SOLOMON STAR – 13 October 2020
WORK to upgrade the international airport led by the Japanese Government is expected to kick off again towards the end of next month, November 2020.
Permanent Secretary (PS) of the Ministry of Communication and Aviation Moses Virivolomo told the paper yesterday.
He said the project should have already made progress but due to Covid-19, some of their engineers have to go home which resulted in the slowdown of work.
“The project has started but most of our Japanese engineers have left when we agreed to suspend the project because of COVID-19,” he said.
Virivolomo said plans have been in place to bring them last month but was further delayed as a result of flight cancellation by the government.
“They were supposed to have come in on 16 September flight Auckland flight but it was canceled by Solomon Islands Government,” he said.
However, he said plans have already in place to bring them in Honiara by this month on 25th October and after completing their 14 days quarantine, work should start mid next month.
“We are planning again for the engineers to come in on 25 October flight and start work in mid-November.
“If flights aren’t canceled and that they arrived then after quarantine, work should start on the last week of November,” he added.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare earlier said in relation to the Honiara Airport Improvement project, the target for this year includes, building a new taxiway and repairing the old one, build the new departure terminal, expand and repair the airport apron, and refurbishment of the current international terminal, in which two thirds will be the repair of the domestic terminal.
Sogavare said in terms of its progress, mobilization has been completed with the access and gravel extraction agreement completed as well as work is also underway in bringing in the Japanese engineers for the airport project this month, October 2020.
By IAN M.KAUKUI