National Aeronaval Service
(SENAN - Servicio Nacional Aeronaval)

The development of the events that transformed the constitution of the public entities responsible for the security and defense of the country and the evolution of the relations of power at the global level at the end of the last century demanded a rethinking of these concepts to establish solid institutions committed to respect for human rights, which will contribute to the conditions that guarantee economic and social development, governance and the consolidation of the democratic state.

The need for a new conception of the security and defense of the country would be fundamentally linked to the historical importance of the recovery of the jurisdictional control of the national territory and the commitment made to the international community to maintain respect for the regime of neutrality that would guarantee the integrity of the Panama Canal and the free transit of world trade through this waterway. Other internal factors derived from the dynamics of national development in the economic, social and cultural.

In this context, Panama's greatest strategic resource, "geographic position", had become an attractive element of threats against the stability of the society and the region, in which transnational organized crime dedicated to drug trafficking, illegal migration, terrorism, among other illegal activities, could only be counteracted through provisions aimed at the provision of security services. This required a multidimensional approach, highly professional, duly equipped to face these challenges and articulated with other actors of the Policy of the State.

After the restoration of the democratic order in the country in 1990, the progress made in the implementation of actions aimed at strengthening the competent institutions to ensure public order, the administration of justice, the re-socialization of citizens and the prevention of crime were notable. However, the new challenges to security imposed by the dynamics of national development, the evolution of organized crime and the incidence of natural disasters in the region, increasingly demanded the formation of institutional mechanisms that facilitate the development of synergies necessary to optimize available resources and enhance results in the provision of citizen security services, protection of the Panama Canal and custody of jurisdictional spaces.

In 2008, the National Government formalized the integration of the components of the National Air Service (SAN - Servicio Aéreo Nacional) and the National Maritime Service (SMN - Servicio Marítimo Nacional), constituting the National Aeronaval Service (SENAN - Servicio Nacional Aeronaval), as a public safety institution, Of civil nature, with professional career and special disciplinary regime, attached to the Ministry of Public Security.

According to the Political Constitution of the Republic and national laws, the National Aeronaval Service will act as a public security entity in the maritime, air, port and airport areas throughout the national territory, by performing the following functions:

  • Ensure compliance with the Political Constitution of the Republic and other national laws.
  • To ensure the protection, surveillance, security and defense of the air and maritime jurisdictional spaces of the Republic of Panama.
  • Support public policies aimed at ensuring the safety of maritime and air transport and trade in the national territory.
  • Ensure the safety of air, lake, maritime and inland waterways, as well as port and airport facilities; To protect persons and their property in the waters and airspace under national jurisdiction, island territory, ports and airports, as well as citizens on board such seagoing vessels and aircraft, Compliance with national legislation and international treaties.
  • Cooperate with the competent institutions in the protection and conservation of renewable and non-renewable natural resources, in accordance with current legislation and international conventions.
  • To prevent criminal acts and misconduct committed in air, sea, lake and river areas in the Panama Canal area and in those land areas where there are no National Police authorities, as well as to prosecute and capture the violators of the Law, Preserving the security and operability of port, maritime and airport facilities or facilities in accordance with the Political Constitution of the Republic, the applicable Law and regulations.
  • Conduct, under the direction of the Public Prosecutor's Office, investigations into crimes in jurisdictional areas within its jurisdiction where there are no dependencies of the Judicial Investigation Directorate.
  • Organize, direct and execute search and rescue operations at the naval airfield, in cooperation with the responsible governmental entities, as well as transfer necessary personnel, equipment and food.
  • Support the competent authorities in the performance of their duties.
  • Assist the competent authorities in the surveillance and control of maritime, air, port and airport security.
  • To assist in the fulfillment of the Regulations of Navigation and Transit of the Maritime Authority of Panama, as well as of the regulations of the Authority of the Aquatic Resources of Panama.
  • To assist in the strict compliance with the Aeronautical Regulations approved by the Civil Aeronautical Authority, in matters of air navigation and airport security.
  • Approach and inspect national and foreign aircraft within the national territory, as well as its passengers, crew, equipment, belongings, systems and cargoes, to verify compliance with the current legislation in the presence or presumption of crimes or misdemeanors. Safety of air navigation.
  • Approach and inspect national ships wherever they may be, and aliens that cross jurisdictional waters, the Contiguous Zone or the Exclusive Economic Zone, in accordance with the provisions of International Law, as well as their passengers, crew, equipment, belongings, Systems and charges to verify compliance with current legislation and to conduct them to port before the presumption or commission of crimes or faults to the safety of maritime navigation.
  • Carry out cooperation activities with other national and international institutions, with the formalities established by the laws on this matter.
  • Exercise other functions established by law and regulations.
  • In the Panama Canal, the exercise of the aforementioned functions shall be carried out subject to the provisions of the special regime of the Panama Canal Authority, constituted by Title XIV of the Political Constitution, Law 19 of June ll 1997 and the regulations that develop it.

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