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PORT VILA, Vanuatu (August 12, 1998 - Radio Australia)---The Vanuatu Parliament has approved a bill to privatize the country's airports.

The new law creates a Civil Aviation Corporation, which will take over administration of all airports from the existing government-operated Civil Aviation Department.

The Vanuatu Government will be a shareholder in the new corporation.

France, Australia, New Zealand, the European Investment Bank and the European Development Fund recommended the corporatization plan, and agreed to fund a US$ 12 million airport development program following its implementation.

The airport improvement program includes upgrading the facilities at Santo to handle jet aircraft, and expansion of the main international airport at Port Vila to accommodate larger aircraft.

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