RMI THANKS U.S. FOR AIRPORT SAFETY UPGRADES

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Palau and FSM get similar improvement support

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (RNZI, May 4, 2009) – The Marshall Islands Transportation Minister Kenneth Kedi has praised the US Federal Aviation Administration for its contribution to airport safety improvements in Micronesia.

Speaking at a regional aviation conference in Majuro, Mr Kedi thanked the FAA for the over forty million US dollars it has injected into airport paving, fire safety facilities and other projects at Majuro’s Amata Kabua International Airport over the past three years.

He says that without the funding, the Marshalls would have difficulty implementing safety upgrades at airports.

The FAA is funding similar projects in Palau and the Federated States of Micronesia.

The FAA Western Pacific airports manager Mark McClardy says the quality and dedication of people in the Pacific aviation sector is impressive, with evidence that programmes in the islands are becoming more sustainable than many in mainland US.

Meanwhile, Palau’s Minister of Commerce and Trade Jackson Ngiraingas has warned delegates at the conference that island officials need to ensure against complacency so that when FAA funding finishes, these programmes will continue in a sustainable way.

Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com

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