Manager’s comments about Airport Authority absurd

Dear Editor,

Re: Samoa Airport Authority 

I find it really interesting and disturbing to read the recent article interview with the Samoa Airport Authority General Manager Magele Hoe Viali.

The figures and story just don’t add up, he is saying that the Board members should be paid more or at least same as our C.E.Os, the C.E.Os are turning up day in day out every day to perform their duties and responsibilities, his Board members sit in meetings once a month (if even that!), so he is saying that his Board members are worth more and do more than a C.E.O? 

I don’t think so and knowing how hard our C.E.O. works daily, makes it offensive too.

To compare it to N.Z. and overseas is unfair and ridiculous given economies of scale. After reading his interview, I went to look at the Fiji Airport annual report where they have 4 Board Members and total remuneration being $58,053 (converted FJD to WST) that’s $14,513 each. 

Samoa Airport Authority board has 8 members with total remuneration of $138,483 that’s $17,310 each. Fiji Airport has 11 international airlines flying all over the world ... Faleolo Airport has 4 airlines flying to 3 countries. 

More importantly, Fiji has profit and well, Samoa Airport Authority had a loss of $4 Million yet decides to give their board members a payrise, is that wise commercial business decisions? What other ‘wise’ decision are they making to earn this payrise?

And if the Board members do have responsibility of the organisation and if the buck stops with the Chairman and Board then who had the responsibility for approving the stupid carpark ticket machines that are now redundant? 

How much did it cost to put those in and maintain? 

If anyone deserves a payrise it’s the guy who collects the $5 on exit (who probably doesn’t get lunch provided like the board)! 

Who approved the project plan for the terminal where it had the ugly and time-consuming arrival area during the busiest Christmas holiday time for our Country? 

If I had a dollar for every time a tourist or family member nearly tripped up or bags fall off trolleys coming out of that makeshift arrival terminal – I would be making the same as the board. 

Who approved the ugly layout of the departure terminal where last month when I went to N.Z. it was leaking water? Wonder how much it will cost to replace or fix that? 

The G.M. says they have ‘heavy responsibilities’... are they really putting heavy thought into their decisions? Sir, this is not your money to play with it’s our tax-payers money.

It says the increased revenue was from departure tax due to the All Blacks and Commonwealth Games, so had these events not happened there wouldn’t have been an increase? 

What are the board and S.A.A. doing about other activities to generate revenue? And not just rely on special events organised by other countries. Do we not have any idea or actions of our own to generate revenue? 

And please don’t try to claim the solar farms, wasn’t that a whole of government initiative and cycled money, not S.A.A?

Chairman, General Manager and S.A.A. board, what are you really doing to deserve this pay rise?

The jump in depreciation, why so big? Normal business practices has a depreciation formula that gradually works down, even with the new terminal project, shouldn’t that have been forecast ahead? 

Begs to ask – what else was included or written off as ‘depreciation’.

It’s good to see some new blood in the Board, hopefully we’ll see some positive changes without expecting more massive pay rises – but with the same chairman and General Manager at the helm, I highly doubt it.

Maybe there is a reason (you think) you get “peanuts” - it’s the most appropriate food for monkeys. 


Lilomaiava Junior Laulu

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