tel. 238 2600).
*The NorthConcourse of T1 is a new 700-meter structure with modern baggage system, lounges, 11 gates and passenger air bridges (one for the large A380 plane), and a large commercial area housing retail concessions. Copa is the main occupant at the North Concourse.
For Lost & Found call +507 238-2938 or ea-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Amenities and services at Terminal 1: Currency exchange is available at level 1 and in the duty-free area; AMs are available on each level, and Banco Nacional is on level 1. A food court is available in the US sector; and there are plenty of restaurants & shops, including duty-frees.
- While passenger numbers are on the rise (mainly due to COPA airline using PTY Airport as transfer point) the current terminal 's traffic congestion may only worsen until the opening of new Terminal 2 in late 2017. However, Rio Hato RIH Airport now serves as relief Airport - see below*.
- 'Fast Trak / Global Pass' is avalable to Panamanians and permanent residents and Americans, when total airport capacity will reach 20M passengers annually.
[ New Terminal 2 with South Concourse under construction, is expected to open second half 2017. Currently the South Concourse houses three gate areas: In the center are gates 20-25 with access to gates 20A-25A; to the left are gates 11-19; and to the right are gates 26-33.
Present and future Airport developments: The ongoing $769M South Terminal and South Concourse expansion project by 50,000 sq.meters, is to include immigration/ Customs areas, passenger check-out, parking lots, commercial areas and 30 airbridges, with a capacity of 20M passengers a year-end by 2017. A new control tower, and 8,000 sq.meters of duty-free shops are also be be completed.
* The new Rio Hato /Scarlett Martinez Airport (Code: RIH) is currently serving as relief Airport to ease congestion at Tocumen (at former Panama defense base site in Cocle) - connected by a tunnel to the Pan-American Hwy. With a first commercial flight in 2014, and more airlines & charters added thereafter. Rio Hato Airport has an advantage for tourists as it is closer to Coronado & its Pacific beaches - avoiding a 2-hour ride from Tocumen).