MAY 30, 2014 — The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) will charter a Post-Panamax vessel before the opening of the expanded Canal to be used for training purposes in the Third Set of Locks.
The Executive Vice President of Operations Esteban Saenz reported that the Panama Canal will charter a Post-Panamax ship to train pilots and tugboat captains that will assist in transits through the new lane.
Mr. Saenz said the vessel will be used several months before the opening of the expanded Canal to test the new locks.
"This is one of the best ways to train our pilots and tug captains in the joint effort required to transit through the two new lock complexes of the expanded Canal," said Mr. Saenz. He added that since 2011 the Panama Canal has promoted workforce training for the operation of the expanded waterway.
Panama Canal Updates Simulator for Expanded Canal
Since 2012, a total of 186 of the approximately 280 Canal pilots have been trained at the Panama Canal's Center for Simulation, Research and Maritime Development (SIDMAR) using Post-Panamax model ships.
"SIDMAR's mathematical modeling and simulations have been updated and parts of the expanded Panama Canal such as the locks, navigational channels and Culebra Cut have been added to train our pilots and captains in such maneuvers," said Mr. Saenz.
Panama Canal Pilots Train with Post-Panamax Vessels
According to Mr. Saenz, 77% of the Panama Canal pilots have participated in maneuvers with Post-Panamax ships and more than 2,000 operations have been registered with these types of vessels at the ports located on both entrances of the waterway.
In addition, Canal pilots have participated in theoretical and practical training programs in Berendrecht Locks in the Port of Antwerp, Belgium, which are of similar size and operation.