PORT VILA, 22nd June, 2017 – Ongoing stringent monitoring and maintenance works at Bauerfield are not going unnoticed, with Australian authorities giving Airports Vanuatu Limited (AVL) and engineers the thumbs-up by removing their travel advice against Bauerfield International Airport for the first time since early 2016.

 AVL have been working closely with engineers and airlines to consistently monitor the runway for further signs of stress and wear, with daily inspections by AVL, weekly inspections by the resident engineer and six-weekly detailed inspections by a team of specialized pavement engineers – ensuring that Bauerfield continues to remain fully operational.  

Specialized equipment and materials have been kept at Bauerfield since late 2016 to enable immediate runway repairs as required. 

“We are delighted that monitoring and repair works to keep Bauerfield safe and functioning have not gone unnoticed, said Airports Vanuatu Limited CEO, Jason Rakau. “Ongoing stringent monitoring and repair works will continue until the full runway rehabilitation begins in the coming months.

On June 19th Bauerfield received both Air New Zealand and Qantas. Both airlines had diverted their jets here due to runway unavailability at New Caledonia’s main international airport – La Tontouta. 

Air New Zealand have continued to operate charter flights into Bauerfield since 2016, while Qantas resumed their codeshare arrangements with Air Vanuatu on flights to Bauerfield from June15, 2016.

Meanwhile, the ongoing repairs are part of the Vanuatu government’s commitment to maintaining safe and efficient aircraft operations at Bauerfield, ahead of the full rehabilitation commencing in August, with works to be undertaken by China Civil Engineering and Construction Corporation and its joint venture partner – Northwest Civil Airport Construction Group. 

Preparations for the full runway rehabilitation under the World Bank-funded Vanuatu Aviation Investment Project are well underway, with the contractors already mobilizing equipment and materials.