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  • 2016 March 24 11:30

    Panama Canal inaugurates Scale Model Training Facility and announces expansion inauguration date

    The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) announced that the Panama Canal Expansion will be officially inaugurated on Sunday, June 26, 2016. The announcement was made this morning during the inauguration ceremony of the Canal's state-of-the-art Scale Model Maneuvering Training Facility, which will provide additional hands-on experience to pilots and tugboat captains to operate in the Expanded Panama Canal.

    The innovative 35.3-acre training facility features two lakes connected by a channel modeled after the Canal's Culebra Cut. The new facility features docking bays, replicas of the new and existing locks, gates, and chambers, all at a 1:25 scale.

    The facility is equipped with a number of meticulously created scale model Panama Canal tugboats, as well as ships built in France at Port Revel, including bulk carriers modeled after the Nord Delphinus, and a container ship modeled after the Maersk Edinburgh. In addition, a liquid natural gas (LNG) ship will be delivered by September 2016.

    The facility features wave and wind generators to provide a realistic, hands-on training experience for Canal pilots and tugboat captains to prepare them for the opening of the expanded waterway. It complements the training already provided at the Center of Simulation, Research and Maritime Development (SIDMAR) through immersive, 360-degree training simulations and courses.

    The Expansion Program is currently 97 percent complete. Final testing will be conducting in the following weeks, leading up to the official inauguration of the Expanded Canal on June 26, 2016.




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