2nd September 2016
PORT VILA, 2nd September, 2016 – Following the suspension of flights by some airlines earlier this year, the Government of Vanuatu, has sought the assistance of the World Bank and others to resolve the issues that have arisen with the runway at Bauerfield International Airport.
With the assistance of construction company Fulton Hogan, interim repairs to maintain the highest level of safety at Bauerfield and ensure Vanuatu can continue to meet airline safety and operational needs are continuing.
Fulton Hogan have commenced demobilization in New Zealand which means equipment, materials and personnel will arrive by the middle of the month. The major repairs are expected to be completed by late September.
The Government is undertaking stringent runway monitoring and addressing issues as they arise by working closely with airline partners, engineers and assessors. Civil Aviation Authority Vanuatu (CAAV) has also notified airlines to adapt their landing and taxiing procedures to minimize impact on the runway, which will be strictly enforced.
Preparations for the full runway rehabilitation and airport improvements are on schedule, with preliminary designs received August 30 and currently under review. These improvements will deliver additional capacity and facilities to accommodate wide-bodied aircraft at Bauerfield.
Bidding for the full civil works at Bauerfield, along with runway works at airports in Tanna and Santo will take place by early October 2016. The contract is expected to be awarded by December 2016, with construction to begin in early 2017.
Prime Minister Charlot Salwai Tabimasmas has thrown his government’s full backing behind the project, describing it as ‘high priority’. “This is a Government project, therefore government agencies and ministries driving it must ensure the country gets the best possible returns on the investment,” he said.
Tourism and air transport are essential to the economy of Vanuatu, and the Government of Vanuatu remains fully committed to creating a safe and reliable aviation sector that will meet Vanuatu’s needs for decades to come.
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