“Kathleen, you mentioned in a recent e-mail the new international airport in Panama that has opened in Rio Hato? Where is Rio Hato?”
–Mark T., United States
Rio Hato is about an hour-and-a-half from Panama City, on the Pacific coast in the area where several big beach resorts are located, including Buenaventura and Decameron.
This location was selected for this new international airport rather than somewhere farther west in the country for two reasons. First, because of the resorts located here, including Buenaventura and Decameron, which were promised a new international airport would go into support them when they were built some 15 years ago.
The second reason is because a big runway already existed here. The government owned the land and only had to refurbish the existing runway (although they did also have to build a tunnel so that the Pan-American Highway could continue under the runway, which was no small thing).