Grand National Transport Terminal
Boon Edam, the leader in security entrances and architectural revolving doors in the Americas, today announced that for nearly 20 years, 75 waist high turnstiles have been operating successfully at the Gran Terminal de Transporte de Panamá (Grand National Transport Terminal or GTNT). During this extended period, the turnstiles have operated at the highest level of performance, thanks to a committed program of timely maintenance.
The Grand National Transport Terminal is the hub of all land transportation in Panama. The building is over half a mile long, and in 2014 more than 55 million travelers passed through it, about 151,000 each day, heading to destinations in Panama and other countries in Central America. This level of volume is driven by 52 inter-provincial, 50 suburban and 2 international routes leaving from the hub.
When the GTNT was built in 1996, planners determined that they needed to install a device that could regulate the movement of people towards the boarding platforms and accept tokens. This led the project engineers to visit the New York City subway and Disney World, to see what equipment was used for access control. At both places, they discovered the TUT-60T turnstile built by Tomsed Corporation, a company based in Lillington, North Carolina. Tomsed was later acquired by Boon Edam in 2006 and the turnstile was renamed the “Trilock 60.”
Carlos De Sedas, VP of Technology and Projects of Los Pueblos Group, which owns GTNT, explained that the turnstiles were purchased because they were considered top-end equipment at the time and were designed to handle high pedestrian traffic levels.
De Sedas stated that in almost 20 years of non-stop operation, “The turnstiles have such good performance, they work just as well as the day they were installed,” adding that none of them has been replaced since installation. “The GTNT allocates a small annual budget for maintenance and spare parts for the turnstiles. It’s not something that’s costly because this equipment doesn’t get damaged easily if you provide proper care,” he explained.
Several different organizations have visited GTNT looking for references on the turnstiles’ operation. Such is the case of the Panama Canal Authority, which received a favorable first-hand impression of the performance and durability of the equipment.
“We order spare parts from Boon Edam every other year, because we know it’s essential to have enough spare parts in stock, and it’s also crucial to have a person capable of performing maintenance when needed, especially when it comes to hardware that cannot be out of service at any time,” De Sedas said.
De Sedas concluded that although the turnstiles were not considered to be a low price item when purchased, their sturdiness, functionality and high quality have proven to be a very good long-term investment.