Panama’s main international airport is Aeropuerto Internacional de Tocumen (tel. 238-2761, www.tocumenpanama.aero). Its airport code is PTY. Commonly referred to simply as Tocumen (toe-KOO-men), it’s about 25 kilometers east of downtown Panama City. A multimillion-dollar expansion and modernization in 2006 improved it considerably. A second expansion is underway.
The airport has a branch of the Banco Nacional de Panamá (tel. 238-4161 or 238-4178, 7 a.m.–11 p.m. daily). It’s one of just two places in the country that exchange a number of currencies. The commission charged varies by currency. Panacambios in Panama City carries a wider variety of currencies. There is also an ATM in the arrivals lounge.
There are ATP information booths between the aduana (customs) area and in the arrivals lounge that may or may not be staffed. They carry a few hotel fliers but little else. There are also a couple of airport information booths in the terminal.
There’s a Cable and Wireless office (7 a.m.– 7 p.m. daily) near the ticket counters upstairs that sells phone cards and has fax, Internet, and long-distance calling services.
Those who made purchases at the Colón Free Zone can pick them up at the Equipaje Acompañado office, which is downstairs and to the right of the main terminal as one faces the main terminal, next to the police office.
A number of duty-free and other shops are in the departure lounge. They carry electronics, liquor, clothing, some souvenirs, and so on. There are two new coffeehouses, one in the terminal and one in the departure lounge. They are the only sit-down restaurants. The branch in the terminal is larger and more pleasant.
David, in western Panama, is expanding its runway in the hopes of attracting international flights, which to date have not really taken off there (pardon the pun). Officially known as Aeropuerto Internacional de David “Enrique Malek,” its airport code is DAV.
© William Friar from Moon Panama, 3rd Edition