Friday, August 21, 2015

TURKEY ADDS DIRECT FLIGHTS TO PANAMA

From the internet:

TURKEY ADDS DIRECT FLIGHTS TO PANAMA

PANAMA, already defined in terms of air and sea transport as "the hub of the Americas", is opening its runways to additional airlines at an inceasing pace.
Turkish Airlines has announced it will begin service three times a week between Istanbul and Panama City next February.
The flight will exceed 13 hours.
Recently, Emirates Airlines announced it would be adding service between Panama City and Dubai, which on its westward journey will b the longest non stop flight in the world.
Those flights, as well as ones being added by Lufthansa, "represent a significant contribution to the 9.5 percent growth of the annual traffic at Tocumen International Airport, which will reinforce its position as the leading regional hub in Latin America," said a Tocumen International Airport spokesman.
The Emirates flight will be 13,821 kilometers and last 17 hours and 35 minutes. That will exceed the current longest flight in the world, which is between Sydney (Australia) and Dallas (United States) and operated by the Australian airline Qantas.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

DROUGHT STILL HITTING CANAL AND HOMES

From the internet:

DROUGHT STILL HITTING CANAL AND HOMES

PANAMA’S WATER worries which led to the recent declaration of a state of emergency, could continue into and though 2016 which threatens to be an even drier year.

The administrator of the Authority of the Panama Canal (ACP), Jorge Luis Quijano, warned Wednesday August 16 that it could announce a further increase of restricted draft of ships in the waterway, due to lack of rains in the coming days and the drought caused by the El Nino phenomenon.

Quijano reported that the canal company has taken the first step in reduce the draft of vessels by six inches which will be implemented from September.

but the possibility of a further drop in the draft is being studied.
 Quijano said in previous statements that restricting depth of 6 inches would affect only 5 of the 34 ships passing daily through the Canal.

Maximum allowable draft will be 11.89 meters (39 feet) in fresh water, and will apply from September 8, 2015.

The maximum authorized draft is defined in terms of the deepest point of immersion specific to each ship on Lake Gatun.A press release explained that the measures would not significantly affect the efficiency and capacity of canal operations. because "the rains that have fallen in recent days have somewhat stabilized Gatun Lake, but have not increased the level in an important way."

Guijano added: In 2016 we are going to have a very dry year, but we are doing everything possible to minimize the impact and to maintain lake levels”
He said that if the situation in the reservoirs of the waterway does not improve, the likelihood that the lakes will be filled by December is very low.

"This is worrying so we have to look for more sources of water, "he said.

The drought has caused the levels of consumption of industrial and drinking water, programmed by the ACP for 2025 to be exceeded.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

CLOSING OF ALBROOK AIRPORT FACING OPPOSITION


From internet news, photo of Albrook from Ancon Hill and behind on Administration building in an old calendar photo:
CLOSING OF ALBROOK AIRPORT FACING OPPOSITION
Opposition to the closure of Albrook Airport as part of the planning for a fourth bridge over the Canal continues to grow.
Consideration is being given to relocating the activities currently carried out in the airport Marcos A. Gelabert, to the airport at Howard, now part of Panama Pacifico.
Directors of the Panamanian Aviation Association (APA) have expressed their disagreement to lawmakers in the Commission on Communication and Transport of the National Assembly.
The president of the APA, Jaime Fabrega said that the Albrook airport is in a strategic location "... it is six kilometers from both the Children's Hospital and the Hospital Santo Tomas which is where over 80% of aeromedical evacuations go.... He also mentioned that it is within four kilometers of the Albrook transport terminal, a bus and Metro subway hub"
"... At the Albrook Marcos Gelabert airport there are 15 plane and helicopter maintenance companies, plus there is an airline that does important work for the community, both domestically and internationally."


Thursday, August 13, 2015

WORLD’S LONGEST NONSTOP FLIGHT PANAMA BOUND

From internet news:

WORLD’S LONGEST NONSTOP FLIGHT PANAMA BOUND

THE LONGEST nonstop flight in the world will have Panama as its destination from February 1, 2016.Emirates airline has announced plans to launch services to Panama City, the gateway to Central America.

Service will operate through Tocumen International Airport (PTY), and will start a daily flight operated by a Boeing 777-200LR in a design class 3-8 in First, 42 in Business and 216 in Economy.
Th plane can also carry up to 15 tons of cargo. Key imports will include pharmaceuticals, machinery, iron, steel rods, and electronics.
"The City of Panama is the first gateway to Central America, providing a convenient option for our passengers traveling from or through our global hub in Dubai and onwards to destinations throughout Central America, the Caribbean and the northern part of South America, "said Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman and chief executive of Emirates Airline & Group.
"We are also pleased to be the only commercial airline to offer first class service for travelers daily in what will be the world's longest flight," said the company.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

PANAMA DECLARES STATE OF EMERGENCY

From the internet news:

PANAMA DECLARES STATE OF EMERGENCY

THE EL NIÑO weather pattern, which has affected 70 percent of the country has caused a shortage of rain, which has impacted farmers and hydroelectric production, as well as the operations of the Panama Canal, leadingauthorities to declare a state of emergncy.

Minister of the Environment Mirei Endara said this afternoon that authorities do not want to provoke a panic, but they "are trying to be responsible" and take the necessary measures to prepare for an extended drought.

Endara said that rainfall for the months of October and November will be 50 percent lower than in previous years.
She added that measures will be taken to save the water. They will be governed by the ministry with the assistance of the ministries of Health and Agriculture as well as the waste and sewer authority (IDAAN)

Other agencies involved will be the Public Services Authority, the Panama Canal Authority, the civil defense agency Sinaproc, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Public Works reports La Prensa.

CANAL EXPANSION STRIKE AVOIDED

From internet news:

CANAL EXPANSION STRIKE AVOIDED

The looming strike of construction workers, which threatened to delay the completion of the Panama Canal expansion project, by April 2016, has been avoided.

Leaders of the Suntracs union ha ve reached an agreement with the consortium Grupo Unidos por el Canal (GUPC) that will avoid a work stoppage on the third set of locks.

The union had sought an increase of more than 8 percent for the 6,000 workers involved in the work.

The parties agreed to an increase of $4.81 an hour for qualified workers and 5 percent for other categories, retroactive to July 1.

The Panama Canal Authority had requested the contractor endeavor to resolve the labor dispute as soon as possible to avoid the negative effect on the expansion, which is 93 percent complete.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

WATER CRISIS IN RAIN SOAKED PANAMA

From the internet: 

WATER CRISIS IN RAIN SOAKED PANAMA

PANAMA is the biggest consumer, or most wasteful of water In Latin America but the supply in not infinite and with population growth forced the government has been to seek other water sources to meet the demand for drinking water.

Lakes Gatun and Alajuela, located within the watershed of the Panama Canal, are the sources of supply for the Canal's operations, but also provide water for 1.9 million people or more than 55 percent of the country's population, reports La Prensa.

According to Canal Administrator Jorge Luis Quijano, the forecast of water consumption for the population in 2025 is 362 million gallons per day.
Panama is one of the countries with the highest water consumption rate in Latin America. According to a study, each person consumes 100 gallons of water per day or 379 liters, while the average in the region is 48 gallons or 177 liters.

"The state must lead the search for new water sources to meet the growing demand for human and industrial consumption resulting from economic and population growth," Quijano said.

The ACP operates and manages three water plants, which are located in Miraflores, La Chorrera and Colón. Lake Alajuela also supplies raw water to the plant in Chilibre, the largest in the country.

What is worrying, according to Quijano, is that new plants are being planned that are also located within the basin of the Panama Canal, which also needs the water to operate the locks.

He said the amount of water in the basin is not endless, and a long-term plan is needed to serve both interests.