Enrique Malek International Airport
|Enrique Malek International Airport
Aeropuerto Internacional Enrique Malek
Main Terminal Building
|IATA: DAV – ICAO: MPDA|
|Operator||Direccion Nacional De Aeronautica Civil|
|Elevation AMSL||27 m / 89 ft|
Enrique Malek International Airport (IATA: DAV, ICAO: MPDA) (Spanish: Aeropuerto Internacional Enrique Malek) is an international airport located in the city of David, Chiriquí in the Republic of Panama. Enrique Malek International Airport was first built in 1941 as part as an agreement between the U.S and Panama on defense sites to defend the Panama Canal from axis threat.
Known as David Field or San Jose Field during World War II, the airport was an auxiliary of Howard Field. It accommodated a variety of United States Army Air Forces personnel, dedicated for the most part in training and reconnaissance missions over the Southeast Pacific coastline, from Honduras in the north, to Peru in the south as part of the defense of the Panama Canal.
Wartime units assigned to the airfield were:
- 397th Bombardment Squadron (6th Bombardment Group), 11 December 1941 – 18 August 1942 (B-18 Bolo, B-17 Flying Fortress)
- 45th Bombardment Squadron (40th Bombardment Group), 13 November 1942 – 18 February 1943 (LB-30 (B-24A) Liberator)
- 3d Bombardment Squadron (VI Bomber Command), 12 March – 1 April 1943; 11 June 1943 – 6 April 1944; 8 December 1944 – 28 October 1945 (B-17 Flying Fortress)
After the conflict, the field was renewed and modernized to improve its facilities and is now used for international flights. At present, the airport, now under the name of Enrique Malek International Airport is serving the Chiriquí Province province as a civil airport, is the second largest international airport in Panama.
During heavy travel times, the airport registers 900 operations monthly, serving approximately 20,000 passengers from Mexico, the United States, Canada and Central America.
The airport ramp and fueling facilities where expanded between 2008 and 2009.
An estimated US$12,000,000.00 improvement fund has been passed by the Panamanian legislature that will include runway expansion. This runway expansion project allows for heavy aircraft. Additionally the DAV perimeter fencing, first responders, hospitals, security, baggage claim, and terminal facilities are all included in the pending expansion.
In early 2009, the Chiriqui regional director for the Authority of Civil Aeronautics (AAC), Inés de Esquivel, informed La Estrella: "...in the last five years, $1.5 million dollars in investments have been made for the improvement of various areas at the Enrique Malek airport."
In October 2009, a campaign for Direct flights between DAV (David) and the USA was relaunched and statistics are being kept of passengers interested in travel along this future route.DAV Direct Blog
Airlines and destinations
|Air Panama||Bocas del Toro, Panama-Albrook, San Jose (CR)|
|Copa Airlines||Panama City|
Accidents and incidents
On 9 January 1970, an attempt was made to hijack a Douglas C-47 of RAPSA. The hijacker was overpowered and arrested, but there was one fatality. The aircraft was due to operate a flight to Bocas del Toro Airport.