The first time I flew into the David airport, almost four years ago, it was about half the size it is now. I watched over the next couple of years as the Argentinian firm Riva S.A. added a new building for rental car companies, a new fire station, additional security measures, and I read about additional improvements that I couldn’t see like upgraded radar and runway expansions. I also read about how Riva planned to expand the main terminal, but I hadn’t been to the airport in over a year (I prefer the scenic drive from Panama City to Boca Chica in order to reach Isla Palenque) and so hadn’t really seen any new progress in quite awhile.
So last week, when dropping off someone at the airport, I was very pleasantly surprised — maybe pleasantly shocked is a better phrase — to drive up and see a massive expansion well underway. I quickly snapped a few pictures while I was there.
I suppose I should have been paying more attention. While our team has been in discussions with a couple of major hotel owners in the area about potentially bonding flights from the U.S. and helping davdirect.org with the creation of their new website, I hadn’t really paid too much attention to the airport expansion itself.
What I saw, though, as I said, was really surprising; it’s one thing to read about construction work happening, another to see the work in person. It looks like construction of the new/expanded terminal might be done by early next year, and that it will probably triple or quadruple the total size of the airport facilities. What’s more, it also looks like this new terminal will be about the same size as Belize’s, and much bigger than a lot of the ones I’ve seen at well-traveled Caribbean islands.
This excites me more than anything else I’ve seen recently in Panama. Seeing the government hard at work to complete this airport expansion means that the prospect of getting international flights from the U.S. is much closer than I’d expected, which is really, truly great news.
While David has been getting international flights from San Jose, Costa Rica for a couple of years now, and is currently transporting some 200 people a day from Panama City, flights from the U.S. will be able to bring in many more people, making it much simpler for our guests and residents to visit, and raise the value of land in the area considerably.