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Latin America Investment News on Viva Tropical

Is Privatization the Best for Panama’s Interior Airports?

Article Summary:

The three interior airports of Panama will become privatized in a reversal of the decision to have them administered by Tocumen SA. The airports of David, Colon, and Rio Hato will be granted in concession to private companies instead. Meanwhile, budget Canadian airline Air Transat is in talks to offer flights to these same interior airports.

Photo Credit: Prensa

Original Article Text From Prensa via Google Translate :

Government Privatize Three Airports

The administration MOPT airports David, Columbus and Rio Hato, despite five months ago it was decided that the three terminals would be under the control of Tocumen SA.

When issued Executive Decree 654 of June 5, 2012 the Government reported that CV had the funds and capacity to absorb the operation of the three airports, but now the story is different.

Transferring the three airports to Tocumen, when completed the remodeling, it could affect any bond issue or request for funding to carry the company to execute its expansion plan in excess of $ 700 million, according to the analysis of the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF).

Last October the National Assembly passed the bill 528 which amended Law 23 of 2003 which dictates the regulatory framework for the management of the airports in the country.

Despite these changes, Tocumen, SA will continue with the power to issue bonds, or any other title, with the difference that you can assign or put their property as collateral, income and assets to back the issue.

No matter the amount of debt you acquire CV, it will not be counted as part of the Panamanian government debt since the company that manages the country’s main airport terminal was excluded by this government in 2011 nonfinancial public sector.

Rafael Barcenas, director of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), said that the government repeal Decree 654, adding that it will fall to issue a new standard MEF rescind the previous.

Barcenas recognized that the institution in charge has no financial or operational capacity to handle the three airports currently are remodeled at a cost of $ 138 million.

“We have nothing definite yet, but next year will begin the process of granting the three terminals,” he said.

One point I have to define the authorities is if one company would manage the three airports or individual grants will.

The play that authorities do not plan to be entirely negative, at least so thinks John Bennet, economic analyst and former director of the AAC.

Notes that CV should concentrate on your business and not managing new terminals, which in his opinion will take time to become profitable. “The state is not to do things, but ensure that they do well,” he said.

On November 31 the company next Riva SA must finish the remodeling of Enrique Malek airport in the city of David, Chiriqui.

The work includes an advance of 97%, and the critical stage was the construction of the track and was completed.

In this terminal, which handled 46.7% of domestic passenger traffic in 2011, will invest $ 27.4 million. Airlines and Copa Airlines already have plans to establish direct flights to this destination.

As for the airport in Rio Hato, work and have an advance of 34%, and the tunnel, which will stand the test of B757/200 aircraft, capable of carrying between 180 and 200 people, and was terminated.

According Barcenas, just missing the MPW coat the tunnel and then build the track you will go through the top. Among the construction of the runway and the new terminal will invest about $ 52 million.

So far as the Canadian airline Air Transat have shown interest in using the airport in Rio Hato and David, who along with three tracks provide Colon with a lifespan of 25 years, and ability to accommodate planes up to 228 passengers.

To maintain the pace of work, the airport should be operational in late 2013 or early 2014.

Although remodeling Enrique Jimenez airport in the province of Colon and is ahead by 75%, it is projected that the work completed by the first quarter of 2013.

It invested $ 58 million and is expected to finish the work permit charter, especially with tourists arriving in the country to address one of two cruise ships that sail from the port of Colón 2000.

Besides the work in David, Colon and Rio Hato, also have invested more than $ 5 million in the airport Marcos A. Gelabert in Albrook, which for now is not on the government’s privatization plans.

Link to Original Article:

From Prensa

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