News 19 Apr 2018
The New Zealand (NZ) Government will tar seal four domestic airports in the Solomon Islands this year. They are; Taro, Seghe, Suavanao and Lata.
This was revealed by the Minister for Communication and Aviation Peter Shanel Angovaka last week in Parliament.
He said this funding for the domestic airport comes in the development budget which the New Zealand government will foot.
He further revealed the airport to be upgraded for Dash-8 to operate flights are Gwaonaru’u (Auki), Kirakira, Parasi (South Malaita) and hopefully Tingoa (Renbel).
Minister said the $40 million allocated in their budget is to upgrade of those airports to accommodate Dash-8.
“We have never make use of Dash-8 on our domestic flights which is more economical, thus they have to upgrade those airports to meet the standards and requirements for dash-8,” the Minister added.
He told parliament as well that Ministry of Infrastructure Development (MID) has budget to upgrade of airports in their budget.
Furthermore, the minister confirmed that a test flight to Lomlom airport in the remote Reef Islands of Temotu Province was done last month (March) and it was deemed fit for flight operation.
He further stated that a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed with landowners of Lomlom so things are progressing well.
But minister said the only thing that left for Lomlom is the access road from the wharf area to the airport.
“We will have to sort out the access road from the wharf to the airport.”
Source: Solomon Star