No further airports are due for improvement this year – limited budget being the main constraint.
The Minister for Civil Aviation Hon. Walter Fototalu made this statement in response to a question by the MP for Ulawa Ugi Hon. James Tora in Parliament this week.
Questioning the government’s tar-sealing project Mr. Tora asked, when will Kirakira airport be tar-sealed.
“When will the Kirakira airfield be tar-sealed under Tar-seal sealing projects Mr. Speaker, if he can assure this honourable house, the airfield, when will it be tar-sealed. We’ve been facing problems all along especially during wet weather, which makes it difficult for an aircraft to land.”
In his response, Aviation Minister Mr Folotalu says, his Ministry plans to lessen the number of new airports constructed next year and concentrate on improving existing ones including Kirakira.
“This year we have no funds to work on it because we’ve asked for $30 million but only $4 million was allocated as indicated in the supplementary budget, which is inadequate for us to tar-seal the airstrip this year, but the Ministry has planned not to build new airfields but at least we have now start working on the existing airfields to seal them. The Kirakira one is okay as there’s not much land dispute.”