Panama Canal Opens Scale-Model Training Facility

The training facility fills 35.3 acres and features two lakes connected by a channel modeled after the canal's Culebra Cut. It has docking bays, replicas of the new and existing locks, and gates, all at a 1:25 scale, and is equipped with scale-model tugboats and ships.

The Panama Canal Authority has opened a new Scale Model Maneuvering Training Facility that will provide additional hands-on experience to pilots and tugboat captains to operate in the expanded canal. Authority officials also announced that the Panama Canal Expansion will be officially inaugurated on June 26, 2016. The president of Panama, Juan Carlos Verela, attended the training facility's opening ceremony, along with Panama Canal Board of Directors Chairman Roberto Roy and other board members.

"The Scale Model Training Facility will allow us to continue providing world-class service to the global maritime industry while guaranteeing safe and efficient transits through the soon-to-be inaugurated expanded canal," said Jorge L. Quijano. "The dream of expansion will become a reality when we inaugurate the biggest infrastructure project in the history of the canal and the country of Panama."

The training facility fills 35.3 acres and features two lakes connected by a channel modeled after the canal's Culebra Cut. It has docking bays, replicas of the new and existing locks, and gates, all at a 1:25 scale, and is equipped with scale-model tugboats and ships, including bulk carriers, a container ship, and a liquid natural gas ship that will be delivered by September 2016.

According to the authority's news release, the facility features wave and wind generators to provide a realistic training experience for canal pilots and tugboat captains and complements training already provided at the Center of Simulation, Research and Maritime Development.

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