Panamanian aviation services company Mapiex is opening a VIP lounge for the business and general aviation clients for which it provides ground handling services at Tocumen International Airport, Panama’s main international gateway, on June 24.
At the Caribbean Aviation Meetup in St. Maarten last week, Julio Miselem, the company’s flight services chief, told AIN that the VIP lounge—which represents a new business model for the company—will operate 24/7/365. Other than the Signature Flight Support FBO, it will be the only private-aviation facility at Tocumen where clients will not have to go to the crowded commercial-aviation terminals for customs and immigration clearance.
Rather than being located in the two commercial terminals, which are a long distance from the GA ramp, the Mapiex VIP Lounge will be located in the airport’s cargo facility. These days, the cargo terminal’s customs and immigration facilities process only the pilots of the approximately 20 cargo flights which land at Tocumen daily, so Mapiex is promising its VIP-lounge clients expedited and discrete processing.
While the 750-sq-ft lounge will not be a full FBO, it will include a dispatch center and a small crew room. Mapiex will provide its entire suite of VIP concierge services at the facility.
Mapiex handles about 65 percent of all general and private aviation activity in Panama. It operates FBOs at Panama’s Pacifico and Marcos A. Gelabert airports, both of which see much more business aviation activity than does Tocumen. Mapiex also operates FBOs in Guatemala and—with local partners—at all of Cuba’s nine civilian airports.