Fagali'i Airport reopening offers more Pago flights

By Matai'a Lanuola Tusani T - Ah Tong 12 August 2022, 6:00PM

The frequency of flights between Samoa and American Samoa could increase to three flights a week once the Fagali'i Airport re-opens for aviation purposes.

There is currently one weekly flight from the territory to Faleolo airport and with the recent two Samoa talks last month there was progress on aviation discussion between the countries. 

The Minister of Public Enterprises, Leatinuu Wayne So’oialo confirmed there are plans to reopen the Fagalii airport soon to operate flights to and from the territory. 

“At the moment there are limited flights operating from Faleolo,” he said. 

“Hopefully with the reopening of Fagali'i we will have two to three flights to assist our people in travelling. We have a lot of people travelling and it is hoped that the Atoa Samoa talks in September will finalise issues with the TalofaPass.”

Travellers to American Samoa have complained about the TalofaPass. 

According to some frequent fliers to American Samoa, the process is stressful especially when the approval comes through on the day they travel or a day before. 

The Minister of Works Transport and Infrastructure, Olo Fiti Vaai, said there are preparations underway with the Samoa Airport Authority (S.A.A.) and Samoa Airways to reopen Fagalii. 

Olo said they are aware of businesses being affected by the closure of Fagalii and during the two Samoa talks there an appeal from the territory to reopen the airport. 

He noted reopening will also create revenue for S.A.A. from landing fees and lower airspace charge. 

“All this is pending Cabinet approval once it is satisfied,” he said. 

“Once preparatory work is done and Cabinet gives the okay to reopen the P.A.S.O. will also have to carry out inspection on the specification of the runway to ensure there are no trees in the way.
 The Minister assured that the approval for the safety of the location has already been given the greenlight by the New Zealand Civil Aviation.

He added a representative from the N.Z. Civil Aviation Authority is currently in Samoa for that purpose and to ensure that all requirement for the airport are in place. 

Meanwhile the Samoa Airways currently has two working twin otters while the third one parked at the Faleolo international airport is in need of maintenance. 

Leatinuu said the local engineers need to be certified in order for them to service the twin otter before it can fly again as well as other jets flying in to Samoa. 

By Matai'a Lanuola Tusani T - Ah Tong 12 August 2022, 6:00PM
Samoa Observer

Upgrade to Premium

Subscribe to
Samoa Observer Online

Enjoy unlimited access to all our articles on any device + free trial to e-Edition. You can cancel anytime.