Samoa’s $140million International Gateway

By Ivamere Nataro ,

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LOOKING GREAT: The $140million Faleolo International Airport is expected to be opened soon. (inset) Linjie Shi.

LOOKING GREAT: The $140million Faleolo International Airport is expected to be opened soon. (inset) Linjie Shi. (Photo: Misiona Simo)

Samoans can expect to be proud of their new international gateway, the Faleolo International Airport, when the $140m project is completed.

Travelers can expect a more spacious facility with an increase in the size of the terminal from 5500 sqm to about 12000 sqm. 

This will cater to 600,000 passengers annually with maximum passenger flow volume of 300 passengers per hour.

Not only does this new $131 million tala Faleolo airport facelift attract air travelers, the design in itself incorporates the style of the traditional Samoan Fale and the sea.

This is according to Shanghai Construction Project Manager, Linjie Shi.

He made the comments during a visit by the Samoan media to some of China’s major projects in the country yesterday. 

The multi-million-tala airport is one of them.

The second phase of the airport development project which focuses on the upgrading of the arrival area will be completed in March.

Mr. Linjie said also included in the project is the installation of aerobridges and a dedicated power center.

“We will have to wait for the World Bank because they are upgrading the apron and the runway,” he said. “Once that is done then we will install the aerobridges, but that will be sometime in July or later this year.

Faleolo International Airport
Faleolo International Airport

“However, people will be able to enjoy the new facilities offered in the arrival area by April this year.”

Currently, arriving passengers are using the reduced temporary arrivals area located at the cargo building east of the new department building. 

In opening the first phase of the development, Tuilaepa praised the state-of-the-art facilities saying this move was a step closer to Samoa Airport Authority’s vision to become the Pacific hub of air travel. 

“It is Government’s hope that more new air carriers will make use of the new Faleolo facilities to push our tourism and trade transport.” 

China’s Ambassador to Samoa, Wang Xuefeng, in a press conference on Thursday said bilateral ties between Samoa and China in 2017 made huge achievements in the areas of high level exchange, economic cooperation and people to people exchange. 

“In the past decade, the Chinese Government helped Samoa build the office buildings, sports facilities, hospitals, schools. These developments benefit the local Samoan people and I think the Samoan people welcome the China aid. 

“The Prime Minister has expressed great support for China aid, and the remark by the P.M. is highly appreciated by the Chinese government and its people. 

“We can feel the solid relationship between our two countries and we can feel the deep friendship between our two countries. We cooperate very well and together we achieve success, and we bring many benefits to the people,” he added. 

The Faelolo International Airport facelift project, which started in November 2015, is fully funded by the Chinese Government.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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