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Latin America Investment News on Viva Tropical

The One Improvement Central America Needs to Make

Article Summary:

Central America needs better airports. The infrastructure in most airports in Central America can not cover the increase in the number of air passengers transiting in the region and is hampering its ability to grow.

Photo Credit: El Economista

Original Article Text From El Economista via Google Translate :

Central: Large Airlines

In most Central American airports already are major airlines. The infrastructure can not cope to meet the demand of passengers transiting the region.

Demand in Latin America soared substantially: the traffic increased almost 80% over the last decade, 95 million passengers to 170 million.

This Latin American growth averaging 6.2% over the past 10 years, a rate above the world rate of 4.5%.

Today, 30% of American flights take off or land at congested airports, which constitutes one of the main difficulties in the development of the aviation sector.

The picture may be even more cumbersome if not because the international economic crisis eased the movement of tourism globally in recent years.

Latin American airlines have been modernized at a pace that in certain indicators is equated with developed countries, says Roberto Kriete, president of the Air Transport Association of Latin America and the Caribbean (ALTA) and chairman of the board of AviancaTaca.

For example, American planes are younger, with an average age of 9.7 years, in 2000 was 15 years, slightly better than the Europeans, of 9.8 years and more than Americans, 11.7 years.

The region raises its safety performance although not yet achieved the highest levels. The accident rate went from 1.28 in 2011 to 0.42 million in 2012, says Peter Cerda, regional vice president for Latin America of the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

There is still ground to keep winning to be with the best airlines. The global average was 0.120 accidents last year.

“We’re getting close, but to get year after year we have decreased consistently accidents,” says Cerda.

More travelers
Two of the most important airlines in Central America and Copa AviancaTaca, increased the number of passengers carried.

Only in 2012, AviancaTaca carried more than 23 million, ie 12.9% more than in the previous year. Its net profit was 195.1 million, an increase of 73.9%.

Meanwhile, transported Cup just over 10.1 million passengers, an increase of 17.1% over 2011. The net proceeds from the Panamanian airline joined the $ 362.5 million, an annual increase of 5.2%.

The readjustment of airports has fallen short of needs, either by lack of strategic commitment to the aviation sector or lack of space for expansion.

Alex de Gunten, CEO of HIGH, reflects that the isthmus is taking B in infrastructure, but could get an A.

“Central has greatly improved. There have been integrated in many areas, there have been steps forward and not to belittle. Spend infrastructure that we have grown so much and everything went so well (in the market), “he reflects.

While not open airport expansion projects, the region you will have put a cap on the growth of the sector. “There are airlines that do not put more flights because I can not land where I want to land,” he reflects.

In Central America, the only airport prepared to absorb current and future demand is Tocumen in Panama. The quality of the Panamanian terminal also stresses globally. The country is estimated at position 6 in the area of ​​Quality of air transport infrastructure in the Global Competitiveness Report 2012-2013 World Economic Forum.

Tocumen Airport moves about 7.5 million people a year. The expansion project, at a cost of $ 679.4 million, will allow cater to 15 million, a flow that reach between 2018 and 2020.

“If Panama can, why not the rest of Central America?” Kriete Issues Challenge during Aviation Day 2013, held in April in San Salvador.

The benefit of airport development will not only be for each country but for the entire region, aiming for his hand Mario Zamora, president of the Airlines Association of Costa Rica. The challenge is to work in an integrated manner.

“Modernisation of airports is a good deal for everyone: for the country, which can concession, and for airlines,” said Daniel Castro meanwhile, representative for Central Federal Aviation Administration of the United States (FAA its acronym in English).

Zamora highlights the modernization of the terminals of Panama and Costa Rica. Also considered as a key project of transfer Toncontin airport in Tegucigalpa to Palmerola, in Comayagua, which will improve safety achieved.

To Kriete, if the Honduran government decides to convert to Palmerola international class airport should close Toncontín.

“The success depends on the use Palmerola Honduras given to the other airport (Toncontin). If it remains operational, people will prefer the proximity, as Palmerola is an hour away, “said Kriete.

San Salvador is also being modernized. The Autonomous Executive Port Commission (CEPA) is investing about $ 60 million in the process of adaptation of the passenger terminal, the commercial and the resurfacing of the runway.

Why has not invested as it should? Castro, the FAA, reflects: “It’s very easy to forget because the planes are landing provided the expenses are quite large. Now is arousing concern among countries. ”

But while land investments, Central will continue to have airports for airlines boys grow.

Link to Original Article:

From El Economista

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