Palau Awarded $4.5 Million For Airport Apron Project

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Secondary apron construction to accommodate more aircraft

By Aurea Gerundio-Dizon

KOROR, Palau (Island Times, August 26, 2013) – The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has awarded the Republic of Palau the amount of $4.5 million for the Phase V of the Secondary Apron Project at the Palau International Airport.

Documents obtained by Island Times showed President Remengesau signed the grant agreement on August 16.

Information from the Capital Improvement Project Office disclosed that the Secondary Apron Project began in 2008. Phases I and II involved major earthmoving activities. ROP received $3 million grant for Phase 1 and $4 million grant for Phase II. Works in Phase III and IV focused on underground drainage and facilities and the start of paving works. ROP received $7 million grant for Phase III and $6.750 million grant for Phase IV.

CIP Office Manager Brian Melairei yesterday said that Phase V will involve paving of apron with asphalt and construction of four concrete hard stands or the aircraft parking lots.

Melairei said the Phase V project is under bidding and is expected to be awarded by mid-October.

According to Melarei, the airport’s secondary apron is anticipated to accommodate four Boeing 767 aircrafts. Currently, Palau International Airport only has three aircraft parking spaces that can accommodate three passenger aircrafts. He said that the construction of secondary apron was also aimed at accommodating military planes, cargo planes and other private jets.

Melairei disclosed that ROP is anticipating another $4.3 million by the end of the calendar year for the Phase VI.

Total amount of the Secondary Apron Project only is $2.955 million.

Before the Secondary Apron Project, the Republic had received several grants from FAA for airport improvement.

The CIP Office disclosed that in late 2004, Palau became eligible for FAA grants for airport improvement. Melairei said that at the time, the runway surface was falling apart due to age, wear and tear, and the lack of rehabilitation funding.

He said that safety of the air carriers was at stake then so ROP immediately applied for and obtained a grant for the improvements of the runway.

Melairei said that the runway improvement project then became a stepping stone to more improvements, upgrades and new development at the Palau International Airport.

Projects funded by FAA other than the runway improvement since 2005 included the following: expansion of the existing apron to accommodate additional aircrafts; upgrades of the runway, taxiway and apron lightings; creation of a General Aviation Area (park spaces for small aircrafts and

helicopters); addition of two new loading bridges (jet ways); construction of the state of the art Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF); building; provision of two 1500 gallon capacity ARFF fire trucks; provision of a smaller Rapid Intervention fire fighting Vehicle (RIV); rehabilitation and upgrade of the Airport Security fence; development of the Airport Master Plan; data collection for the Development of GIS based Map system for the Airport; and ongoing construction of a new auxiliary apron to accommodate non-passenger aircraft traffic/volume.

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