$140m airport takes shape

By Lanuola Tupufia – Ah Tong ,

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LOOKING FLASH: The Faleolo International Airport.

LOOKING FLASH: The Faleolo International Airport. (Photo: Messi G. Latu Schmidt Facebook.)

The $140million construction work at the Faleolo International Airport promises a spacious and modern facility for the public, especially for air travelers. 

Samoa Airport Authority, Chief Executive Officer, Magele Hoe Viali said the first phase is complete will have a soft opening on 30 November 2016. 

Magele, who is in Auckland, told the Sunday Samoan the official opening when the 2nd and 3rd phases are completed, is scheduled for September 2017. 

In the meantime, changes are slowly being introduced.

“Until the whole terminal upgrade project is complete, the public is respectfully requested to be patient and expect some getting used to the new 1st phase,” Magele said.

“Spacious, clean and modern facilities and equipment should be treated with caring ownership by the public/air travelers including all staff and employees of the various airport government agencies and private businesses.”

 Magele pointed out that the old terminal is expected to be fully demolished by the end of December 2016 to January 2017. 

The old terminal will be replaced with the construction of a new arrival and public areas to commence thereafter.

Magele said the usual delays are from incremental weather conditions and shipping delays. 

Furthermore he said arriving passengers from December 2016 will be using the reduced temporary arrivals area located at the cargo building east of the new department building. 

“As the public has been made aware, this is occurring during the festive season busy period and our wet season,” said Magele. 

“This scenario is expected to take up to eight months and the public’s understanding is a key factor in mitigating any apparent inconveniencies caused to the traveling public." 

“The SAA will try its best efforts to lessen any apparent shortfalls or deficiencies as they occur to its temporary facilities to be used during this 8months period.”

The aerobridge will not be used until the whole terminal buildings are completed. 

Funding the aircraft apron (parking) and repaved and enlarged terminal works is financed by the World Bank. 

World Bank project also includes repaving the runway and putting in new runway lights and new cables as the current ones old. 

© Samoa Observer 2016

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