Because all airfields in Panama must have a North-South orientation and a reasonable approach, there are very few runway options in the vicinity of Santa Catalina. Regional Air (a former domestic carrier) analyzed this opportunity then led the charge with initial architectural planning for the airstrip and fly overs for orientation and approach. The Pinzon brothers worked wonders with heavy equipment and ground efforts.
Currently Lago Bay is involved in a certification process for the airstrip with AAC (the national flight authority). Although many private planes have landed, certification is needed for charter or regular flights.
Lago Bay Airstrip Current Status:
- Runway Length- 3,000 feet (920 meters)
- Runway Width- 100 feet (30 meters)
- North-South orientation and approach- optimal
- Designated area, South, covered parking (cars, shuttle)
- Half-moon turn around, North
- Areas both East and West for multiple hangars
- Perfect for 25 passenger twin-engine planes
- ANAM (environment) Study- approved
- Feasibility Study- favorable
- AAC Certification- pending
- Demand- Regional Air determined sufficient demand in 2009 for regular flights to the area.
- Rising Demand- Activity has doubled since 2009 with new Dive Shops, Fishing Tours and Hotels.
- Security- Entrance/exit through Lago Bay Administration.
- Privacy- 55 hecs (135 acres) of land.
- Real Estate- Synergy with Lago Bay.
- Product Logistics- More perishable merchandise such as seafood and spirulina to Panama City.
- Weekend Excursions- Fishing, Surfing, Diving, Coiba trips.
- Logistics- Panama City- car (5hrs) plane (50 min) Bocas- car (6hrs) plane (35min).
Attention Investors and Pilots
With a certified airstrip and active pilots the future looks bright for Lago Bay. The combination of new hotels, dive shops and tours around Santa Catalina with planned projects at Bahia Onda and Playa Banco indicate that flight demand for the area is steadily on the rise. Air logistics will open new possibilities for short-term Coiba trips and weekend fishing for residents in other parts of the country.
The internal projects at Lago Bay will certainly benefit from the added activity. Synergy with the Airstrip will be critical for various commercial opportunities and a welcomed fringe benefit for Lago Bay residents.
Future endeavors include: hangars, shuttle, covered parking and Coiba Flights, Other possibilities: a flight school, refueling station, car rental and commercial product supply.