Samoa’s Fagalii airport has reopened with an extended runway, and the Minister of Works Transport and Infrastructure has given his assurance that it is safe.
The Minister says the airport has passed all aviation safety requirements and also has an extended runway.
“It is now 800 metres, compared to the 700m runway that was there before.”
According to Olo, the refurbishment of Fagalii airport was a $2.6 million tala (US$9.5 million) project.
The airport has had a major face lift in and around the check in area, departure lounge, as well as its arrivals area.
“That also includes the additional 100m of runway.”
The runway extension project was carried out by Ulia Construction.
In his keynote address the Minister spoke about the history of Fagalii airport, which opened in the year 1969 with its first flight in 1970.
Fagalii Airport served Samoa for 35 years before it was closed in 2005 having been declared unsafe.
In 2009 Fagalii airport reopened under the leadership of then Cabinet Minister Hon Tuisugaletaua Sofara Aveau, who is also from Fagalii.
However, in 2019, the airport was once again declared unsafe and was closed down.
Negotiations to reopen were held with matai from the village of Fagalii who had initially rejected the idea.
However, Olo says the village of Fagalii stand to benefit from the reopening of the airport.
“Fagalii airport staff will give priority to Fagalii, and all business ventures will be run by members of the village.”
Olo said everything from shops to the taxi stands and restaurants will all be left to the members of Fagalii village to operate.
“The truth is, Fagalii are very lucky and blessed.”
Olo thanked the Government of New Zealand for their donation of a scanner for Fagalii airport.
The ribbon was cut by Prime Minister Hon Fiame Naomi Mata’afa. The ceremony was we’ll attended by Government, Members of the Diplomatic Corp, Heads of Government and the Private Sector. The village of Fagalii presented gifts to the dignitaries and government members in attendance.