In its June 3 monthly canal operations summary, the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) announced the chartering of a Neopanamax vessel for training pilots and tugboat captains who will be assisting in transiting the new lanes of the expanded canal.

The vessel will be used for several months to test the new locks and is the type of vessel that can pass through the canal once the expanded canal becomes operational.

“Over 70 percent of the Panama Canal pilots have participated in maneuvers with Neopanamax ships,” according to the Executive Vice President of Operations.

Since 2012, Neopanamax model ships at the Panama Canal’s Center for Simulation, Research and Maritime Development have been used to train 186 out of about 280 canal pilots for the expanded canal.