World Bank in major airport works funding

The Samoa Airport Authority (SAA) has secured a $40 million tala loan from the World Bank for major improvements to key aeronautical infrastructure assets in the airport pavement and drainage systems. 

The Samoa Aviation Investment Project (SAIP) is a World Bank-funded project to upgrade the runway, upgrade and extend the apron area for planes to park, upgrade runway lights, replace the standby generators and upgrade the communication equipment. 

Details of the World Bank project were outlined in the Annual Report for financial year 2017-2018. 

“The expected cost of the project is USD$41 million ($102 million tala) of which USD$25 million ($62.5 million tala) is by way of a grant, and the remainder to be a loan to be paid by the Authority over a number of years. 

This project is expected to be completed within a year or two,” stated the report. 

Emails on the status of the projects to the newly sworn CEO, Silimina'i Ueta Banse Solomona,  did not get a response at the time of going to press. 

According to the World Bank, 2018 Article IV consultation published by the International Monetary Fund, their active portfolio has eight projects in Samoa with a total commitment of US$147 million (T$381.4 million). 

This was highlighted in a 71-page country report produced by the multilateral financial institution. 

“In the Samoa Aviation Investment Project, the World Bank aims to, improve operational safety and oversight of international air transport and associated infrastructure, including through improvements to runways, facilities and navigation aids at the main international airport.”

Last year, the SAA said the major airport pavement and drainage improvement works were key aeronautical infrastructure assets.  

With the terminal construction work coming to an end soon, the focus will now move to the pavement of the multi-million-tala facility.

“The first part is a T$75 million contract with Downer NZ Ltd to undertake the design and construction of pavement surfacing and infrastructure upgrade.

“The goal is to achieve the required design standards.  Airfield drainage improvements are also a necessary requirement under the contract to ensure climate resilience to protect airport assets.”  

Downer’s 18-month contract is separated into two parts; apron works and taxiway pavements as first priority, and runway works to follow later. 

“The apron expansion and fuel hydrant works will commence construction in May 2018, with a planned completion in November 2018. 

“The runway rehabilitation is scheduled to begin in February 2019 and planned completion by July 2019.” 

According to the statement, a separate supervisory contract has also been signed between SAA and Lyon Associates Inc, to provide technical advisory services to the Faleolo International Airport works. The total contract ceiling for this 42-month contract is $2.4 million tala. 

Lyon, a Hawaiian-based company, is a multi-disciplinary organisation providing expertise in engineering, planning and construction management, with successful projects completed in the region. 

These contracts are major activities under the Samoa Aviation Investment Project (SAIP), whose development objective is to improve operational safety and oversight of international air transport and associated infrastructure. 

The project is funded by the World Bank Group through a partial grant and credit, with the Government of Samoa providing counterpart financing through the payment of indirect taxes.

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