A $3.5 million incinerator at Tocumen International Airport built to process 8 tons of waste daily from international flights never managed to handle one than two tons
Despite the bankruptcy of the Spanish construction company Oproler, which built the plant the management of the air terminal managed to have the equipment guarantee recognized.
Oproler finished the construction of the incinerator in 2018, but from the beginning the plant reported problems burning all the international waste left by the aircraft in Tocumen.
In 2019, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), which organized the tender, announced that it would execute the $356,632 bond with the intention of making the improvements that the incinerator needed.
Raffoul Arab, manager of Tocumen SA said that the guarantee will allow the plant to start up and prevent the equipment from continuing to deteriorate, although he acknowledged that further improvements will be necessary in the future to increase capacity.
With the execution of the guarantee, it is likely that the incinerator will be able to burn 3 tons of waste per day.
International standards establish that waste left by aircraft or international garbage, as it is also known, must be burned to prevent the spread of viruses and pests.
This was Tocumen's second unsuccessful attempt to have its own waste treatment plant. In 2012, the plant that the then administration had bought in 2010 stopped working.
In recent years, the airport has spent more than $7 million in contracts for the transfer and subsequent burning of waste in plants located in the provinces of Panama and Colón