Am. Samoa Celebrates Cession Day By Dedicating Airport Projects

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Fitiuta gets fence, Ofu has new fire fighting facility

By Joyetter Feagaimaalii-Luamanu

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (The Samoa News, July 20, 2015) – Last Thursday marked the 111th anniversary since Tuimanu’a Elisara signed the Deed of Cession at Faleula in Lalopua, which ceded the Manu’a Islands to the United States as part of American Samoa.

The flag raising ceremony was carried out by veteran military servicemen and ranking chiefs of the Manu’a Islands.

The US flag was raised by former Associate Judge Lefiti Pese and Tei T. Tei, while Tuialu’ulu’u Tuialu’ulu’u and Rep. Fetu Fetui Jr. hoisted the American Samoa flag.

The honor of raising the Manu’a flag was given to Manu’a District Governor Misaalefua Hudson and Administrative Services Director Malemo Tausaga.

Veteran Ben Noa read the Governor’s proclamation during a special ceremony held at Malaetele, Ta’u.

Secretary of Samoan Affairs, Mauga Tasi Asuega who served as keynote speaker, commended the "wisdom of our forefathers" who signed the Deed of Cession, yet never went to school but agreed to a treaty that has made a huge impact on the lives of future generations.

ARFF FACILITY IN OFU

The Aircraft Rescue Ramp Fire Fighting (ARFF) Facility was contracted to Fletcher Construction and came with a price tag of $4,174,083.63.

According to Port Administration Director, Taimalelagi Dr. Claire Tuia Poumele, the new Ofu ARFF Facility was designed to not only satisfy the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) ARFF specifications, but also to serve as a building that can withstand the harsh coastal environment of the airport location, be easy to maintain, and be a pleasant space for ARFF personnel to use for their duties.

"A lot of design planning between the contractor, CM and Port Administration was put into this, not only to ensure that this new ARFF building will function well for its proposed purpose at Ofu Airport, but also to last and be durable against the elements," Taimalelagi said. The building's exterior, including the roof, are made up of aluminum panels with a "styrofoam" not only to insulate the building from the sun and outside heat, but ensures that it will never rust. Basically, the building is a "large refrigerator".

The orange color of the building, according to Taimalelagi, was chosen by Port Administration because of its closeness to the runway as a safety precaution, and also to have a unique building for Ofu and Olosega and the Manu'a Islands - something that stands out.

The structure is a two-bay ARFF Facility able to accommodate a pair of 1500-gallon ARFF trucks although currently, there is a ARFF RIV (Rapid Intervention Vehicle) which is sufficient for this airport's index. Two large electric bay doors secure the bays.

The ARFF facility features an office/watchroom (with computers/printer/fax and aircraft base radio), a fully equipped kitchen, laundry area (washer/dryer), a restroom, a 4-bed bedroom with lockers, storage area, a standby electrical generator, water tank, sprinkler system, alarm/PA system, fire gear and apparatus, BA (Breathing Apparatus) compressor and gear.

FITIUTA AIRPORT FENCE

The second project that was dedicated last Thursday was the $1,255,220 security perimeter fence surrounding the Fitiuta Airport.

The job was carried out by Fletcher Construction and designed by PPG Consultants Inc. The Port Director stated that this unique design of the new Fitiuta Airport security perimeter fence is to ensure that a fence built at this airport will last the harsh coastal environmental conditions and also meet FAA specifications regarding security and safety.

She explained that the idea of a concrete post which includes the angle arm, with aluminum chain link mesh, railings, and barbed wire will not only be durable against the salty coastal environment but also, if a cyclone or other natural disaster should hit the island and affect the airport, damaging the fence, only the chain link mesh and barbed wire would need to be replaced, as the concrete post will be intact, making for quicker repairs and "securing the airport for operation again, after any disaster."

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