Faulty cable killed runway lights

By Lanuola Tupufia – Ah Tong ,

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Samoa Airport Authority Chief Executive Officer: Magele Hoe Viali

Samoa Airport Authority Chief Executive Officer: Magele Hoe Viali (Photo: Ilia L. Likou)

A fault on a cable installed in the 1980s killed the lights on the runway at the Faleolo International Airport on Sunday morning.

This was confirmed by the Samoa Airport Authority Chief Executive Officer, Magele Hoe Viali, yesterday.

He was contacted for a comment as to what caused the delays and cancellations of flights at the Faleolo International Airport on Sunday.

As a result, hundreds of passengers flying to and from Australia, Fiji and New Zealand were affected.

“When the workers turned on the runway lights around 2am on Sunday morning it didn’t go on,” explained Magele. 

“The workers later found that some of the cables were burnt and they then started to repair the wires." 

“The runway lights and cables were installed in 1984 and that is how old it is. There was a shortage on the cable that caused the disruption and that is why we couldn’t turn on the runway lights.”

Magele said the workers immediately worked on repairing the cables that morning and had only managed to restore it by 9pm on Sunday.

“The night flights were rescheduled while the daytime flights still came in,” said the C.E.O. 

“This is the first major failure in cables that took almost a whole day to repair.” 

According to Magele the cables have been repaired and installation of new ones will be done some time next year. 

He pointed out the World Bank is funding the installation of new cables and runway lights on the 3,000 meter field. 

 There were four flights from Fiji Airways, Virgin Australia and Air New Zealand airlines that were rescheduled due to the disruption.  

A passenger on a Virgin Australia flight from Brisbane Australia said their plane circled around for 2 hours on Sunday morning before it could land. 

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