New Departure Terminal to be handed over soon
The Honiara International Airport new departure terminal will be handed over on the 15th of March 2023.
Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Communication and Aviation, Mr. Moses Virivolomo announced this at a media conference recently.
The new terminal is a component of the Honiara International Airport Improvement Project which is funded by JICA and constructed by Kitano Construction Corporation.
Mr. Virimolo said the project will cost around USD 39 million upon completion.
“The current cost of building the project is USD 36.8 million from JICA and USD 2 million from the Solomon Islands Government.”
“This is for the costs of work and residence permit exemptions, duty exemptions on materials coming in, securing gravel and accommodation of the project itself. So, overall, the cost of the project would be around USD 39 million,” he said.
Meanwhile, Permanent Secretary Virivolomo also clarified that the terminal will only be used for departures as to provide a comfortable space for travelling passengers.
“People spend more time at the departure than arrival. Upon arrival, people would look for vehicles in front to leave so people spend very little time at the arrival terminals. But for departures, people will usually leave four hours before the flight, they mingle around there and look for food, services, duty free, so that is why we decided that the new terminal will only be for departures.”
“The current arrival terminal will remain with facilities to be added to ensure there is free flow of people. A machine to screen bags will be installed to ensure all bags are being screened instead of custom officers asking questions and opening bags which disturbs the flow of people coming through the arrival terminal,” he explained.
The Honiara International Airport Improvement Project includes the construction of a new departure terminal, new taxiway and apron, repair and refurbishment of existing infrastructures and the installation of new flood control mechanisms, and lighting.
By Eliza Kukutu