Air New Zealand Declares Vanuatu Airport Suitable For Flights

Remedial work on runway paves way for possible resumption of regular services

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, Oct. 5, 2016) – Minister of Infrastructure and Public Utilities (MIPU) Jotham Napat has welcomed a report from Air New Zealand, advising Bauerfield airport is acceptable for Airbus A320 operations.

The report was prepared after an Air New Zealand inspection of the runway on 22 September and followed with an Air New Zealand charter flight from Christchurch operating on 30 September.

“I was very pleased to receive the report, in particular Air New Zealand’s endorsement of the works carried out by Airports Vanuatu Limited,” Minister Napat said.

The report praised the airport remedial works on the runway, saying ‘Airports Vanuatu and Vanuatu CAA have a robust inspection and recording system of the airside operational surface condition…. The temporary repairs recently completed by Airports Vanuatu and the contractors were of a high standard.”

Minister Napat said AVL had managed the repairs well which was reaffirmed by Air New Zealand’s endorsement of the works and charter flight.

Airports Vanuatu Ltd CEO Jason Rakau said his team had been working tirelessly to ensure the works were completed to a superior standard to ensure jet operations could not only continue, but increase as well.

“We were pleased to welcome Air New Zealand back to Port Vila last week; their return is a positive step towards the airline resuming scheduled services now they have declared the runway acceptable for their operations,” Mr. Rakau said.

AVL is in the final stages of preparing bid documents for the major upgrade of Bauerfield planned for early 2017.

Mr. Rakau said he is already working with the airline operators to reduce disruptions when the major works commence next year.

“The arrival of the Air New Zealand flight marks a turning point for Vanuatu’s tourism recovery. We will do all possible to support Air New Zealand’s resumption of scheduled services and hope that will happen sooner rather than later,” Minister Napat said.

Vanuatu Daily Post
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