A statement by the Presidency of Panama reads:
President Ricardo Martinelli, with the Minister of Public Works, Jaime Ford, conducted an inspection of the construction area of the project to adapt and renovate the Scarlett Martinez airport and the tunnel on the Panamerican Highway which crosses the runway, a project that is the first of its kind in Latin America.
"This airport, to be opened in July 2013 will make the province of Cocle one of the most key points in Panama, generating thousands of jobs in tourism, agriculture and real estate", said the president to the media attending the tour.
The governor explained that the airport is 70 percent complete and will benefit a population of 228,676 inhabitants, which he considers very positive taking into account that the region is characterized by families who are producers, and will therefore cater to the current and future resorts or hotels in the area.
Martinelli also extended to the media that this airport not only benefits the region but will contribute to an increase tourism for the whole the country because low price charter flights will come from Europe and South America, which will result in the generation of new jobs .
"This government saw an opportunity in this area and took the risk of undertaking this work that will benefit the entire country," said Martinelli.
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The upcoming opening of the International Airport of Rio Hato will enable large investments in the tourism industry, making an overall impact on the economy of the Panamanian province.
Prensa.com reports that "The start of operations next August of the international airport in the Central Provinces will pave the way for millions in investment in new hotels, shopping centers and residences, which in turn will generate hundreds of jobs, which will mark Rio Hato as a magnet for economic over and above that of Coronado. "
The airports of David, Rio Hato and Colón will change administration to be run by the same company that runs the Panama International Airport.
"The assets and liabilities of the airports of David, Rio Hato and Colon -terminals that are administered by the Autoridad Aeronáutica Civil (AAC) - will be transferred to "without consideration of payment" to Aeropuerto Internacional de Tocumen, S.A., as stipulated in executive Order No. 654 of June 5, 2012 and which was registered in the Official Gazette yesterday", reported Prensa.com.
Sunwing Airlines, which is part of the largest tour operator in the world, has expressed interest in direct flights from Canada.
After the government announced the construction of an international airport on the Rio Hato runway in the central provinces, the company Sunwing, a major tour operator from Canada showed interest in increasing its service of charter flights to Panama and investing in other beach hotels in the Panamanian Pacific.
In the Cocle Tourism Forum 2013 entrepreneurs from the sector will will discuss opportunities provided by the Scarlett Martinez airport in the province of Cocle.
The event will be held at the Hotel JW Marriott Panama Golf & Beach Resort, from 8:30 am. to 2:30 pm.
According to Alberto Quirós, hotel owner and organizer of the event, the activity includes participation of Costa Rican and Dominican exhibitors who will speak about tourism development in the areas of Guanacaste and Punta Cana, after an international airport has been built on the outskirts of these cities.