Airport Update for Puerto Armuelles

We have all been watching the progress happening at the old airport in Puerto Armuelles with great anticipation. I was able to get in touch with the key people involved in Puerto’s airport renovations and put together an update for you, as of March 2019.

The old airport was just a big open field and pot-holed runway.

Since I first came to Puerto Armuelles, in 2013, the airport in town was not operational. The golf course that surrounded the airport had been abandoned. The airport was being used as a place to conduct drag racing events (see video below), a shortcut from town to Retorno, and a place to jog or walk around in the cooler mornings. That all began to change as of April 2018. The airport renovation is being managed by the Autoridad de Aeronautica Civil (Civil Aviation Authority).

Construction of the new airport in Puerto Armuelles, Panama. 2018-2019


The latest news is that the newly renovated Puerto Armuelles Airport will be open in about 3 months, which puts it around June 2019. The old packing facilities, on the oceanside of the airport, have been demolished and removed. There are plans to service both private and commercial aircraft. Private flight plans will have to be arranged through the tower at Enrique Malek International Airport in David, as there will not be a tower in Puerto. The airport will bring another spurt of tremendous growth to Puerto Armuelles and seriously put our town on the map in Panama!


Here are some facts for the nerds out there:


www.visitpuertoarmuelles.comPuerto Armuelles Airport’s IATA code is AML, PA-A.

Distance from Enrique Malek International Airport in David is 49 km.

Distance from Tocumen International Airport in Panama City is 393 km.

GPS Coordinates:
Longitude: -82,865°
Latitude: 8,268°

Here’s a short video I took last year of a plane taking off at the old airport:

Drag Racing was a popular sport that utilized the Puerto Armuelles airport for events.

This is a clip:

The airport is getting a brand new fence all the way around and soon there will be no more unauthorized cars, horses, or people on the new runway ~ just aircraft!

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  1. John Scribner

    Thanks for the update on the airport. Many years ago (1983) I used to land on the grass strip there that doubled as a fairway for one of the holes of the Chiquita/United Brands golf course. If memory serves there was a slight dog leg on the fairway/runway that we had to negotiate.
    We’d pick up Standard Oil pipeline engineers from Pto Armuelles and fly them across the mountains into Rambala, which back then was nothing but a gravel strip.

    Many fond memories of those flights.

    1. admin (Post author)

      That’s a great story John! So glad to have you on the website. Feel free to share any other memories, or especially photos, because we have a lot of readers interested in Puerto’s history and preservation.

  2. joe

    I have recently been told by locals that this new airport will be used (only) for Government owned law enforcement aircraft. Do you have new information that this is incorrect, and will be a public/private airport ?

    I see that the project has been stopped again. A local told me the contractor has stopped working, as they have not been paid to proceed.

    We never know if the locals are accurate.

    1. admin (Post author)

      I heard a similar rumor and that the public airport would be built outside of town. I have not confirmed this yet. I will post an update when there is accurate information.


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