Airport ticketing still down

The Samoa Airport Authority (S.A.A.) remains unclear on when its parking lot ticketing machine will be operational again, after it went offline last year September. 

The $650,000 ticketing machine was scheduled to be back in working order in October last year. But due to technical difficulties the S.A.A. is seeking assistance from New Zealand for its reinstatement. 

The S.A.A.'s Chief Executive Officer, Silimana’i Ueta Solomona, confirmed the mechanical problems in response to questions from the Samoa Observer. 

“We have a notice on the S.A.A. website explaining the temporary withdrawal of the ticket system due to technical issues,"  said the C.E.O. 

“At this time, our technical staffs are working with the supplier in New Zealand for its reinstatement; however there is no definite time for this."

The question was posed after calls to the Samoa Observer by members of the public questioning the controversial ticketing machine. 

Silimana’i said the S.A.A. has reverted to collecting fees manually, which is working well despite the increased traffic the airport is experiencing.

Questions about whether the Airport is considering replacing the machines, were not answered by Silimana’i. 

The Minister of Works, Transport and Infrastructure Papali’i Niko Lee Hang said the machines “appeared to be second hand” hence the many problems encountered by the S.A.A. 

In October, Papali’i cited the said parking ticket machine was purchased in a "crooked deal.” 

And the Minister is using the example of the often out-of-service machine to put other Government agencies in his portfolio on notice to avoid "corrupt deals" that line the pockets of "middle men" by dealing with suppliers directly.

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