Visitors to Samoa and returning residents have another reason to look forward to their aircraft touching down at the Faleolo International Airport.
Whether it’s Samoa Airways, Air New Zealand, Fiji Airways or whatever carrier, these travellers will be among the first users of the brand new Arrivals Section of the Faleolo Airport.
The Arrivals area is part of $147 million upgrade for the airport facility, which started a few years ago. While the Departure Area opened last year, travellers arriving to Samoa have had to endure the makeshift arrivals hall at the old cargo terminal.
That is no longer the case. On Thursday, the Minister of Works, Transport and Infrastructure, Papali’i Niko Lee Hang joined China’s Ambassador Wang Xuefeng and other officials to cut the ribbon.
It was a proud moment for Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi and his administration.
“As envisioned by Government, these new terminal buildings will assist tourism growth in our country, in addition to boosting economic development through air transport facilitation and trade,” he said.
“For those who will be using these new airport buildings, its longevity can only be assured through appropriate usage, care and maintenance.
“It is your Government’s hope that this upgrade project will meet our country’s airport needs for the next 50 years.”
Ambassador Xuefeng highlighted the importance of the project’s design, noting its Polynesian flavour.
“We can’t help marveling at the miracle that was achieved in two years. I would like to express my heartfelt appreciation and admiration to all those who have made this miracle possible.
“On behalf of the Chinese Embassy, I would like to extend my warmest congratulations to the successful completion of this new airport.
“The new Faleolo International Airport has become the best international airport in all the Pacific Island countries. With the upgraded services, excellent operation capability and aviation management, Samoa has moved a step further toward the aviation hub in the South Pacific region.”
The total cost for the project was approximately $147 million with the construction undertaken by Shanghai Construction Group.
Here are some more photos from the opening: