New Airport takes shape
The $400million Faleolo International Airport project is making good progress.
That’s according to an official of Shanghai Construction Company Limited who spoke to the Samoa Observer on the site yesterday.
“Everything is running smoothly,” she said.
“We are making very good progress and hopefully in the next few weeks, we’ll complete Phase one of the project.
“The weather has been fine, we haven’t had too many challenges so we are very pleased with the progress so far.”
The official upgrade of the airport was launched by Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi last year.
The multi-million-tala work includes extensive improvements to existing terminal buildings, installation of aerobridges and a dedicated power centre.
Upgrades will see an increase in the size of the terminal from 5500 sqm to almost 12000 sqm, allowing the facilities to cater for up to 600,000 annual passenger movements with maximum passenger flow volume of 300 passengers per hour.
According to the Prime Minister, the design of the building incorporates the style of the traditional Samoan Fale and draws on current greening principles of design to assure more efficient use of natural lighting and ventilation.
“For the Airport Authority, this upgrade will mean more business and rental areas from which more tourism-related services can be provided to ensure an improved experience for travellers, befitting of a modern day international airport,” Tuilaepa said at the time.
“The aerobridges will provide a more comfortable experience for our elderly and disabled passengers, not to mention families with small children visiting us for a holiday.
“In essence, the arrival, departure and public areas will all be enlarged with airport-related agencies and services operating from more spacious and functional work spaces.”
Following the completion of the first phase, the second phase will look to upgrade the apron, the landing and take-off areas for aircraft to be funded by the World Bank.
China is funding Phase One.
The facelift for the Faleolo International Airport is part of the government’s plan to position Samoa as a hub for tourism, travel and events such as conferences in the South Pacific region.