China Still Seeking Panama Air Field
Bidding against China on Howard and a connected multi-modal port contract are companies from the US, UK, Dubai, Singapore, Hong Kong, Spain and the Netherlands.
The most recent report makes it seem less likely that Howard would remain as an operational air base:
Plans include ... taking advantage of the installations at Howard, converting the air force base into a multi-modal port base.With Howard just 3,707 acres in size, this makes it seem the whole base and the adjoining rail facilities will become port facilities -- but that's not true.
Howard project planners aim to develop 5,000 acres (2,000ha) of land, making use of the nearby Panama Canal and railway lines to give shippers access to more than 120 million people throughout Latin America. Plans include forming a "one-stop shop agency" to simplify the customs process and expedite imports and exports.
A Consulate of Panama in London Web site states the following:
Studies also indicate that Howard is a potential site for a multimodal transport centre due to existing infrastructure, such as an airport with a landing strip of approximately 2,591 meters, large enough to handle international cargo planes.As mentioned before in CS-M, China currently operates the ports on both sides of the canal and is best chums with Hugo Chavez in Venezuela and is cozying up to left-leaning governments throughout the region. Now, in just a couple more months, they could be the proud owners of an air base smack dab in the middle of the Western Hemisphere.
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